Religious Rethink

 

Religionin its noble effort to offer enlightenment for personal, relational, and societal development; in its drive to instill humility, devotion, patience, and trust; in its forging of a moral code of conduct to ideally strengthen and heal the soul, mind, and physical body; and in its promise of the ultimate reward, eternal life, for having survived the human drama after all has been said and donehas become its own worst enemy

What went wrong? Neither religious nor philosophical pontification has ever managed to convince a significant demographic of any known society to reason lovingly, respectfully unify, nor prosper with longevity. Interestingly, this historically viewable condition strongly appears to deny the very moral and ethical creeds espoused by both. As a result, humanity has also historically failed to rise beyond a general state of social mediocrity, including today’s developed North American societies, and most curiously the United States with its contemporary exponential procession of technological prowess.

Ironically, as essential as society accepts religion to be for personal spiritual enhancement, it is religion that binds up the mind with nearly incomprehensible lists of rights and wrongs, do’s and don’ts that are deemed necessary to “please God.” Christianity, for example, teaches that “all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God,” and “there is none righteous, no, not one.” Yet, I have observed that much of the Christian church seems to exist in a perpetual state of moral finger-pointing in condemnation of acts or promotion of beliefs which often do not even appear in the ancient Hebrew or Greek documents from which the Bible has been derived.

I am convinced that when all become one in mutual love and respect for all life, humanity will be revolutionized. But how can this happen, a global collective of minds unified in a state of conscious single-mindedness of purpose? First, it is important to realize that this kind of monumental adjustment to the human psyche is not likely to happen overnight, and in actuality could only be expected were a fundamentally enhanced viewpoint implemented into the daily lifestyle of the individual. Transformed consciousness is the work which is required, and demands little physical effort at all.

Before a person can begin this monumental journey into “oneness” with the Universe, one must be convinced that it is not only possible, but necessary. The desire to bring resolution to the needs of another over one’s own similar needs must become common place—me first has to take a back seat to you first. This does not mean becoming a doormat to be walked over no matter what, but when the option to choose exists, an immense state of peace can result from making a choice to favor another over one’s self.

Preferring another to self is the beginning of oneness. Interestingly, this is a central message in most religions, though certainly is not the only valuable aspect of religion. But just as few people would allow their physical bodies to be enslaved and limited in freedom of decision and mobility, the spirit should not be allowed to be bound by unrealistic ideals which choke out peace and burden down the mind with guilt. Some people may feel that if they examine a more free way of thinking that their God will somehow punish them if they “cross the line” in their life-search. Since religions share the common theme that no human being is perfect, the truth of the matter is this: if the Divine was on stand-by in hopes of catching a curious mind in a wrong move, there would literally be no one left alive for the contemplation to even be of concern.

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