books :: Steve Paulson on Karen Armstrong
Going beyond God. Historian and former nun Karen Armstrong says the afterlife is a “red herring,” hating religion is a pathology and that many Westerners cling to infantile ideas of God. By Steve Paulson. Salon.com.
Well, explain that. What is religion?
Religion is a search for transcendence. But transcendence isn’t necessarily sited in an external god, which can be a very unspiritual, unreligious concept. The sages were all extremely concerned with transcendence, with going beyond the self and discovering a realm, a reality, that could not be defined in words. Buddhists talk about nirvana in very much the same terms as monotheists describe God.