Dogma, an insidious monster

Dogma by AJ Bodnar

Artwork: © 2018 AJ Bodnar‘s Daily Monster “Dogma” – used with permission.

I love this. It has just the right fuzziness to seem kind and gentle, but if you are not careful you will get both lost and suffocated.

 

Definitions of DOGMA

  1. an official system of principles or tenets concerning faith, morals, behavior, etc., as of a church.
  2. religious doctrine or system of doctrines proclaimed by ecclesiastical authority as true
  3. specific tenet or doctrine authoritatively laid down, as by a church.
  4. prescribed doctrine proclaimed as unquestionably true by a particular group
  5. a settled or established opinion, belief, or principle.
  6. a belief, principle, or doctrine or a code of beliefs, principles, or doctrines

Dogma – any kind of dogma, within any field of inquiry – has in its very nature a great potential to sooth and comfort. This is why so many people are drawn to it. That was why I was drawn into a dogmatic cult in my youth. It feels good to know exactly what to believe. How to express that belief. It gives a sense of security to have clear and defined lines and boundaries around one’s beliefs.

All that fuzz on the out-side is deceptive though. At its very core dogma is a monster. A monster that will lead to us to dark and dismal places, where it will eventually suffocate our minds, souls and spirits to death.

It is a good thing to be clear about what one believes, however to set them in stone and cement is not. Being dogmatic is the opposite of having an open and questioning mind. Life requires an open and questioning mind if we are to make the most out of it.

Doubt, in moderation, is good for the mind, soul and spirit – it forces us to question our beliefs and opinions, if we chose to accept the questions. Like everything else in life we need to be careful so we do not direct it at ourselves and our self-worth. It should be directed at our beliefs, the tenets and principles we think are important, not ourselves. It also needs to be fearless, so that we do not get bogged down by thinking about ‘what might happen’ or ‘what would others say’  – as Yoda says:

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering”

Doubt can be scary, because it challenges that soft and and comforting certainty dogma disguises itself with, but again as Yoda says:

In a dark place we find ourselves, and a little more knowledge lights our way.

Open another book – a book you have not connected to your faith, beliefs and opinions before. Keep looking for books that are not of your faith, belief or opinion until you find one that sheds light on your thoughts, and let it lead you out of Dogma’s dark and dismal place.

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