“That men have an interest in knowing the world which surrounds them, and consequently that their reflection should have been applied to it at an early date, is something that everyone will readily admit.” Emile Durkheim
I have always considered myself to be a spiritual person. As a child I had a child’s version of the bible, and read and re-read it. I was most taken in by the story of Ruth. I loved how devoted, and strong she was. Reading how she reaped the wheat to feed her sickly mother-in-law, and how determined she was resonated with me.
As I grew into my teenage years, I began to explore other religions other than the one I was brought up in. Being a Beatles fan I explored Hinduism and Meditation. Later I began reading about other religions and philosophies. I explored the eastern religions, such as Taoism and Buddhism. I also began to read books on Jesus. I have collected many books on religion and enjoy the scholarly approach to it. I am, as a friend once said, slightly obsessed by the concept.
As humans we have a connection to one another, not only throughout collective consciousness, but also to the universe in which we live. Personally, I see the belief in something that is bigger than we are, and our need to understand it as part of our DNA. Just look at early human civilizations. At their core is a deity or belief system. Every civilization since the beginning of human cognition has had a deity or deities to which they worship. They prayed to, sacrificed for, all in an attempt to become one with a larger organism. Every deity has been given some living form that the civilization can relate to, whether it be man or beast.
At the same time, humans need for the achievement of self-interest can be in direct competition of the collective. This is the duplicity that Durkheim spoke about when he said humans are inherently two consciousness’: The Profane and the Sacred. Only when the two are not mutually exclusive will the individual and society be healthy.
A family member once asked me how as a Libertarian I could believe in a collective society. I told her I didn’t see how my belief system is in any way competition for my spirituality. I do believe in personal freedom. I believe that is the only way a society can be healthy. It is when society needs and the individual’s needs are in a direct antagonistic relationship, that the system breaks down. You can call this culture, or collectivism, but the relationship must be there. All humans like three things really: 1. To feel needed; 2). Structure; 3) and shiny things. That’s how what we call Organized Religion evolved.
I am still looking, searching, and seeking. As humans I don’t think we have yet to understand completely the idea that everything is connected: I am exploring this concept the only way I know how to, through knowledge and my art. I look at the soma of a cell, and I see a Nebula; I look at an MRI of synopsis of a brain, and I see the branches of a tree.
We are one and we are everything.