This is the ffth poem in a series of six to be published at Magic City. The poetry was created by a rather unique bunch of people who have written a book entitled: "God, Religion, Science, Nature, Culture, and Morality: A Critical Analysis in Plain Talk" The poetry (which is not contained in their book) is called 'Argumentative Poetry.' We thank the authors for their contribution to Magic City.
Prelude to an Indifferent Creator
An Exercise in Argumentative Poetry
In matters of spirituality, the flow of information tends to run from top to bottom. Parties in the know impose their convictions upon the less well informed. But since the dawn of religions, uncertainties were shared in alternative formats that invited reflection and individual deliberation. Hindu scriptures, for instance, are laden with unanswered questions about the specifics of creation. But it was left to ancient philosophers, among them the Greek Epicurus, to device and refine argumentation in a poetic frame that fosters reflection toward the resolution of issues.
A significant aspect of such framing is the compactification of text. Poetic argumentation eliminates squabbling about irrelevant details and focuses on the essentials. It occurred to us that such message conveyance should hold great appeal to the electronically savvy generations who find no time for lengthy elaborations of issues of secondary concern. Hence we turned to a poetic format to relate, in six brief vignettes, the essential features of religiosity.
Blessings off Illusions
Illusions are commonly defined as misconceptions of something real.
Self-conceived or imposed by others, they are deemed deceptions.
But does this mean that they are all lies of regrettable consequence?
Not so, as illusions have the power to inspire actions, good or bad.
What some declare illusionary, others fancy as the pursuit of a dream.
Unrealistic as "reaching for the stars" may seem, it's a challenge,
An undertaking associated with hopes for success and fear of failure.
Perhaps less ambitious, we all confront challenges on a daily basis.
Some may be manageable, others are distressing and frightening.
Uncertainty of success is bound to test our resolve and endurance.
Who, under such trying conditions, would not ask a friend for help?
It's here where those who believe in a kind god have the advantage.
Reaching a benevolent god by prayer may seem futile to seculars.
To believers, however, it offers reassurance that things will work out.
What's illusion to skeptics will have real consequences for believers.
Illusions offer hope, elevate confidence, and inspire productive efforts.
But even more important, they drown worries and anxiety of failure.
The upshot is that believers are spared much stress and its maladies.
And this protection is not lost when asked-for aid doesn't materialize.
Believers have ways to rationalize deficient support as self-inflicted.
Pleading is resumed and hopes for help out of a dilemma stay alive.
But some skeptics hold a different view of the reliance on rescues.
They argue that arranging for assistance erodes personal initiative.
Why struggle with challenges when a kind god will help us out?
But as such a belief circumvents stress, it still accrues health benefit.
Secular citizens are deprived of all the indicated health advantages.
They are on their own in discerning the limits of their abilities.
If they overrate them, they have to pay the price in added stress.
As they have no reason to expect divine intervention on their behalf,
They forgo any illusion-based improvement in their general health.
"Yemant and Friends" is a group of retired professors who thought the time had come to examine matters of religiosity more carefully. They opted for anonymity due to the sensitive subject matter discussed in the book.
Most of us have never bothered to find out why we believe what we believe. That's especially true for our thoughts and convictions about religion. Perhaps we were otherwise too engaged. Perhaps we simply adopted what our elders and peers appeared to believe. Whatever the case, isn't it time for us all to examine matters of religiosity more carefully? At least we--a bunch of retired professors, no longer absorbed by professional duties--thought the time had come to ponder why we had taken so much for granted. (Read More at Archway Publishing)
"God, Religion, Science, Nature, Culture, and Morality: A Critical Analysis in Plain Talk"
By Yemant and Friends
ISBN: 978-1-48081-124- 9