A Warning Against the Extreme

the Basica

  Defend yourself if you must, and your loved ones and your property, and help those who cannot help themselves. Earn your means of support, have your opinions, speak and act as your conscience directs you. Live your own life. But remember your refuge is in God, not in religion or politics, nor is it in material wealth or the weapons of war. These are things of earthly life; God protects and nourishes the spirit.

  It is not meant for us to all be alike. To force a single religion onto all the world is a crime against God, for it at least cheapens faith and at worst corrupts or destroys it. Those who claim to be pure and true believers while coercing and tyrannizing anyone unlike themselves act as frauds, thugs, and thieves. They believe powerfully in what they are doing, thinking it as right and necessary as anything that anyone else might feel called upon by God to do. But, either they have deluded themselves dreadfully, or their pretense of fidelity is a lie. Either way, their words and actions serve only to lead or force others away from God, whose loving compassion we are called upon to give forth as it is given to us.

  Basicanism is gentle and tolerant by nature. It is not ordinarily given to affixing labels and pointing fingers. However, it may be that, regardless of merit, no spiritual course put into practice in a troubled world can forever remain completely immune to at least some form of extreme imbalance amongst at least a few individuals who might attempt to seduce or intimidate others into cooperating with them. Whether their prompts come as a whisper or a shout, beware the deceivers - of any tradition - and their mischief. For the sake of God, true faith, and all of humanity, no matter how thunderous the threats or how desperate the pleas, do not let fanatics trip you up or misguide you. Take care neither to follow them nor to become lost as a result of the way in which you resist them.

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