“Where does religion die?”
“When is religion spoiled?”
These are the questions i’m starting this entry with. As often as always, my blogs usually start with a theme before I begin to digress.
These questions have been heavy on my mind for a year or two. Religion exists in two contexts; true and untrue. This is the problem I have when talking to people about religion. The average person knows no differentiation in religion. To them, all religion is religion. And so if they accept it, they accept it with all its ugly parts included. If they reject it, they reject the true essence of religion as well.
To me, religion exists in its purity, and apart it only exists as dead beliefs that people drag around on their shoulder for generation after generation. I am only one small person and my searching has numbered few in years, but by my sampling most modern Christian religion is dead. It will be more difficult to describe how religion has gone south without saying first what it was meant to be.
Religion is tenant, and it follows spirituality. I don’t think that pure spirituality can follow religion. The difference between the two is the difference between science and technology. Spirituality is science in the sense that it is an unadulterated seeking for truth. Modern scientific endeavor is propagated on the tenant that it is purely seeking for the truth of the way of things apart from cognitive bias. If science find something alternative to the hypothesis, then it thrown out the hypothesis. Spirituality is the same way. It is searching for something out of scratch. To search for something, first there has to be a gap in which something is missing. To search spiritually is to bridge the cap from the unknown to the known.
Friends, we have all felt this in our lives; that something is missing. We certainly feel it when we are discouraged by life. We think, “Something is missing. I am not happy, conclusively there must be something to my life which I haven’t included.” But notice carefully! Even when life is filled with stimulation and so-called “happiness”, still we might feel something is missing. In these moment we might think, “I am happy, but something is missing otherwise I wouldn’t feel insecure in my indulgence as of now.” This is a subtle feeling, but I think you have felt it also.
This is where the spiritual path begins. When we begin to reject the status quo, we begin an exciting and arduous path which is the spiritual path. That is what it is to be a seeker. A Seeker puts his worldly dreams, goals, and ambitions after his search for spirit.
I have been on this path for lesser time than I’ve spent in pseudo-religion. But the fruits of Dharma cannot compare with the egoistic sense of security that most religious people practice in their religion. I’m not casting a shadow on the whole of religion. I am being fair. Religion has made the lives of many millions of people happy. Religious life has brought many people back to their source. For these people, I call them the “soul” of religion. Just as a being is made of mortal carnal body, he is also made of eternal soul. Soul is pure and everlasting, which is why I call this class of religion-ists the purest. These religion people are actually spiritual people. They know their spirity. They know communion. They know reality and they know themselves. These spiritualists are the ones who serve as the staple for religion.
This kind of religion spawns as a reverence for life. The spiritualist who worships at the feet of The Buddha are doing so out of their reverence for Budhha’s Dharma. The Buddha did not die. He cannot die. The Buddha is transcendental and his spirit exists in his Noble Truths. Spiritualist find these kinds of rituals out of their devotion and reverence.
True Ahimsa comes from one’s own pure accord. Those who know themselves and their place in this cosmos know the value of abstaining from violence by all necessary means. But he is not attached to Ahimsa.
True Vegetarianism comes from ones sensitivity towards life. He who knows that he is equal in substance to the creatures of the earth wants to protect life, so he obtains from eating carnal foods.
He who know that the soul is transcendental and pure treats all being as he would treat himself.
He who treats his own self as the pure Atma that he is, treats all others accordingly.
And maybe above all, a true spiritualists seeks earnestly to overcome the ego. This is the work that needs to be done. The ego is confused and convoluted. It is prideful and stubborn. A person who has seen enough suffering sooner or later comes to a painful conclusion; suffering comes from a misguided ego. The egoistic mind thinks that he is the center of the universe. The egoistic mind think that he should serve himself before others. They egoistic mind thinks that it must find the conclusion, and it will settle for auspicious or inauspicious conclusions. It doesn’t care for the truth. The heart is seeking for the truth, but it has been given a back seat in life because the head thinks that he is the ruler and enjoy-er of all things. He is not, and this is what I’ve discovered in twenty four years.
