And now for the honorable mention portion of our program, featuring those religions which I am as yet too unfamiliar with to have been much influenced by them.
- Hinduism has impacted me primarily as an object lesson in how NOT to conduct a religion. E.g., do NOT turn your back on the world in search of the truth behind the illusion. Do NOT mindlessly obey the precepts of caste and authority in order to fulfill your purpose in life. Hinduism, in my limited experience, seems to be the religion most suited to keeping the rabble in line and contented with their lot.
- Buddhism gets an honorable mention for it’s emphasis on giving up attachments, which seems like a good idea even though I have some trouble reconciling it with a philosophy of engagement with the world.
- Islam garners an honorable mention for begetting Sufism, which begat the poet Hafiz, who’s devoutly romantic writing I have recently fallen in love with.