Goosey Goosey Gander where shall I wander
Upstairs and downstairs and in my Lady’s chamber
There I met an old man who wouldn’t say his prayers
So I took him by his left leg and threw him down the stairs
This nursery rhyme is suggestive of extreme religious activism. Throwing a person down some stairs for not saying prayers is cruel and unusual treatment. The person committing the violence comes to his lady’s room where he finds the man who doesn’t pray. Perhaps the aggressor was expecting to be acknowledged as a divine entity in order to allow the victim to be in the same room as the lady. Violence is definitely not the attitude of most religions whose prayers are for humanitarian purposes.
While thinking of the quality of our inner life, what answer would we give to the question, “where shall I wander?” What rooms of your inner life do you wander to most often, those of fruittful civil attitudes or rooms full of urges for violence? After searching upstairs and downstairs the aggressor rest in a room where his lady is, where there is religious extremism, where there is violence, and where there is a dissenter of religious expectations. The result? A victim who suffers bodily harm for being in the room of a woman while refusing to convey the proper religious formalities. If we found a room full of peacemaking, gentle resolutions, and meek persuasion would we flee to a room filled with aggressive, harsh, and violent motivation? Most of us would find optimism in the goodness of our society to be motivated by faith in the joyful results of mainstream civilization. Extreme religious beliefs shrinks the number of rooms in our inner life which squeezes us into an area of despair, pessimism, and evil intent. This results in fatal consequences due to impulsive decisions based on predetermined doctrine which creates out of control situations. We should find room within us that allows for perseverance in love, self-control in our responses relating to relationships, and patience to discover fruitful resolution to troubling circumstances. There has to be a place in us where the attitude of goodwill and kindness exist, otherwise our religion is nothing more than cruel doctrines with ill intent towards those who live contrary to our beliefs.
Religious dogma makes us unhealthy in how we respond to situations that vary from our beliefs. Religious indoctrination might hypnotize us into a rhythm that closes us to possibilities that fills our rooms with resources for fruitful resolution to friction. An obsession with extreme beliefs closes thought processes, narrows the spiritual nature of our emotions, and limits the range of our physical responses. In a home like that there are few rooms, and those rooms contain impatience with differing lifestyles, out of control behaviors to dissenters, and fatal consequences in the name of religion. We can expand the number of rooms in our home through patience with various walks of life, self-control in the exertion of repetitive dogma, and perseverance in the attitude of love. Those qualities give us time and space to allow inspirations that give new possibilities for the purpose of resolving interpersonal difficulties.
Violence comes as a result of inflexible standards of religious extremism in the effort to subject all others to their code of conduct. Due to their rigid beliefs they think in terms of purging their rooms of any behaviors that are contrary to their indoctrination. They are missing the ability to quell behaviors that bring bodily harm to others, cannot regulate domestic abuses within their own population, and suffer the instability that surrounds them. Tranquility is elusive to the dogma of their religious patterns because their rooms are limited to the containment of violence, aggression, and harshness towards other sects of humanity. A meek and gentle spirit of peace towards humanity comes by the universal deity of infinite intelligence, power, and presence; which supersedes all imperfections of religious doctrine.
Harmonious social interactions are hindered by religious dogma. How terrible it would be if we could only enjoy other people if we had the proper religious training. Relationships would have very little to do with kindness, goodwill, and love, but instead would be based on our ability to discriminate against those who deviate from the rhythm of indoctrination. Those are partnerships, not marriages, that are full of hatred and cruel intentions towards those outside their religious beliefs. That would be like saying the oceans are made for the “righteous,” the rains come only on the fields of the properly indoctrinated, and rivers flow only in the direction of the proper religious order. Of course, no one can withhold water from humanity based on religious beliefs, no more than any religion can withhold the universal deity from working in us and outside of religion.
Feeling worth for self and others should be the focus of any religion struggling to correspond their doctrines to the universal deity. After all, the presence of the deity is alive in every individual who works in us through infinite intelligence, infinite power, and an infinite presence. Religious dogma rejects the divinity of our inner life. A respect for the potential of every person of humanity is to esteem the infinite source of all spiritual fruit, which quells religious dogma, keeps us soft and compassionate to humanity, and fuels us with positive motivation as we interact with others. Esteem for the universal deity expands the rooms of our inner life exponentially to enable us to welcome various cultures around the globe and in our neighborhoods.
Most people want their identity to be known as a good person, and to have their behaviors rationalized as having divine humanitarian purpose. The part that makes us feel despair, pessimism, and have evil inclinations towards the infinite deity includes the friction that comes through religious dogma. That dogma proves their limited intelligence, limited power, and limited presence in the world. With their hot behaviors they dry inner softness, with their self-confidence they strike against threats to their superiority, and with their adventurous boldness they pursue threats to their religious indoctrination. Most people become known as divinely inspired because they express themselves in a way that proves they have optimism, joy, faith, and goodness for every individual of humanity.