GOD IS IN THE DETAILS?

My post yesterday raised some interesting comments on faith and spirituality and I’ve spent quite a lot of time thinking about the matter.

“A Creed for the Third Millennium” is a book by Australian writer Colleen Mccullough; I read it in my early twenties, having been blown over by her better-known novel, The Thorn Birds.

In short, the plot deals with a post-apocalyptic future world, a grey landscape and a joyless, dehumanised population who are governed by an Orwellian band of baddies. The government decide to create a Messiah, a media-whore if you will, to give the people something to believe in. It is a thinly veiled rewrite of the New Testament and the analogies are disappointingly bland: the Messiah character is named Christian and the chief baddie who eventually betrays him is Judith.

“Creed” proved to be a dreary book, but the subject matter is food for thought: mankind must have something to believe in.

I went to Wikipedia and got this:

A creed is a statement of belief—usually religious belief or faith—often recited as part of a religious service. The word derives from the Latin: credo for “I believe” (because the Latin translation of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed both begin with this word). A creed is sometimes referred to as a symbol (Greek: σύμβολο[ν], sýmbolo[n]), signifying a “token” by which persons of like beliefs might recognize each other.

Ergo I am left with the impression that creed = organised religion, which – in my experience – equates to institutions run politically with the view to becoming financially profitable.

Rather like a Customer Relations Management campaign in advertising?

I know I am rambling with this post, but I am left wondering what criteria I would include if I got that ultimate writing brief: if there is – indeed – an Ultimate Higher Power and an email arrived in my inbox from His/Her PR agency to write a Global Creed for this Millennium …

I think my first point would be Respect; for yourself first and foremost, in your every thought and deed. That should create a ripple effect that would create some good vibrations, don’t you think?

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23 Comments Add yours

  1. deepercolors says:

    Self respect – self esteem, is the cornerstone of a healthy personality. Built best in childhood by enough unconditional love. If you get it you have a solid foundation for life. If you don’t, you spend your life trying to make up for it. Have to love yourself first before you can be truly successful loving others,
    Anyway, that’s my spiel.
    And I *loved* The Thornbirds, movie and book ♥

  2. theonlycin says:

    This book was so different to her other books, it may as well have been written by someone else! I also loved the Thornbirds TV series and got quite a crush on Richard Chamberlain. I was devastated to learn that he was gay.

    1. nrhatch says:

      Me too! : )

      Me too! : )

      Me too . . . : (

  3. I too loved the Thorn Birds and was going through an innocent spiritual transition myself at the time!!! I still have a hope that we will evolve into a human race that cannot lie – that we will be able to recognise when someones telling truths and un-truths …. that should sort a lot of the *&*t out!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Fair comment Jan, doesn’t it go back to respect? You wouldn’t lie to someone if you respect them?

  4. EverMe says:

    Did you ever read what Ark wrote about the making of Jesus Christ? It was a conversation between a few Romans – Very tic, however very plausible. I’ll ask him where it is and see if I can direct you to it.
    To me religion is a controlling factor when taken in a societal context.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks EM, I can’t remember seeing that post.

  5. Madmom says:

    Respect and compassion are the cornerstones of my spiritual life.

  6. Madmom says:

    PS – I do stray from them sometimes. 🙂 When provoked.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hell hath no fury like a bleached-out Madmom?

    2. nrhatch says:

      Madmom ~ It’s all about “progress” not “perfection.”

      Sometimes it’s fun to “stray” . . . just a bit.

  7. supagran says:

    I loved The Thornbirds, both the book and the series. Good post…..respect! 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Do you remember when the girl gets her ‘ashes of roses’ dress? Oh how I wanted that dress!
      Respect back at you.

  8. Interesting post, Cin.
    While being in no way religious myself (any more), I am a big fan of religious fiction. “Second Son”, by Charles Sailor is a good example.

    For myself, if I were writing the precepts, I would start with, “First, do no harm.”

    1. theonlycin says:

      Exactly Richard, respect everything!

  9. suzicate says:

    I am so there with you about Richard Chamberlain in Thornbirds…he had us young girls swooning! I do believe there is a God, but I don’t think you have to belong to a church to know him. The one I belonged to was not for financial gain and is a big assistance to those in need. However, I found that many of the attendees were in for themselves first. Many had their own agenda rather than a higher agenda. It involved so many politics and so much hypocrisy, I felt I was a better person going on a solo spiritual journey. I actually have a friend who is a minister of a church who does not believe that one must attend organized religion…this came as a shock to me since that is his “calling”. But yes, we must start with respecting and loving oursleves before we can offer those things to others, and one does not need belong to any religious organization or belief system in order to give those things. We each know deep within ourselves what is our best path, and that is where we should tread.

    1. nrhatch says:

      Agree!

      Spirituality leaves out the politics and hypocrisy. : )

  10. nrhatch says:

    Boy did you hit the nail on the head!

    “creed = organised religion, which – in my experience – equates to institutions run politically with the view to becoming financially profitable.”

    Religion is someone else telling me what to think.
    Spirituality is trying to connect to the source itself, without using middlemen.

    Great post!

  11. halfp1nt says:

    Respect, compassion, humility is a great place to start.
    I cannot lie without blushing like a beetroot!

  12. Val says:

    I am of the opinion that people create religions because they are afraid of death and they need someone to blame when the do something wrong. A good creed for this millennium would be personal responsibilty coupled with selflessness and then all the other good stuff will follow. When I read the thorn birds, I was fourteen and on a bus in Northern Ontario and I loved it. A fantastic memory and book, thanks Cindy for reminding me. 🙂

  13. colonialist says:

    That would certainly be a good starting point.

    These creeds are part of a ritual which I would hypothesise directs thoughts in a similar concentrated direction, and in doing so creates actual energy or force. I want to do a post on this theory.

  14. Clari says:

    Respect is the thing that mankind has lost most…in our practice of religion, and in our everyday interaction with each other. It will be a good place to start, for sure.

  15. Adeeyoyo says:

    I think it boils down to treating others as you would like to be treated – all things being equal… and they aren’t Hannibal Lecters, lol.

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