Although I am not really a religious/pious person, I do think of the New Testament and forgiveness those times when I feel like the nuts are running the nuthouse, and I think of Job when I am feeling tested by life. With that in mind, I thought I’d read a little bit about Jobs history: It was written around the 5th century BCE by an unknown author, and it is strikingly different from other books of the same period, and as often viewed as a masterpiece in its lyrical qualities, which include dialogues and poems. Job, of course, was rich and successful, but that was taken away to test his faith. Initially, he continues his faith, but eventually wishes he was never born and pleads his plight to God; God tells him, where were you when I built the Earth, and Job admits that there are many things he cannot see; his weatlh is restored. The book touches on wisdom and the suffering of the righteous.
The Bible is the only religious text I am somewhat familiar with, and as I get older I am struck by two things: how much general philosophy about true issues is contained in there regardless of religion, and how very little the human condition has changed in the past 3000 years. We still try to make sense of why the innocient suffer, for example.
I was raised Christian (Lutheran actually), and enjoyed the peacefulness of church more than anything: the music, the scent of candles, the tranquility during transitions. So I was surprised and greatly pleased the only time I visited a Buddhist ceremony, in 1993 – it was all the things I loved about Church rolled into one.