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Leo 

For May 2011

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Various religious manifestos claim that mankind is guilty of usurping the power of God. This has always struck me as odd. It seems that religion is what has stolen many precious things from humanity. It tries to tell us who we are and are not; it defines “bad” and “good” in ways that brutally limit us and co-opt the study of ethics; and it has swiped cosmology wholesale, taking control over our ideas of birth and death. There is just one artist mentioned in the Bible—Bezalel, whose job is to build a temple (go figure). Last and surely not least, I cannot think of one of the world’s major religions that is friendly to sex. So what of the human experience hasn’t religion usurped? Automotive repair? To a surprising degree, religion has not succeeded in doing much at all to you personally. While it’s better to overestimate the damage caused by turning God into an institution and law book, you seem to have made it into adulthood as someone who has direct access to your cosmic source. You have your own fully conscious ways of discerning right and wrong. And your notion of who you are is defined not by what anyone has told you but rather by your own impressively restless, staunchly independent quest for truth. Man, I hope even half of that is true! It’s certainly what is possible for you right now. Just remember when you run up to Mount Olympus and get some of that fire, you’re not stealing—you’re stealing back.

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