For starters, REAL wellness is, properly, actual. It’s plain and right down to earth. There is ample proof it exists, not like the unexplored and unknown areas of everlasting bliss or fiendish torments past the grave that some/most religions describe to entice or frighten believers.
REAL wellness makes no supernatural claims, incorporates no guarantees of orgasmic ecstasy or threats of eternal horror.
REAL wellness doesn’t presume to supply the one and solely which means of life; moreover, it has no creeds or dogmas. With REAL wellness, there isn’t any one and solely philosophy for all; limitless variations and decisions dwell inside its 4 dimensions. By distinction, religions insist one dimension matches all–everyone should imagine the identical tenets, which fluctuate by sect and denomination.
I relaxation my case.
Well, possibly not. There’s a lot extra.
RELIGION AND REAL WELLNESS
Religion and REAL wellness® are fully completely different. One has been round endlessly, or no less than since early people developed the flexibility to stroll on two legs about 4 million years in the past. REAL wellness advanced considerably later, possibly 15 years in the past. It occurred once I bought fed up with crackpots and entrepreneurs distorting the optimistic lifestyle-focused concepts that Halbert L. Dunn, myself and some others had launched (Dunn within the 50s, others in mid-70s). Wellness was promoted not as a therapy, service or product however as an enriching lifestyle technique or routine for pondering sensibly and performing accordingly in acutely aware pursuits of excessive ranges of psychological and bodily wellbeing.
FURTHER DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN RELIGION & REAL WELLNESS
Unlike REAL wellness, faith entails beliefs in and worship of a number of superhuman controlling powers, corresponding to a private God or gods; REAL wellness is extra modest–it’s only a framework of attitudes and behaviors that promote wellbeing. Wikipedia describes faith as designated behaviors and practices, morals, world-views, texts, sanctified locations, prophecies, ethics, or organizations that relate humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or non secular components. Wow–that’s a load to hold. Reminds me of the ultimate stanza from George M. Cohan’s tune, “Life’s a Very Funny Proposition After All:”
Young for a day, then previous and grey,
Like the rose that buds and blooms
And fades and falls away
Losing well being to realize our wealth,
As by means of this dream we tour
Everything’s a guess
And nothing’s completely positive
Battles thrilling and fates we’re
combating till the curtain falls
Life’s a really humorous proposition in any case
The attain of REAL wellness is extra modest. Let’s delve a bit extra into what faith and REAL wellness have in frequent and the way every may be very completely different from the opposite.
Stephen Jay Gould tried to argue that two domains, faith and science, are non-overlapping magisteria. Most scientists and different secular authorities begged to disagree, observing that the 2 have been in battle all through history–and stay so. The pursuits and claims of every overlap on very important issues. The true believer wouldn’t agree with Cohan’s phrases above–life’s however an interlude earlier than the glory of one other existence of unimaginable bliss. Score one for faith, if you may get your head round that.
Different as the 2 could also be, we will discover the query whether or not one does extra good (or hurt) on the planet than the opposite. Also associated questions, such
as–Are the 2 appropriate and, If an individual has one, does he/she want the opposite? No doubt the reader can consider further questions, whereas holding sturdy opinions on the perfect solutions.
Like faith, a REAL wellness philosophy and lifestyle does promote and encourage behaviors and practices, morals, world-views and texts. Unlike faith, REAL wellness has nothing in any respect to do with sanctified locations, or prophecies, nor does REAL wellness relate humanity to supernatural, transcendental, or non secular components. Au contraire–at least one early REAL wellness advocate (i.e., moi) considers supernatural, transcendental, or non secular components to be false, spurious merely jejune.
Thus, from this angle, faith is seen to have performed extra hurt than good, and continues to take action in the present day.
I skilled 12 years of spiritual training. I do know firsthand that faith accepts the phrase of a pacesetter as legislation; a REAL wellness mindset assesses a pacesetter’s phrases within the context of laws–and responds accordingly.
In a long time and a long time observing non secular leaders, I used to be most affected (not in a pleasing manner) by Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Robert Jeffress, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart and Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. In creating the REAL wellness idea, particularly concerning the size of cause and liberty, my concepts had been formed by the likes of Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Paul Kurtz, Daniel Dennett, Christopher Hitchens, Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, Tom Flynn and, in fact, Robert Green Ingersoll.