True religion spawns from this type of purity. In more ancient times, there existed entire civilizations which were much more attuned for the spirituality. In fact, there were entire kingdoms whose communal goal was to foster a civilizations of religion foundations which lead every being back the creator. Kings were righteous. In this case, I’m referring to the ancient beings and civilizations written about in the ancient Vedic scriptures.
Religion in it’s foundation is so beneficial and pure. All religion organizations and dogmas were only used as techniques to aid these small beings back to their source which is Brahman.
I think it will be appropriate to use my own experience of early religious life to transition towards that which is pseudo religion and pseudo spirituality. I grew up as a Mormon. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is under the scope of Christianity, although they dispute the fact. For most of my young life, I understood religious dogma and blind belief as ultimate truth. I had not the slightest clue as to where to find actual truth and divinity. It was taught to me this way. I was afraid of God. I often felt like a sinner. My beliefs were that I had to measure up to the tenants of Mormonism to be clean in the eyes of God. It was taught to me that “this” was the one and only true church; that it was complete and all other religions were only partially complete. I grew up this way with a conception of the world as black and white. Everything was right and/or wrong. Everything was do and/or dont. It was hard to feel human this way. I was made into a beggar by this conception. This is the example.
Their are a multitude of religion followers who have fallen into an ego trap. Religion is their ego trap. They think that they must be “good”. They think that they must be “moral”. This kind of morality and religion is fake. It is the ego in the guise of religion. If you read my blog, you will see that I put harsh words on this kind of religion and morality. The ego takes the guise of many things, but it is the most abominable when it takes the guise of religion. Many moralist and god-fearing people cram their consciousness with beliefs in orthodoxy and dogma in which they know nothing of in reality. They say that our soul are eternally male and/or female, and consequently discriminate towards those with fluid sexuality. They puts a strain on the institution of marriage. They say that God gave us strict commandments and begin to discriminate against those who don’t follow commandments.
Worst of all perhaps is how they have projected their beliefs on God. They assume the word of God. They assume the judgement of God. They assume a monopoly on God. This is a high crime against the human soul, and I will speak against it with my own discretion! God is real, but it is saddening to see these people crucify God in the court of human imperfection. These people have tainted religion and I’m wondering when a religion is beyond redemption. This is a great question. I’ve always tried to uphold religion even when it is unpure. I like to think that even the slightest amount of purity is worth saving an entire school of religion for. I feel very much this way about the church I grew up in. Unlike many exmormons, I do not want for the church to die. I don’t want them to bow down in apology. I want Mormons to foster God Consciousness. A small number of church members are the core and spirit of Mormonism as they are the ones fostering God Consciousness. However it often feels like a lost cause because I don’t see the leadership of the church (including all levels of leadership) making a move towards spirit and away from dogma.
Dogma is a dead thing, and it reminds me of the message of one of this centuries greatest minds Friedrich Nietzche who said, “God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatest of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?”
Nietzche is right. We have killed God, and now most Christians are carrying around Gods dead body. When is the cause lost? How is it still alive? These are great questions that arise in the mind for anybody in the search for truth. God has been a central theme for all of humanity. Despite this, there are millions of conceptions of God. Man have assumed the word of God many times, and see how many people have died in the name of religion. It is time for humanity to give religion a re-assessment. In the spirit of Sanatana Dharma, let all the religions go forward in fostering God Consciousness. When is it appropriate to speak against harmful and untruthful rhetoric. For me, it feels like somewhat of an obligation. I love every face I see. I love the Hindu’s, I love the Muhammadans, the Jews and the Christian, and I especially love the Mormons.
We cannot assume the qualities of Brahman. He is to great. These words don’t give justice because Brahman is transcendental. It would be wrong to call him “he”. It would be wrong to call her “she”. It would in fact be wrong to make any assumption of Brahman. As far as I go, I am only certain of me and the other. Me is Erik, the other is this great and mysterious creation. God has not told me anything about dogma. God has only shown my the magnitude of life which only reaffirms the great mystery that he is. I learn about Krishna each and every day in this way. That is my Dharma.
Hare Krishna and Sat Nam.