One of the thoughts that my mind keeps generating is "Poetry is the music of ideas and music is the poetry of emotions." I do not appreciate Poetry being reduced to or called "mental speculation." "Spitituality is the music of the soul expressed through the poetry of living" Spirituality is actually infinitely more beautiful than religion. Religion is usually conditional-- even when it claims otherwise (believe this and you will go to heaven or do this and you will end your suffering). Thus many followers of religion are not sincere, if even only at a subconscious level. Extreme followers are overwhelmingly dishonest. But spirituality transcends intellecual belief structures and philosophical predisposition. It even transcends athiesm. I rejected Vaishnavism (one of the sects of Hinduism, a 5000 year old religion.) It was very subtle, as if it was not even a conscious choice that I can pinpoint, but the will of my soul. Regardless of which reasons I give, it was overwhelmingly just a "feeling." It didn't feel right. The "intrinsic religion of the soul" did not feel intrinsic. One reason is the theory of Karma. While there is still a way in which it can work, I am disillusioned by how many (who are supposed to be knowledgeable in this), espouse false ideas about karma, apparently devoid of thought, ideas that contradict. For example, in Stephen Knapp's book, "the secret teachings of the Vedas," he gives two examples of karma. One is a woman who is sexually abused as a child by seven differnt people and then he explains it as tht she sexyually abused children in a former life (thus she is reaping this). Furthermore, that in this former life, she abused 7 children, who are now the 7 adults abusing her. The other example he gives is a woman who has an abortion. He then explains that this woman, upon trying to incarnate again, will be aborted by her mother again and again, going from mother to mother and being aborted. These explanations are in fault. He has construed Karma as some "cosmic justice system," but has ignored (regarding the first example) whether the 7 offenders are generating their own bad karma in turn, to be molested in their next lives... probably by the same woman they molested (because she molested them because they molested her because she molested them, etc) If they are "exempt" from generating their own karma by abusing this girl (because they are merely carrying out the universe's order, right?), then why wasn't the woman also exempt when she molested the seven children (she must have also been carrying out the universe's order- or if she wasn't then what reason do we have to believe that people get molested due to bad karma!!???). Thus exemption from karma is not plausable. This only leaves a condition of no free-will, where everyone is desined in their every action. This state, in turn, would render the whole concept of justice, good and bad, meaningless. The concept of karma is like a knot that unties itself when both ends of the string are pulled. Overwhelmingly, I feel that karma is just a simple idea people invented to explain apparent injustices in the world or maybe even justify wrongfulness that they create. Karma theorists believe that poor people are suffering from their own wrongdoings in past lifes, and that rich people are being rewarded. If this were true, then why is India (apparently the most spiritual country) poverty stricken? I do not see any evidence in poor people that they deserve what they are getting. Infact, I observe that poor people are usually more loving and more unselfish than wealthy people. One reason I rejected Vaishnavism is because of the God Krishna's "6 oplulences" All wealth, fame, knowledge, beauty (something), and renunciation. Apparently these define him as God, but none of these are qualities which I particularly find virtuous. The qualities "loving, innocent and dirt poor" are much more appealing to me. Perfection isn't even a very longed after quality, although hindus paint a broad picture of it. I prefer alittle imperfection. Loving God and serving him are emphasized in Vaishnavim, even above loving your neighbors. Vaishnavism seems to go so far as to claim that you cannot love anything but God. Christianity is the same in this regard. (Remember Abrahman in the bible who's faith was "tested" by God?) In the ideal religion, God is not a narcissist. The traditional Indian marriage is not "for life." The transcendentalist version of love seems to eclipse the Indian notion of it. I'm origionally an impersonalist, which means I do not believe that God is a "person" although the indian definition of an impersonalist is that he thinks God is formless or void- philosophies wgich are looked upon with great animosity. But I merely deny that it is a person. As children need their parents, an immature society needs its Gods. The concept of God as an all-powerful person, like karma, suggests an idea invented by people to explain what they don't know. This, however, does not imply that there is no "God." In my theory, God is a force that is completely unselfish. Because it is completely unselfish, it does not coalesce into a single "self." If the personal God is completely unselfish, and loving, and has full renunciation, and all-powerful, then wouldn't he transcend the personal God image and be whatever a person needs or wants him to be in order to bring unselfishness, lovingness into people? If God can love more than us, then he must be inherantly selfish by not making himself into the love force available to everyone. If our power to love is equal to God's, what is the significance of God?