Alain de Botton makes the case for creating contemporary religions. Strip God out of existing religions and take the best in them. Some examples:
- Judaism has the Mikvah, a day a year where you stand in a pool and while in there, you recall which things you want to be forgiven for. Amazing excuse to introspect!
- Mid-september, Buddhist monks look at the moon and read poems about the fragility of life. How's that to appreciate life's beauty!
Our cult of Spontaneity might have developed and spread with romanticism: "Don't tell me what to do, I know what to do". We've kicked religions out of our lives. Meanwhile the market for self-help books keeps soaring. Human beings are in need for urgent guidance. We're confused. The important bit though is that it's perfectly normal. We've created mythologies since the dawn of time to guide us, or at least put to rest our existential angst.
So this week's discussion starts with the following question
> Can these rituals (mikvah, buddhist poetry party) exist outside of religion? Does this work without God? In other terms, if the pope declares "guys, the bible is just a metaphor actually", would christianity still be? Can we meditate, gather as a community, confess to a man etc. secularly and without any spiritual mystery underlying the whole construct?
> If an entrepreneur was about to start a "Religion As A Service" (RAAS), what should he keep in mind?
Can't wait to see hear your neurons firing up :D