Why I Distrust Disorganized Religion

I don’t trust disorganized religion.

Look at it closely and you’ll inevitably find some reactionary yahoo who figured out there is nothing to figure out and wants to sell you that information. There’s always a trail of disciples, synchronizing their idiosyncrasies so they all think the same though none think they do, flaunting their individuality instead of just being, or using head knowledge as a flotation device instead of drowning in the Divine. Nothing reeks of passive-aggressive order like deliberate chaos.

“There is only one way to the perfection I envision for you,” the master says, “and that is your own. Make it up as you go, and here’s exactly what will happen. Come as you are, as I want you to be.”

Spontaneity is neither organized nor disorganized –it toys with both. It just is. It does without doing. There is no greater peace than surrendering your need to be peaceful, no greater joy than forgetting about your own enjoyment, and simply being.

Then again, good luck being spontaneous on purpose!

Are you getting it?

Don’t follow any teacher who claims to succeed where others failed. Run from any guru who tells you she is enlightened.

Success in the spiritual life is the ultimate cul-de-sac. Religion is a program of systematic futility, one level of failure to achieve after another, until it breaks you of the achievement habit.

This is the opposite of, say, landing a spacecraft on Mars or building the perfect nuclear warhead. It takes an entirely different skill set to slap yourself in the face so hard that you lay down your arms and rest.

Precision is the essence of scientific knowledge. The essence of spiritual wisdom? Targetlessness. Go ahead, try to succeed at that.

If you still have a goal in mind, try harder to lose it. Eat yourself whole, in the spirit of Ouroboros. Dick around with that for a few lifetimes until you get nowhere. The religious life is not about solving a great puzzle –it is the act of working on a puzzle with no solution.

But if you don’t do the work, you get closer to death as you age instead of closer to Life.

So then, what should we do? Organize! Disorganize! Be spontaneous on purpose! Be yourself, just like everyone else. Die unto yourself so you can be a better person. End world hunger. Make everyone vegan. Liberate all sentient beings. Love your enemies. Love others as God loves them. Submit your every act to the will of someone who is silent and invisible. Clap with one hand. Fuck up and fail over and over and over and over and over until you do one of two things: quit trying, or quit being that which tries.

If you choose the former, it is for the best. You are probably neurotic, and religion would break you, but not in a good way. Find a hobby.

If you choose the latter, congratulations –you have succeeded in a way that no success could prepare you to do.

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