Because Zen makes sense

A Note About Religion and Ideas


What initiated this little note, was a comment from smilecalm on my last post about how ideas often become constrained into religion, and how that creates a basis for both power and financial benefits. Let me cite: “Jesus, Buddha and other enlightened ones had such beautiful teachings. if only there was a way for our minds to understand, freely thinking without being caught in the dogma of religions, economics and right and wrongs.” Wise words, and my post suggested something of the same. But if it was not for the religion, not for those who used those teachings for their own benefit in one way or another, would those teachings survived for us to read?

Back in 2011 I wrote on another blog, in Norwegian, about how teachings sort of became religions. Moses was in power, and that probably is the reason why we today know the ten commandments. Without those commandments being put into a strong religious frame, would we in 2013 still have knowledge about them? Would we still know about the teachings of Jesus if he was not born into a political setting that facilitated his ideas, ideas that led to the formation of Christianity as a religion? Probably we would not have any profound knowledge of the ideas behind Islam if Mohammed had not ended up in a political and economic position where he could transform his teachings into religion. And after the death of Buddha, what would we have known about his teachings unless some monks not had gathered and taken care of his teaching, transforming them into a platform for Buddhism?

We are often critical to dogmas, to religious teachings, to the way religions limits both the freedom of thoughts and the lives of people. But on the other side, we shall appreciate religions as carriers of teachings that possibly otherwise would have been lost. I just thought I’d like to mention this to be fair in my criticism.


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2 thoughts on “A Note About Religion and Ideas

  1. thanks Fred for making my comment wise!
    I would agree that religions have provided great service
    in documenting and preserving teachings.
    I’ve known people who practice their religious teachings, beautifully
    and yet it seems most are not such good students, imho. 🙂

    • Thanks for another comment. I did not make you wise. You are wise, proven on your blog, and in your comments. Mindfulness means accptance, so accept that fact. 🙂

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