There was an experiment. Removing road furniture. Signs, lines, lights, different functional surfaces. All the paraphernalia of keeping drivers safe from drivers and pedestrians safe from drivers. The everyday stuff that makes sure each does not “interact” with the other.
I look around at all the road furniture where I drive and imagine how I would drive – how I would pedestrian – differently. How I would live a more gentle life. One that “knows” we can all live together peacefully.
But I see all the road furniture. It is how we choose to live. I watch pedestrians wait. I watch drivers ignore them. I see drivers pushing in. I see other drivers offended. I see drivers checking their phones. I see pedestrians immersed in theirs. I see us all insulating ourselves from each other. We have all the rules of road furniture. We don’t need to interact. We have been taught not to interact.
I wonder about “sacred texts” more and more.
We cannot move back to a time when there were never any sacred texts to invent. But I wonder whether we could move to a place where we might put them down. Just as an experiment. Whether we could stop fighting about what “he said” or “she said” (but mainly about what “he said”).
I love my wife. She loves me.
But we can really fall out over “you said”. Because the response is always “no I didn’t”. And then pantomime takes over. Except it is something our children should not see. It is always painful. It is repairable. But repairing damage costs. There is always a cost. And we have only been doing that for 30+ years. The “pantomime” of sacred texts has been going for hundreds and thousands of years.
Schools and colleges. Universities of sacred qualification. A conveyor belt of fluctuating output of those qualified in the sacred. And the pantomime continues. “He said” followed by “No He didn’t” …
The debates. The arguments. The splits. The tradition. The one way of doing it – even though there are many sacred ways of doing it, there always just seems to be one way: “The way we have always done it around here”. No matter how not the same as another way – it always comes down to … “That’s the way we do things around here”.
What if we found a place without sacred texts?
Would we still wish to insulate ourselves from each other? Would we still need to prove each other wrong? Or might we, as we look up from our favourite verses, see each other for what we really are? Might we become aware not of our differences but of our similarities? Might this faith so sought by the faithful be found not in sacred texts – but without sacred texts? Might sacred texts be as much the problem as the preached solution?
Take the bible. The Christian bible. Of countries which call themselves Christian countries. Not like Muslim countries.
Pantomime alert …
They have god but we have God … They do things this way but we do them that way … They have got it wrong and we have got it right …
Walls are walls. It’s just that these walls don’t need bricks. We have built them in our heads already. Heads that need sacred texts.
Would heads without sacred texts revert to having to figure things out together. Heads that might choose to deconstruct these walls once “we” found that they were not protecting “us” – but that they were damaging “us”. Perhaps even controlling us. Making us lazy. Causing us to accept “stuff” without question. Or to ignore “stuff” without justification.
Because more and more I wonder …
What if the Christian God never intended the Christian bible to be written? What if the Christian God is not Christian at all? What would be the point of being a Christian then? And would you be able to – would you even want to?
And what of your Muslim brother who put down the sacred text? Would you still be a Muslim, would you be able to – would you want to? And what of your Atheist brother? Would you still be an atheist if christians and muslims no longer were insulated from each other or you?
What might such a place look like …
A place without sacred texts?