Of course, agreed Basil, if you read it carelessly and act on it rashly, with the blind faith of a fanatic; it might very well lead to trouble. But nature is full of devices for eliminating anything that cannot master its environment. The words 'to worship me' are all-important. The only excuse for using a drug of any sort, whether it's quinine or Epsom-salt, is to assist nature to overcome some obstacle to her proper functions. The danger of the so-called habit-forming drugs is that they fool you into trying to dodge the toil essential to spiritual and intellectual development. But they are not simply man-traps. There is nothing in nature which cannot be used for our benefit and it is up to us to use it wisely. Now, in the work you have been doing in the last week, heroin might have helped you to concentrate your mind and cocaine to overcome the effects of fatigue. And the reason you did not use them was that a burnt child dreads fire. We had the same trouble with teaching Hermes and Dionysus to swim. They found themselves in danger of being drowned and thought the best way was to avoid going near the water. But that didn't help them to use their natural faculties to the best advantage, so I made them confront the sea again and again, until they decided that the best way to avoid drowning was to learn how to deal with oceans in every detail. It sounds pretty obvious when you put it like that, yet while every one agrees with me about the swimming, I am howled down on all sides when I apply the same principles to the use of drugs.
Aleister Crowley
Culturally, though not theologically, I’m a Christian. I was born a Protestant of the white Anglo-Saxon persuasion. And while I do love that great teacher of peace who was called Jesus and while I do reserve the right to ask myself in certain trying situations what indeed He would do, I can’t swallow that one fixed rule of Christianity insisting that Christ is the only path to God. Strictly speaking, then, I cannot call myself a Christian. Most of the Christians I know accept my feelings on this with grace and open-mindedness. Then again, most of the Christians I know don’t speak very strictly. To those who do speak (and think) strictly, all I can do here is offer my regrets for any hurt feelings and now excuse myself from their business.Traditionally, I have responded to the transcendent mystics of all religions. I have always responded with breathless excitement to anyone who has ever said that God does not live in a dogmatic scripture or in a distant throne in the sky, but instead abides very close to us indeed—much closer than we can imagine, breathing right through our own hearts. I respond with gratitude to anyone who has ever voyaged to the center of that heart and who has then returned to the world with a report for the rest of us that God is an experience of supreme love. In every religious tradition on earth, there have always been mystical saints and transcendents who report exactly this experience. Unfortunately many of them have ended up arrested and killed. Still, I think very highly of them.In the end, what I have come to believe about God is simple. It’s like this—I used to have this really great dog. She came from the pound. She was a mixture of about ten different breeds, but seemed to have inherited the finest features of them all. She was brown. When people asked me, What kind of dog is that? I would always give the same answer: She’s a brown dog. Similarly, when the question is raised, What kind of God do you believe in? my answer is easy: I believe in a magnificent God
Elizabeth Gilbert
Take the Holocaust for example: Why did God allow Hitler to kill millions of innocent Jews? Because God didn't want to step on Hitler's toes and interfere with his free will? That's a pretty lame excuse. What about the free will of all those Jews who died? I am pretty sure that getting gassed to death was obviously not their choice. So, was the Holocaust part of God's great plan? Is that why he allowed it to happen? Is that why God didn't answer the prayers of all those Jews who begged him to make Hitler drop dead? Why didn't God just make Hitler have a heart attack before he could start World War 2? Why didn't he simply prevent Hitler from being born? How could a God who is supposed to be all good all the time allow something like the Holocaust?Or did God not just LET it happen? Maybe God MADE the Holocaust happen, because everything that happens, happens for a good reason? Are our minds simply too tiny, too inferior, to understand God's divine plan? Are we just too stupid to see the greater good that came out of the Holocaust?If that were true and everything that happens, including the Holocaust, is part of God's perfect plan, then that means that Hitler really wasn't a bad man at all. He was actually doing God's work. And if Hitler did exactly what he was supposed to do in God's great plan, then Hitler obviously didn't have free will, but was just God's puppet. So that means Hitler was a good guy. A man of God.Sorry, but there is no religion in the world that could sell me on believing THAT bullshit.'s Strange Journey
Oliver Markus