After Death. After Religion.

Thought of the day: What happens after religion? Fewer and fewer people believe in it nowadays. It’s possible that within a generation, there simply will not be religion across many parts of Europe and large sections of North America, Oceania, and Asia. Questionably, there is something to be said on the rise of didactic practices like yoga, mindfulness and meditation; even within the traditionally brutish segments of global business markets and the military. That’s not necessarily a problem — but it’s worth contemplating why people made up religion to begin with.

We may no longer believe in (Something/God/Deities/Achieving Nirvana/Chris Brown), but the needs and longings that made us make up these desires will not cease to exist, at least not overnight. In general, people are both lonely and violent; we long for beauty, wisdom, and purpose; we want to live for something more than just ourselves.

Society tells us to direct our hopes in two areas: romantic love and professional success; and it distracts us with news, media, entertainment, and consumption. Those alone are not enough for most — especially at 3AM in the morning. We need reminders to be good, places to inspire awe, something to reawaken our kinder, less selfish impulses with universal things. These these need tending, like delicate flowers, and often, rituals that bring us together.

The choice is not between religion and the secular world, as it is now in the public eye — the challenge is to learn from religions so we can fill the secular world with replacements for the things we long ago made up religion to provide.

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