Religions as LOs LO7480

Judith Weiss (
Fri, 17 May 1996 23:26:41 -0500

Replying to LO7465 --

Augustine A. Paz wrote:

I would agree that "any group that thrives as it grows and changes in
response to environmental conditions is a LO," as you said above.
However, I wouldn't limit the LO label to just those that "thrive." Many
groups that fail to thrive but continue to believe in the promise of
liberation and live with an active hope are, IMHO, LOs.
(Anyway, I'm was delighted to see the reference to *Tikkun*, a challenging
and hopeful magazine to which I'm been subcriber for several years now.)
(end quote)

I guess by "thrive" I meant "survive." I am assuming that the religions
that died did so because they stopped learning. Maybe a hasty assumption.
I know Judaism survived and thrives today because of brilliant and
deliberate adaptation to changing conditions over 3000 years, so I am
extrapolating from that.

I strongly recommend Tikkun to anybody interested in the intersection of
spirituality and public life. It is edited from a liberal Jewish
perspective but has an expansive eclectic outlook. The editor, Michael
Lerner, has also written "Jewish Renewal," which I think is a great
description of how Judaism functions as a LO (My paperback copy is
plastered with endorsements by Scott Peck, Ram Dass, Harvey Cox, Letty
Cottin Pogrebin, among others).

I am real interested in the change-agent phenomenon (gotta read Art
Kleiner's new book), and what it takes to be an effective one. If you're
too much like the existing org, you blend in and collude with the
dysfunctional stuff. If you're too different, you get rejected and not
heard (at best) or killed (at worst). Do you work within the system,
endangering your integrity, or do you set up your own system as a role
model, and risk irrelevancy and rigidity? Religions and political
movements always split into factions which then become bitterest enemies.
How do we keep all the pieces from flying off in all directions?

So watching how a culture/tribe/religion mutates through time, reacts to
change agents, is real instructive.

I am one of those compulsive bridge-builders, so I always have one foot in
each camp and then I get ground up in the middle of course.


Judith Weiss *
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-- (Judith Weiss)

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