Seeking Solid Values Through Universal Wisdom
Religion, or the lack thereof, has been a topic of considerable conversation lately between my husband and me. More specifically, the lack of foundation we gave our older boy and are continuing to not provide to our youngest because we have completely opted out of organized religions. The problem is that we cannot figure out how to impart the really good values that we learned as part of growing up in a religion to that of imparting those same values in a non-religious household.
In our opinion we have dropped the craziness of religion and only held onto the real-life aspects of it as it truly applied to humankind. And let me be clear, I think all religions are crazy, but feel most underlying foundations are not. I believe most if not all were started with the best of intentions but the human element has made things crazy. Power, control and fear make things crazy.
The one thing both my husband and I agree on is that growing up Catholic meant that we grew up smart, because we were taught to be. We were schooled on the foundations of the Bible, parables, Catholic doctrine and beliefs. But being so educated also made us question the things that were truly not believable-the crazy stuff that bugs us about all faiths. But, in contrast, as part of religious education and conditioning, we were provided a personal moral code which distinctly influenced how we live our lives and how we approach the world at large in regard to what is wrong or right.
Even though our children did not have the influence of a particular faith base, they were raised with our values, values based on the basics of old religion without the tenants of dogma. But basically they are one step removed because they did not learn these values first hand and I am troubled that without such education they will be weak spiritually and the influence of different religions or cults will have a strong pull on them. And maybe I'm not so much worried about them, okay maybe I am, but I am also fearful for future generations.
Speaking with an ex-priest friend of mine, I recounted my frustrations and concerns about the lack of a structured faith base in regard to my children and their upbringing and he could see and agreed that there is a missing juncture worthy of concern and consideration. Our conversation circled around to the need to develop a base for those people raising children spiritually based vs religion based and we came up with Universal Wisdom.
Universal Wisdom encompasses the mythologies that surround mankind from the beginning of time to now. Mythology seems like a dirty word when used to described religion but really it shouldn't be. Mythology describes not only myths but the lore and traditions of each and every faith and if you do the research, it is easy to see there is a thread of universal wisdom, or sameness, that permeates each and every religion or more specifically faith base, which is the true tenant of the religion. It is the craziness of men that exploit and stretch the universal wisdom to fit the needs of a population of people.
I have heard it argued that organized faith is on the same level as brainwashing and in a way I agree. Brainwashing has a negative impression but brainwashing can also be positive if you consider that all teaching could be considered brainwashing. For example, teaching goodness over badness, love over hatefulness, giving over taking, peace over chaos, light over darkness and as with all of these things and more, it is essentially the yin and yang of life. For every measure there is a countermeasure if you will. But again, it speaks to that Universal Wisdom mentioned previously.
Of course, this identification does little to help us, or people who believe similarly, to establish a foundation like that taught to us by the faiths of our childhood and that which is still actively taught by parents who are still governed by organized religions. For me and my husband we feel that educating our children on both secular and non-secular essentials is our duty as parents but finding the tools in this area have proven to be a real challenge. My quest for finding, analyzing and scrutinizing the Universal Wisdom and creating a platform that can be invoked and taught, if for nothing else than where the truth comes from and why, has begun. Not unlike parables, I think Universal Wisdom, can and should be identified and taught with as much enthusiasm and conviction as the holy books of every faith, because like these Good Books, they are the embodiment, or essence, of goodness itself.