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Thursday, 17 May 2012

Everybody will want this!

A teenage friend
Asperger's syndrome sufferer *
was tasked with this
as homework for the holidays:
Invent a new religion
that everyone will want to join.

He asked my help. I gave it thought.
The picture was of people queueing up
demanding to sign on.
Not just people in their millions,
but everyone. So something spiritual
with universal pull...

Free love, perhaps? Free booze?
met neither of the two criteria.
Two transcendental moments
for the price of one? But then,
correcting me, he asked for help
specifically with symbols.

I must confess my thoughts ran now
on old familiar lines, and thought
that water ought to be involved,
either real, the actual wet stuff, or
as metaphor. The most adaptable
of substances, it washes one of sin...

or would we not want that - sin mucking up
our new and sparkling modern faith?
Well, water's universal and refreshing,
and without it is no life - or not
as we have known it, not cellular,
not carbon-based, not our life form!

So then, I'll have my water, so I thought.
And after it came light. Another must!
And that was where my thoughts began
to sound too déjà vu. And that was where
my friend began to help me out:
I don't think this is right. We have to find

fruits everybody wants to eat, can't do without,
and make them central to our faith,

make them what our faith is all about.
And are there such? And if there are
should they be central to our faith? Is that
not building faith from the wrong end?

And is this rabbit something that a teenage boy,
might pull out of the hat on a holiday assignment?
* See http://kidshealth.org/parent/medical/brain/asperger.html


cloudia charters said...

Which of you has Aspergers, again?

You go deeper, than the teacher ever could go (or believe her students could - bad form)

Warm Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } (°>

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Great idea - what goes around comes around, or so they say.

'I don't think this is right. We have to find fruits everybody wants to eat, can't do without, and make them central to our faith, make them what our faith is all about' Now you're talking!!

The Elephant's Child said...

Sign on the dotted line to receive three free wishes. And yes, one of those wishes can be that your wishes never run out. Or is that too cynical?

Dick said...

Powerful stuff, Dave. As a parent of an Asperger's child, the issues here resonate.

Mary said...

Definitely building faith from the wrong end. Starting by determining the REWARD probably should not be is not what religion is all about. Much to think about.

Kutamun said...

Good one Kingy , seems to ring a bell! . i enjoy reading your words.

Daydreamertoo said...

Fabulous write Dave. I think there's no point in having a religion of any sorts without evil. If there was no sin, why ever would we need a religion?
Really enjoyed this :)

Brian Miller said...

people dont do that do they? go to religeon for the sole purpose of what they themselves can get out of it...smiles....

i love working with aspie kids...

TARIQ MIAN said...

Of course, there is a need of religion for self descipline.
Great stuff with substance-Dave!

R. Burnett Baker said...

A fruit that everybody wants? Can't do without? One that has become, or is becoming a religion unto itself?


But seriously, sin need not be a part of it. Just the ideal of wishing everyone the very best, in the spirit of kindness, and with an attitude of love.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Some very provocative questions are posed. But it occurs to me you were concentrating on the carrot and forgot the stick.

Religion these days seems to be about punishment and not reward until the rapture. No joy for just living the good life. Instead hell if you get caught not.

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

I agree with the adjective "provocative" of the previous comment, but again the whole poem is full vibrent energy and the last couplet a delightful suspending surprise.

Titus said...

I love the

Two transcendental moments
for the price of one?

and the rabbit.

Windsmoke. said...

A fruit that people can't do without is an apple because it keeps the doctor away and i guess sin as well :-).

Dave King said...

Nah, not me, not one of us!

Thanks. Too kind!

Sweet Talking Guy
Yes, I did begin to get the feeling that my friend was on to something - mostly something that he was reluctant to share as part of his official assignment!

The Elephant's Child
Nope, not too cynical for me, it isn't - but shouldn't a religion be guiding us in what to wish for? Or is that too idealistic?

Good to hear you say this. I have taught a few children with this syndome. They have all been different. All interesting and challenging. Myfriend is different again.

Thanks for this. My friend seemed to see that the assignment was starting at the wrong end.

Thanks for this. Very much appreciated.

Daydreamer too
Good thought, that. I don't believe I've ever heard it expressed quite like this. I shall give it thought. Thanks.

Never! No. Not on your life. Course not! The very idea!

This, too, is an interesting thought - and one quite new to me, expressed in these terms.

R Burnett Baker
Or are we back in Eden with the apple that caused all the trouble in the first place?

Interesting contrast to Daydreamer too's reply.

I've always seen the stick (in religion) as part of the evil.

Yes, I can agree with the adjective provocative. Thanks for the compliment.

I find it really pleasing to hjear that you do. Thanks for saying.

Hey, I thought it was the first sin! (or the cause of it.)

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... I agree that it is a pretty big assignment! But it got you guys thinking. Let there be light! Pretty important. And water. (What I wonder is when the water turns to wine. I know you said free booze, but that sounds a bit tawdry!) Very clever. k.

Kat Mortensen said...

And that was where my thoughts began to sound too Deja Vu.

And that was where my thoughts began to sound too Deja Vu.

And that was where ...

Just WOW.