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  •  We all have agendas. (13+ / 0-)

    I'm a Christian. I belong to a church -- an small and unconventional one, but yes, a church. I try to maintain an open mind, free from personal biases and prejudices, but undoubtedly I do still have my own subconscious agendas lurking back there.

    But then, we all do.

    We all have agendas. We all have stuff we want to "get" out of our interactions with other people, or with nature, or with an organized religion. Whenever we go to work, or get married, or have kids, or take up a particular activity of interest, or chat on an internet forum, it is with an agenda. That is just part of being human. None of us approach life from a perspective of detached, disinterested benevolence for others.

    For me, spirituality/religion is about recognizing my own agendas: when am I interacting with others (or the natural world) just in order to "get something"? How can I treat others (as Kant said) not as a means to my own ends, but as ends in themselves?

    And -- as I begin to recognize when I'm acting out of an agenda -- I can forgive other people for doing the same (recognizing that, in their position, I'd probably be equally driven by the same agenda that they are.)

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