Home > Silent Spirits > Opium: Part One

Opium: Part One

Karl Marx stated the obvious; I’d like to think that he just found a surprisingly new way to say it. To say that religion is the opium of the masses is blasphemous, because religion certainly is much more than just opium.

Religion, any religion, is so much more than a sedative drug. It’s like saying iPads are just a craze to pass time, which is an understatement of what anyone could do with an iPad. Religion can be the answer to real life problems, since religion is ultimately the way a person chooses to live. It is the set of codes that a follower of a faith abides by in order to achieve unity with the universe.

But wait a second.. many of us think that is a load of bull! Why, certainly because it’s near impossible to achieve. Unless you’re a monk with a shiny bald head wearing a 20-meter long cloth wrapped around yourself from head to toe while meditating on top of a foggy mountain in absolute tranquility with the sound of nothing but the low-velocity spring wind brushing against your ears and the warmth of the sun gently expanding the molecules of the top of your skin-head (see how I achieved a run-on?).
Truth is: we can’t achieve unity with the universe because of our worldly and mundane commitments that cloud our third-eye’s perception. One has to detach themselves from all material things to be able to elevate to higher spiritual status; much like a hot air balloon that will not gain altitude unless weight is detached (but if you are a monk, don’t sell your Ferrari).

Now, if achieving the one goal religion came here to accomplish is, for lack of better words, critically unachievable, what do we do with religion? What is the use of it? If we didn’t know any better, we’d be repeating what Marx said. Is religion really just a leash? Is it what makes us go about everyday like robots without wanting to think “outside the box” (atheists love that term, by the way).

Religion, as I said earlier, is here to tackle a much bigger problem than making people go to sleep. Or worse, make people kill each other. It’s funny how some people accuse religion of causing much misery and be completely oblivious to the fact that their politics and money-driven agendas are creating equal disasters.
Though I’m a non-liberal believer, not orthodox, just non-liberal, I would not take sides in the subject of religion vs. the world. Religion ceased to be for the masses. It is not the opium of the masses any longer. And in line with Hewlett Packard‘s philosophy I would say that “religion is personal again”.

Religion is a thought. An idea. A How-to manual, if you may, on how to tackle issues according to experts. What thought you choose is up to you. And by choosing, you need to be ready to live up to the instructions within. In this sense, Atheism is a religion.
In retrospect, what is communism anyway? Isn’t it exploiting power and abusing the people while wanting to make them believe it’s for their own good? Oh dear now I sound like a naive ignorant fool. But that’s okay, because what can be said of one ideology can certainly be said of the other. You just can’t find the corner in a round room, can you?

So religion is here to stay. Civilizations come, civilizations go. Dynasties get born. Dynasties crumble and die. But religion, as a thought, will remain with whoever chooses to embrace it. It’s why faiths never expire. I believe that religion represents the inner nature of a person. In the sense that just because somebody is Christian, it does not mean that they are Christian. Just as many followers of Islam are NOT Muslims. Religion is not a name tag. It is everything you need to know about why you exist, and not why others shouldn’t.

Not saying religion is always the answer. But I’m saying reconsider religion as a viable solution to many of our dilemmas.

Categories: Silent Spirits
  1. Miss Good Egg
    September 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    lol @ (but if you are a monk, don’t sell your Ferrari) – that was an interesting book 😛

    I think you defined very well your opium and what you shared made me think about how powerful labeling or baptizing certain things.

    There’s no doubt spirituality is something that humans need whether consciously or unconsciously. Just as the physical vessel of our souls needs sustenance to maintain a healthy living so does our soul needs spiritual nourishment. Some people don’t really take it as a “religion” per se to remedy their soul. In fact, a lot of people don’t even know how to describe it but can immediately feel the relief after coming out of a meditative mood or a meditative environment that gives them some sort of fulfillment. And for those who have unfavorable perceptions/impressions of what religion is prefer to use alternative methods to fulfill their souls even by listening to some kind of music or entrancing their beings to some sort of cathartic state that gives them a soulful experience.

    The soul was delivered from a higher source that it belongs to and whether we like it or not needs to maintain a certain balance in order to keep thriving or at least stays alive.

    But here’s the thing (and I’m gonna try to say this as vaguely as I can) while it’s true that there are several different ways of operandi – when it comes to spirituality and maybe even life in general it isn’t what you find as rewarding or fulfilling that determines how “fitting” something is. There are many methods that one can use in order to attain a “good” result; I could even waste a night at a Casino and venture out with enlightenment but it is exercising your ability to choose right, if you get what I’m saying.

    That’s the whole point of “Opium” being there; to exercise free-will.

    Come to think of it I wanted to write something about free-will the other day and totally forgot!

    lol can’t wait for part 2.

  2. September 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    I really like your redefinition of opium, that it means exercising free-will. But I wonder what Marx would respond to that if he were still around brushing his beard? And I also agree that spirituality, as a practice, differs from one person to another. But even here, I would very much like to draw a very thin line between spirituality (yoga, meditation, etc) and religion (Islam, Christianity, etc). The former is definitely more popular to vast numbers of people, since it does not include eternal fires and everlasting damnation.

    Part 2 is coming soon 🙂 lol

  3. Bader
    September 4, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Great post Shmoo. really made me think. Liked MGE’s input as well. Thanks guys.

    • September 5, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      Bader, thanks, man. Much appreciated 🙂

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