Archive for January, 2008
The following quote comes from Laura Miller’s review of “The Secret History of the World”, a new book compiling the mythologies Eastern and Western secret societies like the Freemasons and Rosicrucians. She skewers the book as well as esoteric belief systems and other books about secret spiritual societies in general, noting that the power and allure of secrecy is the main thing that many such societies have going for them. When the details of, for instance, Scientology, are exposed, it all just seems kind of absurd. Miller concedes that the author has a point that while Richard Dawkins derives sufficient awe from the material universe, a lot of people need something else:
Most people will still choose to believe in something “more,” whether it’s the ninefold path of the Buddha or the pillars of Islam or pyramid power. Chances are that whatever they choose will sound ridiculous to anyone who doesn’t also believe. That’s something religion has always had in common with sex: If you’re not into it, it looks silly. Which explains why all the really clever people do it behind closed doors.