Unless you count drinking coffee and checking email as dogma, I don’t have dogma to which I feel attached. I do, however, have personal rituals. Stuff I do, stuff in which I believe or at least think I believe. As time has galloped by, I’ve renounced stuff. I didn’t really need it anyhow. I gave up worrying. I gave up working. I gave up the lottery, although I occasionally still buy a ticket — just in case.
I gave up wanting a new car or expecting old friends to call. Some of them don’t remember me. Some don’t remember themselves. I’ve stopped hoping Hollywood will make movies I like, even though they sometimes release a good one. I’ve stopped trying to like new music and most television shows. I’ve stopped trying to figure out why evil people got that way or what their motives might be. They just ARE and maybe I don’t want to understand them.
Some stuff gave me up. When anyone asks me how or why I have given up whatever it was, I tell them it was for religious reasons. Almost no one has the temerity to ask what I mean by that. But so you know, I will reveal my secret.
I don’t mean anything. It’s nothing more than a way to end a conversation. No one wants to offend me by asking for the details of my religious beliefs. Who knows? They might turn out to be embarrassing or bizarre. Thus my all-purpose answer to everyone is “religious principles,” or “my spiritual adviser told me to do it.” Given current events, you can but imagine what enormous power these words hold. They will make a conversation vanish without telling someone to shut up. It works on everyone except those who really know me. They will raise one or more eyebrows, and fall over laughing.
If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. For religious reasons. No Dogma requiured.