I was still shaken by what I had just heard.
Of course, one is confronted again and again with intolerant opinions. Here, however, it was this elemental force of emotions that spurred the speaker: "Our faith is the only true, true one. Everyone else is a work of evil and must be fought, eradicated. Only then will we find rest when all believe the true. "
"How does a person come to believe and spread such a thing?" I asked Phil Osof, "because faith is only an opinion, and everyone has their own!"
"There are many reasons," he replied, "a very important one will be the society in which you grew up. Maybe intolerance was taught; that everything that does not live up to its value system is wrong. And must be converted or extinguished.
These people do not even want to find out the values that prevail in other societies in order to understand. They only see their own.
Another reason is often the hot inner feeling, which is generated by the speech and flooded the people, let him rise in his faith. When someone is in the strong midpoint of faith, everything else goes by and he can fall into ecstatic rapture. Faith gives these people a feeling of being chosen. And they do not need to use any energy to deal with other beliefs. What else could possibly lead to questioning one's faith more or less. "
"So, these people see the attack on another faith as a defence of their own?"
"Yes - in this case the most primitive: the extinction of the other. But first and foremost, it's about being in the possession of the sole truth and experiencing it. "
"'The worst is the belief', I've read somewhere."
"Well," Osof replied, "I would soften it a bit: 'The worst may be faith.' But in fact, when you look at the history of religions, sects, etc., especially in the many periods when violence dominates played, one can turn away with horror. It is faith in particular that can lead to the most inhumane acts, because the interpersonal movements can be eliminated through the midpoint of the faith. The force of faith, like a red thread, runs through the history of humanity. "
"Many say: 'The most beautiful faith can be. ' "
"Of course, because in faith you can carve exactly the world you want.
Especially religious founders and their subsequent interpreters could wonderfully put together their own world. "
"Did not these people want to make the world better?"
"Above all, they wanted to improve their world, chisel their idea of the world in stone, perpetuate it.
Many people do not want change. They want other people to have the same or similar values as they do. They are strangers to everything, try to push it off or fight it.
But faith has not made people "better", more cruel towards unbelievers or other believers. Because, as I said, the midpoints can set the compassion for this to zero.
Because the bad thing is that these believers are absolutely convinced that they are doing the right thing, basking in this feeling. This midpoint of faith can lead to total blindness. He has a tendency to overshadow everything and unfortunately often slides into fanaticism. And, as everyone can see, he has brought infinite suffering to people throughout history.
The bad thing about faith is the totality with which people can be taken - and want to! When they are totally in the midpoint of the faith, everything goes by around them. And they are looking for that feeling. It envelops them like a bell in which they feel - as in the womb - safe.
Similar intolerance can often be found outside the religion of "normal" people who are convinced of their belief in their own value system and think that everyone else should behave that way. "
"Values for man are what he considers important and right?"
"Yeah, especially what his feeling tells him."
"This is probably where conflict is involved," I interjected, "because everyone has their own value system."
"That's exactly the source of all conflicts between people."
"Compromise and tolerance would be the solution?"
"Yes, but you have to be ready for that."
"You mean to modify your own goals and tolerate the otherness of your counterpart?"
"Exactly. But, as I said, one would first have to be able and willing to understand the values that shape other people.
In any case, the belief that blinds people to the midpoint is often responsible for the greatest catastrophes. The reason is precisely the midpoints that fools man, the world he sees, the values he feels are the only truths. "
"Could you redefine the midpoints?"
"The 'midpoint' is the shape that makes a goal of one."
"And values are goals?"
It does not help, "he continued," to tell these people: 'What you do is one-sided, unreasonable, can be extremely harmful'. These people want to stay in their emotions and often feel as extreme as possible.
So, faith is very resilient. It is a goal that can be deeply rooted in the human being, and that challenges change with tremendous energy. He can - as has been seen countless times in the history of humanity - lead to the worst cruelties to other people. Because, as I said, the midpoints of their faith can nullify compassion. "
"But faith also has positive sides," I said.
"Of course," nodded Phil Osof, "I also spoke of the terrible excesses of fanaticism."
"Would not it be better if there was no faith?" I asked. "Since he has already brought so much misfortune on the people?"
"Certainly," replies Osof, "but that is probably impossible, because belief in the broadest sense probably belongs to the equipment in man. Religion seems to be an anchor for people.
And that means you can live well - as long as your own faith is not spread by force and other faiths are tolerated. "
"But that includes awareness, introspection, and the ability not to indulge in his feelings as soon as they become totalitarian, right?"
"That's the way it is. Unfortunately, faith has strong tendencies to cloud consciousness (better: perception) in the relationship - if only to be sure of self-criticism that could be dangerous to the believer. "
"Do you think that it is ever possible that only one faith, one religion, exists permanently in the world?"
"Never, for that, are the people, and the goals in them too different. In addition, all beliefs split over time into modified beliefs. Because, as I said, people's goals are different.
Religion runs off as a goal as well as all human subjects; through the various sub-goals, the original version that humans generated is differentiated over time. "
"So, there will never be peace in matters of faith?"
"Always limited and temporary.
Because there have been, and still are, many people who want to enforce their faith worldwide, who would not find peace until their goal is achieved. Only - these people will never find peace. With this urge that lives in them, they will only produce restlessness, strife, struggle, and cruelty, and even suffer from it. Because violence generates violence. "
He sighed. "But that's the way people are. What happens must happen as it happens. "
"In the course of time, some questions arose in me," I said. "Since, as you once said, 'God' is just a structure created in the brain, I ask myself," If faith is so strong in attitude in man, what should one believe in? "
"To yourself," answered Osof, "and to realization: to know oneself, the people and the world. Seeing the processes, behaving accordingly and thereby achieving success and satisfaction. "
"Is that your anchor, Mr. Osof?"
"I believe that what happens has to happen the way it happens. I believe that everyone has their personal value system, that I respect it as best I can. This automatically results in tolerance - and, as a result, relative serenity of the world and of people.
Also, because, as I said, intolerance often leads to incomprehension and subsequently to struggle and violence, because the extreme goals in one want to prevail not infrequently, in the worst case with cruel behaviour. "
He takes a short break. Then he continued.
"Very important is the acceptance of the world. That you can accept what happened as it happened - because it had to happen that way. "
"So here is the tolerance?"
"Yes, accepting the world - if you cannot change it. This is probably the most important thing for man, because it frees him, does not get bogged down, drives useless struggles. And of course, the acceptance towards yourself.
The reason for the non-acceptance is usually in the rating. "
"So, the value pool that you have in yourself, and from which you see the world, the people and yourself?"
"Yes. The decisive factor is what attitude - above all which basic attitude - you have. One of them is designed. The attitude is shaped by the inner goals, which in turn form goals that shape one. And especially the emotional reactions. "
"So, you should try to learn to accept the world and the people as they are!"
"Yes - if you can - not feel yourself, your goals, your values as irrefutable centre of the world. Be able to relativize them and thereby accept other structures.