Monday, January 25, 2016

The Haiku of OSINT for 01/25/16

Multifaith talking
Much holiness all around
Not much for action

From Interfaith Dialogue To Multifaith Polylogue

I learned a new phrase today at the Commonwealth Club: "multifaith polylogue." It's the hip new trend sweeping the interfaith dialogue community. Look for it in the Parliament of the World's Religions as participants broaden the discourse. Theologians have talked across faith divisions for millennia. Talk is cheap; deeds are worth more than words.

People of different faiths can discover that they share interests in mundane things like sports and the arts. More importantly, the Abrahamic religions all share narratives emphasizing charitable works toward strangers and the less fortunate. The Noahide Laws offer Gentiles a path to righteous recognition in Judaism. Other faiths should be so generous.

I wonder whether faith conversations travel across civilization's fault lines. One civilization axis for Judaism / Christianity / Islam can find links between the Torah, Bible, and Quran with little difficulty because they all originated from the Middle East's mystery cults and wisdom traditions. Another axis for Hinduism and Buddhism could account for the syncretism of Asian traditions. Taoism and Stoicism developed independently but their modern adherents may be astonished at their similarities.

Karen Armstrong's Charter for Compassion is modern syncretism's call to action. All it needs are some colorful icons and it will be as compelling for contemplation as the Sistine Chapel's frescos. The compassion movement also needs some archetypal characters like the ones in the Star Wars saga. I would suggest myself as such an archetype because I express compassion for the poor, unfortunate souls who cannot operate at my high level of morality.

Pascal's Wager for the existence of God does not overcome the Epicurean paradox of why an omnipotent deity would tolerate the problem of evil. Theologians of many faiths are welcome to polylogue themselves over this quandry until the cows come home. Compassion activists will meanwhile be busy walking sacred labyrinths, accepting mindfulness, practicing yoga, and drinking masala chai tea (organic and fair trade certified, of course). All of these efforts will garner the usual results in human history, namely political upheavals and wars as Fourth Turning generational crises run roughshod over everyone's best intentions. We all certainly meant well. It's the thought that counts.