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Not-a-Bible

Not a Bible

What makes a book a “bible”

The ones that mustn’t budge

Is only their longevity

Letting everybody fudge.

Some words are weak, stories confused

Some are just plain weird

Its strength was never clarity

Just old men, most with beard.

It must not change, it is the truth,

Just how…you’re left to judge.

Just not for all humanity

See, only for yourself.

But that’s not how these books were used

The truth was hard to see

These stories were used by men

For wealth and polity

But if a “bible” could evolve

I wonder what it’d say

The choices of what’s written

Still left to men this way.

It would be weird with many truths

Arguing this or thats

But that’s exactly what we have

As a matter of the facts.

We all carry a bible

Our mind, Our map Our judge

It’s there, at least, subconsciously

Our own stories to fudge.

 

Make any book your bible

Write what you think is true

Write exactly opposite

Then notice, please God, the hue.

Conversation with GPT about the Poem:

Me: Are you familiar with “The Evolution of God” by Robert Wright.

GPT: Yes, I’m familiar with “The Evolution of God” by Robert Wright. The book delves into the history of the three Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) and examines how the concept of God has evolved over time. Wright explores the changing beliefs about God from ancient animism to modern monotheism. He argues that religious beliefs and practices have often evolved in response to societal and environmental changes. Wright suggests that the evolution of religious beliefs can be seen as a product of cultural and historical forces, rather than just divine revelation. The book is known for its detailed analysis and blending of history, anthropology, and evolutionary psychology.

Me: I was thinking of that Book when I wrote not-a-bible.  How are they related?

GPT: The connection between your poem “Not a Bible” and Robert Wright’s “The Evolution of God” lies in the exploration of the fluid nature of religious texts and beliefs. Here’s a breakdown of their relation:

1. **Evolution of Beliefs**: Both your poem and Wright’s book delve into the idea that religious texts and beliefs aren’t static. They evolve over time based on societal needs, interpretations, and circumstances.

2. **Interpretation and Manipulation**: Your poem touches on how religious texts can be used by men for power (“For wealth and polity”). Wright’s book also discusses how religious beliefs have been shaped and sometimes manipulated for political or societal benefits.

3. **Personal Beliefs**: Your poem emphasizes the idea that everyone carries their own “bible” in their minds, highlighting personal interpretations and beliefs. Wright’s work also touches on the personal nature of religious beliefs and how they’ve adapted over time to fit individual and societal needs.

4. **Questioning Rigidity**: In “Not a Bible,” you question the fixed nature of religious texts, suggesting that they’re not just about longevity or old traditions. Wright’s book similarly challenges the notion of a fixed, unchanging deity, presenting a God that has evolved with human civilization.

5. **Diverse Truths**: Your poem alludes to the idea that if a “bible” could evolve, it would reflect diverse truths. Wright’s book, in exploring the history of the Abrahamic religions, showcases the diverse interpretations and beliefs about God that have emerged over time.

In essence, both your poem and Wright’s book challenge traditional notions of religious texts and beliefs, emphasizing their dynamic nature and the influence of human interpretation.

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