I've been thinking a lot about structures and systems. Yeah, not something I usually think about either but after reading Fantasyland (every American should read it) and watching Believer (every human should watch it) I'm still trying to reconcile, in my own head, the good and bad of systems and structures.
Specifically, as it pertains to religion. My question is, can we have structure without a system? (At least how I define them.)
Systems seem, generally speaking, more self-serving, more afraid of change, and more attractive to those who want power and/or control over others.
But they also provide structure. And without structure we're all just free floating larvae desperately seeking something to attach to, so we can turn into a beautiful, colorful, reef, that helps to feed the ecosystem.
How do we not throw out the baby with the bathwater?
Some random observations/thoughts... that I just need to write down for now:
1. An evolving individual will move from system to structure. A stagnant person will stay in a system their entire life. (Systems are more easily digestible and provide more protection, etc... like milk.)
2. Systems feel threat much more than structures, especially to people who critique the system. Individuals who express fear and threat are generally defending a system more than a structure.
3. Systems are not inherently destructive all the time. Structures are not inherently beneficial all of the time.
4. Systems strongly resist giving up the spotlight. Structures are end up hidden by whatever it is they are supporting.
5. Pharisees perfectly represent the system. Jesus perfectly represents the structure.
6. Religion is a system. It's why Jesus talked so negatively about it (and Jesus really didn't talk bad about too many things.)
7. Church, at it's worst, is part of the system. When it's at its best, it's simply providing structure. That expression of church is more prevalent than we might think, although also much less obvious, because structures always are.
I want to be more wary of systems less apt to reject structures.
Maybe more later...