March 24, 2008

Minor Government Bureaucrats

I'm studying for my eastern religions test tomorrow (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confusianism, Taoism). I don't mean any disrespect, but what I've learned officially begs the question: what is it with minor government bureaucrats and new religions? They're drawn to them like flies to honey! Buddha, Mahavira, Guru Nanak, Lau Tzu, and Confucius were all minor government bureaucrats who decided that the prevailing religion wouldn't work, so they founded their own. It's like if you're not important in any way, you decide to become important by creating a religion. It makes you wonder if some guy buried in the archives section of the National Science Museum or some lady wallowing away behind a library desk is inventing some new religion involving a comet, a squiggle, and a carrot as we speak.

Ah well. Best get back to studying ...

[UPDATE: The test kicked my patootie pretty badly, but it's over, and I'm still left wondering why it is that the guy who works in archives decided to start a new religion; could it have something to do with the tedium and having lots of time to think? If so, I think the next new religion might come out of the Coldstone in Brannon Crossing where I used to work ...]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

These are only the religions/philosophies that have been written down. Many more hundreds or thousands of religions are or were around in indiginous cultures that did not have written languages. No one knows what the "common" mechanism for creating a new religion really is because so many have never been documented. Most religions probably arise because they fill a social need that is not otherwise being met. The success with which they meet that need and the survival of the ideas via the written word are probably the two biggest factors that determine longevity. After thousands of years, it actually matters little whether Siddartha or Confucious were bureaucrats. More importantly, do their philosophies inspire practical compassion?
A. Annie