It does not appear an excessive amount of of a stretch to recommend the latter group appears extra spectacular that those that formed my impressions of faith.
I imagine faith contrasts poorly with the 4 dimensions of REAL wellness. With regard to cause, exuberance, athleticism and liberty, it disappoints, as follows:
REASON–As contrasted with evidence-based important pondering, faith is based upon religion, an unscientific unverifiable basis of revelations, guarantees and historic claims.
EXUBERANCE–Religion is thick with solemnity, devotions, sorrow, worry, conformity and reverence. It lacks sacraments for humor, laughter, pleasure, journey,pleasure and artwork. Religious commandments present ample thou shalt nots however are silent on thriving and flourishing. Where are helps for creativity, for exploring and for having fun with life as a lot as doable?
ATHLETICISM–holy books are silent on dietary pointers and suggestions for psychological acuity and bodily health.
LIBERTY–Growing up Catholic, I am unable to recall bible verses or directions from nuns or clergymen to embrace, promote or get pleasure from life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Cleanliness bought extra assist for godliness than freedom; my impressions over the course of a protracted life have satisfied me that freedom of physique and mind, thought and labor hardly ever manifest within the absence of non-public and collective vigilance to safe, promote and defend liberties, massive and small. I’m extra more likely to affiliate REAL wellness with the Enlightenment; faith with the Inquisition.
THE MEANING OF LIFE
REAL wellness is a philosophy and lifestyle obtainable to all; the size might be addressed comfortably by people with or with out faith. Believers, virtually by definition, share a which means of life notion that they exist to like and serve a god, to comply with the prescribed guidelines and traditions of their faith based mostly upon the teachings of a one true god. That’s usually the overarching which means of life for the non secular.
For non-theists, a REAL wellness philosophy is more likely to discover a no cosmic objective for existence perspective liberating. Margaret Sanger’s motto, “No gods, No masters,” ï»¿celebrates the liberty to create our personal meanings, based mostly upon cause, frequent sense, and science. A conviction that there isn’t any inherent which means frees us to make one thing worthy of the fact that we’re right here, that it is up to every of us and nobody else to resolve our functions. Our meanings are derived from life experiences and fine-tuned all through our passage alongside what Ingersoll known as “a narrow vale between the cold and barren peaks of two eternities” (i.e., earlier than start and after loss of life).
If we resolve that life is imbued with no all-encompassing, single and non-negotiable which means (not like religions), we’re free to create frequent decencies, social connections, norms, cultures and all the remainder. These creations of our personal making render our transient interval of being as significant as doable, and day-to-day residing pretty much as good as it will possibly get.
Alternatives to a one dimension matches all method to which means strikes me as one more manner that REAL wellness is manner higher than faith.
We interrupt this essay to speak about one thing new and different–but considerably related to the subject at hand, specifically, a “What If” situation.
Suppose a sure Jewish instructor and healer a number of thousand years in the past had gone about proclaiming the advantages of cause, the fun of exuberance, the optimistic returns of athleticism and the chances unleashed by liberty, as an alternative of happening about an imminent kingdom of God. Perhaps Earth might need been nice once more.
It in all probability was fairly nice throughout some intervals of time that lasted tens of millions of years–all earlier than humanoids. Consider the panoply of numerous life kinds throughout the Mesozoic period 252 million years in the past. Maybe these had been the perfect of instances for all times kinds on this planet. Alas, an asteroid roughly six miles throughout hit Earth about 65 million years in the past. The impression, adopted by an enormous explosion, did mischief far larger than what’s evident gazing on the 110 mile strike zone within the Yucatan Peninsula. The asteroid unleashed a mind-numbing sequence of occasions and circumstances that will eventuate in one thing extra consequential than the asteroid impression itself–it set off developments that finally led to us, to faith and, thank goodness, to REAL wellness.
This philosophy and idea promotes the ability of particular person creativity. It helps folks reframe previous issues, it encourages reflection, it creates new self-knowledge and it shapes a greater life with much less dysfunction and extra happiness and wellbeing. Religion just isn’t devoted to those functions. It promotes obedience. It discourages cause, frowns upon exuberance, ignores accountability for self-care (athleticism) and undermines liberty. It indoctrinates, whereas REAL wellness educates. These components make REAL wellness manner higher than faith.
