kourdistoportocali.comRead ThisIs prayer to blame?

Man has always been a social animal

Is prayer to blame?

Irvin Yalom in his book “The Spinoza problem” created a character out of Baruh Spinoza’s life and work

Is prayer to blame?
Man has always been a social animal. Either in a family or in small or bigger communities as a member.
There is no right or wrong way of praying, I think. But there is a right way to build venues and organize events.

After reading Mr Bonios article on praying, I felt like expressing some of my objections. Solitude is for the few extremely strong and self-sufficient human beings that have managed to cut off their strings with society.

Or at least that is what they think. As the only real loners are the hermits in the wilderness of Mount Athos. Is prayer to blame? Was it maybe a human error in taking the right precautions?

By Anastasia Kogka

Human beings created communities through their need to protect themselves. They had to fight natural phenomena and wild beasts. Religion and prayer also came out of this fear of the unknown. Getting together praying makes man feel less vulnerable to nature’s rage but also more appreciative of its beauty and power. Fear seems less powerful when shared and beauty is enhanced if seen through more than a pair of eyes.
Irvin Yalom in his book “The Spinoza problem” created a character out of Baruh Spinoza’s life and work. Spinoza faced cherem for questioning the Jewish bible. He used to seek an explanation to everything. After being excommunicated he led a life of chosen solitude away from the conventions of his religion, away from all religions. There came a moment though that he found himself witnessing a Tashlich ceremony, (Jewish ceremony) and the feeling of nostalgia filled him. Of course, momentarily. And of course, fictitiously. Yalom in his epilogue says that he had used his professional experience as a psychiatrist to delve into his characters’ psyche.

Tradition, rituals, ceremonies, group praying have existed in human religions, all religions. Religions in different parts of the world emerging in different periods of time and in different civilizations all have similar stories and praying. Maybe it is not illegitimate to conclude that human beings carry them in their DNA. Once two infants, that grew up on their own away from an organized community, developed two things: language and religion.
Some people have a kind of intelligence that requires answers and an explanation to everything. Some realize that there is no answer to everything. At least not yet. Some just follow others who are stronger and more influential. We cannot all possess a mind of the same functioning.

There are those who feel beautifully when they pray with others and share the solidarity and admiration.
Yes, they might be begging and not praying. But it is not their fault. That is the level of their understanding of existence.
The places though that large crowds gather, be it for a concert, a game or praying should definitely be checked for their suitability by humans. Spiritual though it may be to pray, to check if everything is ready and able to sustain thousands of people together is earthly human.
There is no right or wrong way of praying, I think. But there is a right way to build venues and organize events.

Mourners carry the body of Shragee Gestetner, a Canadian singer who died during Lag BaOmer celebrations at Mt. Meron in northern Israel, at his funeral in Jerusalem on Friday, April 30, 2021. A stampede at a religious festival attended by tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in northern Israel killed dozens of people and injured about 150 others early Friday, medical officials said. It was one of the country’s deadliest civilian disasters. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

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