A reader writes:

All these musings about complexities and "trump cards" strike me as akin to debating the number of angels on the head of a pin; no matter the scholarship or "plain truth" or ideological bent, we must each ultimately make our own decision, and will make our own decision, even if that decision is to follow someone else's truth.

That decision, for me, seems the worst decision of all, because giving over your own truth robs you of all the work and responsibility and burden (not to mention the obvious direct Dali_Crucifixion_hypercube benefits) of taking that journey yourself for yourself.  Not just in the end, but all along the way, you will be living someone else's truth and expectations and rules, which inevitably leads to these very strange debates.

Having pursued a master's in religious studies myself, as part of my own journey since age 7, I have taken for myself the wisdom of doing unto others/doing no harm (pretty universal), and recognized that all the great sages and prophets and holy men/women have always reminded us that whatever they are doing, we can do, as well.  And I believe one of them is said to have mentioned that "lest ye see miracles, ye will not believe."  

I don't need miracles (suspicious of them, actually), and I don't need God (the Father restricts me from my spiritual quest), and I don't need God miraculously in the flesh performing miracles until he miraculously vanishes back into God again.  And I sure don't need debates about the manuscripts and scholarly "truth."  I'll take the men - Jesus, Siddhartha Gautama, whomever - and my truth plain and simple, and personal; that was the message I "got" (just reading, nothing miraculous) from those lives and a list of others who took up the quest well.  

And just for the record, this decision has not closed my spiritual life, but opened it up, infinitely.  Abandoning expectations freed my soul.

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