But, there may be extra that makes REAL wellness stand out by comparability.
REAL wellness promotes, faith circumvents decisions. One of numerous examples entails girls’s rights. The Catholic Church forbids abortion in all situations. A latest Gallup report (“Legality of Abortion: 2018-2020 Demographic Tables”) discovered that 79 p.c of Americans suppose abortion ought to be authorized. Even a majority of Catholics don’t need Roe v. Wade overturned. (Source: NARAL Pro-Choice America.) Religion usually makes folks comply with guidelines that many or most don’t love very much–yet one other manner that REAL wellness is best than faith.
HERE IS A CRUCIAL cause why I feel REAL wellness is manner, manner higher than faith: It’s dynamic, malleable, able to and responsive to alter with new discoveries; the Christian faith relies upon a e-book fastened in a pre-Medieval period. This e-book can’t be up to date with new advances, analysis or information. As Ingersoll famous, year after year, and century after century, it stays as ignorant as ever.
Finally, REAL wellness is manner, manner higher than faith as a result of with a REAL wellness mindset:
- You can sleep in or stand up and train on Sundays.
- There are not any prayers to say, slogans to chant, wafers to swallow, processions to attend, censers to swing or contaminated holy water to stay your fingers into.
- You can ignore 9 of the ten commandments–you nonetheless cannot kill anyone. Best of all, the character of adultery is negotiable.
- Rather than servile acquiescence to aptly named papal bulls or public decrees from Rome, Saudi Arabia, Jerusalem or different out-of-touch non secular facilities, you are extra more likely to have amusing at varied bulls and go about your small business.
- Absent any identified affiliation with a faith, you might be by no means anticipated to elucidate the huge retailer of preposterous bible tales (e.g., Noah and Ark), miracle healings, or clergy intercourse scandals.
- You have boundless prospects for gender id and sexual orientation.
- You undergo much less Little or no guilt, relying upon the stability you strike between villainy and conscience.
- ï»¿No have to tithe or in any other case assist tax-free establishments or give to a god who all the time wants however by some means simply cannot deal with cash.
On the latter level, you may recall this from George Carlin:
Religion has really satisfied folks that there is an invisible man residing within the sky who watches every thing you do, each minute of every single day. And the invisible man has a particular record of ten issues he doesn’t need you to do. And in case you do any of those ten issues, he has a particular place, full of fireside and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, the place he’ll ship you to reside and undergo and burn and choke and scream and cry endlessly and ever ’til the top of time!
But He loves you. He loves you, and He wants cash! He all the time wants cash! He’s omnipotent, all-perfect, all-knowing, and all-wise, bur by some means he simply cannot deal with cash!
RELIGION AND/OR REAL WELLNESS–A SUMMARY
While some 30 p.c of Americans, myself included, select none when requested about non secular affiliation or perception, I do know herds of individuals, together with kinfolk and greatest mates, who select faith and REAL wellness. The two are usually not incompatible, simply unlikely associations, in my view. No matter the place you match on the religiosity scales, I hope you discover components of a REAL wellness philosophy and mindset enticing.
All good needs. May you be weller than properly and even “blessed” with an abundance of cause, exuberance, athleticism and private liberty.
The Amazing James Randi died final week (October 20). An outspoken freethinker, he dazzled whereas exposing claims of religion therapeutic, spoon bending, thoughts studying, fortunetelling, ghost whispering, water dowsing, U.F.O. recognizing and varied styles of bamboozlement, bunco, chicanery, flimflam, flummery, humbuggery, mountebankery, pettifoggery and out-and-out quacksalvery (Margo Fox, James Randi, “Magician Who Debunked Paranormal Claims, Dies at 92,” New York Times, October 21, 2020.) His books included, Flim Flam! The Truth About Unicorns, Parapsychology, and Other Delusions (1980); The Faith Healers (1987); and An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural (1995).
I do know for a truth he, too, discovered the weather of a REAL wellness mindset to be manner, manner higher than faith.