I have been very sceptical about religions, because they unnecessarily mystify things. Our established church teaches that God has created everything outside Himself and people themselves have no means to rise from the bog where they are drowning. Therefore everyone should find they way to the church to spiritual leaders and the Bible.
When I got to know Jesus in the beginning of the 1980s I read through the whole Bible in one month. After that I didn’t feel the need to go to church. I have been interested in religions only to become familiar with different thinking models of people. Although I quote verses from the Bible in my articles I don’t consider myself as a religious person.
Sometimes when I think about something, it may occur to me that Jesus also spoke about this thing. Because we can use search engines to find information using keywords, it is not difficult to trace the passage of the Bible my thought is referring to.
I have had no need for spiritual leaders, because my thoughts rise from the wellspring of the heart. My only spiritual leader is my awareness that I am a part of the universe and my purpose is to act constructively with other parts. It needs only common sense to get that idea.
In the 1980s I read the book The Praise of Folly by Erasmus of Rotterdam (Desiderius Erasmus, 1466-1536). I didn’t understand anything about its contents. Why had the author chosen the matters he wrote about, what was his message? Although I did not understand much on the level of ego consciousness, I still had the feeling that the author made fun of people, who in their “wisdom” stumble on own dexterity and make themselves unhappy. In the book priests and monks are fools, the most comical of all. Also the pope gets his share. Erasmus thinks he is the owner of the most unhappy post (read: theatre).
The happiest people are those, who do not reason things with their brain, but follow sincerely the guidance of their hearts, enjoying the happiness of life. It needs only honest common sense.
Erasmus wanted to write a cheerful and humorous book about serious matters. As a young man he had a monastery schooling, was forced to consecrated life and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood at the age of 25. But he never worked as a priest for a longer time. His satirical writings criticized the crazy and corrupted practices of the church and society, but he always made it clear that he had nothing against the institutions and clerics. Erasmus never questioned the authority of the pope.
In his mind, the biggest sin of the church was formality, which was passed through generations without understanding of the teachings of Jesus. This suffocates the spirit. Erasmus tried to free the practices from the rigidity and formalism of medieval traditions.
The Praise of Folly is one of the most influential books of the Western literature and one of the initiators of the Reformation in the Middle Ages. I think the question is not so much about folly, stupid people. It is about the praise of simplicity. In the end of the book Erasmus heightens the simple Christian virtues.
This topic fits very well in these days when there is a bitter battle between spirits going on all over the world, in which the medieval backwardness and modern rational and humane mindset are clashing against each other.
People, who consider themselves civilized, feel that it is their duty to tolerate intolerance. It is, as if tolerance has become an extreme sport: The more different and incomprehensible something is, the more one has to tolerate it, because tolerance is a political agenda.
The chairperson for the Finnish Council for Mass Media (JSN), Elina Grundström suggests in all earnestness that the alternative media and news rising from the great masses of the people, which criticize the current state of affairs, are “fake” news, which threaten freedom of speech and the “right” kind of journalism. In her opinion the “right” kind of, real journalism is fact-checked information from critical sources (read: censored), that tries to accurately depict the (official) truth. A thought comes into my mind:
“Tolerance is the last virtue of a dying society.” (Aristoteles)
The question is, what is the fact-checked, single information source that one can definitely trust. Although the information is fact-checked it is still subjective information. Not even 10 examiners make it objective information.
Journalists tell about their own subjective experience when they write news. In this aspect they do not differ at all from other people, who tell about their experiences. Every citizen has the duty to examine him-/herself the information he/she gets. When information passes through the filter of the great masses of the people, it can be seen as objective information.
It is tragicomic that the capitalistic countries, which have criticised communistic countries for their limitations of free speech, are using the same methods to limit free expression. A question arises: Do these systems have any difference after all? In both of them the elite tries to suppress common people.
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