Flavors of fundamentalism

There are many ways of being fundamentalist. We can be religious fundamentalists, of course. We can be atheist fundamentalists, taking the no-God story as true and not acknowledging that it all depends on the images we have of God (if we see God and reality as interchangeable terms, then atheism makes less sense!), and that we really don’t know. And we can even be science fundamentalists, taking current models from science as the gospel truth, not recognizing that these too will be obsolete at some point in the future.

Also, we can be anti-fundamentalist fundamentalist which I am familiar with from myself. I sometimes notice a reaction to fundamentalism of different flavors, and that is of course another brand of fundamentalism. I am not receptive to the validity and gifts of fundamentalism, and not free to shift between a wider range of stories about fundamentalism and apply the one that seems most helpful in the situation.

Any time I take any story as true, even if it is as an underlying assumption such as stores about the world (life is….) and what I am (an object in the world, content of experience), I become a fundamentalist. I filter experience as if it is true. I act as if it is true. And I can’t help it, as long as I take those stories as true.

The most common form of fundamentalist isn’t of the religious type. It is the fundamentalism of taking ourselves as content of experience, as an object within content of experience – whether it is an image of a human self, or an image of a doer or observer or any other image.

In that sense, I am a fundamentalist most of the time. And I am also a fundemantalist whenever I take more peripheral stories as true, such as stories about religion, science or fundamentalism itself.

So when I notice a reaction triggered in me by fundamentalism in the world, it is a gentle and kind reminder to find it in myself. To notice stories stories I take as true here and now, inkluding about fundamentalism. And then notice how I – here now and in immediacy – take images that are content of experience (for instance of a doer or observer) as substantial and true, as what I really am.



  • fundamentalism in three directions
    • religious fundamentalists
    • atheist fundamentalists
    • anti-fundamentalism fundamentalists (for me, against the atheists – higher tolerance for religious ones for some reason) (probably more similar to the science/atheist fundamentalists, hits a little closer to home, to my own blind spots….)
    • we all do the same, only different flavors….
    • and of course, become a fundamentalist whenever any story is taken as true, the same dynamics at play

One thought to “Flavors of fundamentalism”

  1. Isn’t it wonderful that every recognition, even of that which evokes negative thoughts, can be the nutrition for growth rather than an indictment of self or other?

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