Updated: Feb 1
Founding a church is about as far out on a philosophical limb as I can imagine going. I'm painfully aware of how presumptuous of an activity this is. I'm doing it anyway. Here are some questions I asked myself while creating the Temple of The Boundless Heart's founding documents.
Do you think you're special?
I don't have any sort of "special" insight and certainly no "special relationship with God". No more than anyone else does, anyway. The larger question of whether a person is special has some nuances to it. We are all special and unique, just like everyone else. So yeah, I think I'm special and I also think you're special. You're important. Everyone's personality, experience, and choices are special and important. This fact is at the core of the Temple's philosophy. I'm just another weirdo in a world that is messed up beyond all rationality. I understand that I may be contributing to the irrationality by doing this.
Why are you doing this?
I'm not doing this because I think I have some exceptional insight into the nature of the world, but I am doing this because I want to have greater insight into the world and I believe that the best route to that is to seek that insight with others. I think we're all a little bit lost and confused in the modern world. Life is strange. But I still want to live it deeply, and part of that is living it deeply with others. This is my attempt at a starting point, some basic principles from which we can safely take a deep dive as a team.
Are you just making up a religion from your personal thoughts and experiences?
Yeah, sort of, and I'm hoping you will too. But a religion is not really what the Temple's founding documents are meant to describe. What I've tried to do is codify a simple philosophical system that facilitates everyone making up a religion from their personal thoughts and experiences, and for those religions to co-exist in a mutually supportive way. Strong beliefs are not a bad thing. Morals are not a bad thing. You pick your own and those are your religion, whether you call it that or not. The trouble comes when beliefs and morals are forced on us by authority figures, social pressure, or other coercive forces including outright violence. Every individual's experience and perspective is sacred. Individual beliefs are extremely powerful in shaping one's experience of reality. The Temple's goal is to rally the power of many beliefs without interfering with individuality and personal choice.
Do you actually believe this stuff? Do you believe you are "right"?
Creating the Temple has been a process of laying out beliefs I have arrived at during my life through experience, study, and analysis, and attempting to design a system in which my beliefs can coexist positively with the beliefs of others. In this I am absolutely sincere: I "believe" this stuff. But I'm also a flawed human being, so I'm certainly not right about everything and there's a decent chance I'm not right about anything. The whole setup of the Temple is designed to devalue the idea of "rightness" in philosophy and personal belief. No one is an authority, and everyone makes their own choices. The Temple's system offers a framework that helps us make those choices with full personal autonomy and without interfering with the choices of others. There is no need to be "right". I'm just looking for some basic principles that help us love each other, respect each other's individuality, and be honest with each other about literally everything.
Do you believe in God or Magick or some other unseen force?
Yes. I definitely sort of believe in all that stuff. Everything you can imagine, even things that contradict other things. I believe that belief itself has immense power in our lives. Personally, I've been on this open-to-everything spritual/magickal path for most of my life. It has all felt very real and I've seen things that cannot be explained by pure materialism, rationality, or science. That said, I know the fact that I believe in unproveable, unmeasurable things (like straight up magick) might make me a crazy person, or at least someone that is fundamentally detached from "reality". Oh well. Moving on. I'm not going to let that stop me from doing something interesting that I'm inspired to do. So here we are at the Temple of the Boundless Heart. Your belief is not required, but it is welcome in whatever form it takes.