i was going to write a book review for this post. i even started it. hell, i even read the book. long story short: go out and buy a copy of the valkyries, by paulo coehlo, and pretend you've never read the alchemist, because this is nothing like that.
several years ago, when i was living in washington, dc, i came across liberation theology, in all it's glory, and nothing has been the same since.
i think we can talk all we want about communism and socialism, or the real versus the simulated. i spent a good portion of college writing papers about aristotelian political theory, the rise of empire in europe, the divine right of kings, the arab/israeli conflict. i wrote papers...i read journals...i studied my way into reading glasses. what i can tell you about machiavelli, or hitler, or marx, or lenin, or hobbes, or locke, or cromwell, or the sun king, or any of the rest of them is fairly pointless. the minute you realize that all the isms in the world boil down to who really owns your stuff, and how much your stuff really owns you is the point at which real education takes place.
orthodoxy must meet orthopraxis, or it's all empty. it's all vanity. and i think, i know, i believe you can have an orthodoxy and a fully integrated orthopraxis that is separated from a relgious structure. ultimately, everything filters down to the basics...no systems, no theories, no excuses. bone meets bone, and you must deal in flesh, in relationships, outside of G-d, or god, or gods, or just the voices in your head. and that kind of relationship exists out of the time and space where religion or dogma or theory have any real bearing on who we are or how we are.
that's what i think, today.