What holds us together? We have no ideal.
At least, we have nothing that most humans would recognize as an ideal, because our aim is otherworldly. Our union is communion on another plane. What holds us together is not in this world, so we present very few identifying marks. Paradoxically, we each present all kinds of characteristics, a batch of marks that make each of us unique from others. But that’s the whole point: We don’t point.
Every time I set down some list of things that might sound like shared values, one of those values is that you don’t have to share them with me. That is, I might find your list just a valid as mine without much overlap at all. I’m evaluating such lists from a basis outside this world.
Thus, my list of characteristics is just an advertisement for fellowship, not a basis for taking you seriously. I’m inviting you to join in a banquet by indicating the ingredients. If you aren’t allergic, then you can come feast with me. Otherwise, go in peace; you will surely find others who share your own moral diet.
I’m not here to present a universal religion; I’m here to present religion itself as a thing to discuss and study. That’s why I call it “meta-religion” — I’m presenting my beliefs about belief as a human activity. What holds us together is a very cynical tolerance of things we cannot share, but looking for things we must share because doing it alone is flat out contrary to our wiring. But just as wrong for us is conformity. That’s a primary belief about belief; it’s meta-religion.
We share in the study of how to evaluate religion. So there is no ideal organized religion, only some that might work for you, and a whole bunch that won’t. The thing we evangelize is ourselves; we seek to share a way of sharing. We believe God has said He would reveal Himself as a person to persons and you can’t steer the friendship of other folks. You shouldn’t want to.
I consider it bad religion to tell folks “God won’t do this or that.” It’s good religion when it sounds more like, “God won’t let me do this or that.” That’s so you’ll know it’s a waste of time to press me for some element of religion that we don’t share. It’s only our fallen nature that demands we see in others a mirror image of our own soul. That’s the worship of self; don’t take yourself so seriously.
We don’t build ideals; we grow what’s possible. Most of it isn’t in our hands in the first place. A critical element in what I do here is teach you that there are boundaries and limits, but they are discovered, not devised. They live and move and change on their own, and we have to live with them. It’s all personal. If it works for you, great; I’m glad to give it away.
We share ourselves.