Organized Religion

Religion is man made. It is obvious. Most religions refer to scriptures for validating their postions. “It is written.” Historical interpretation of scripture reveals that most of it was written many years after events or prophesies were made. But what is it that organized religion provides? Anyone who steps back and looks objectively at the circumstance one finds oneself in most certainly must first enter into some kind of existential crisis. Life is so tenuous and so short. We are consumed with needs and desires….Religion offers the believer an escape from this crisis. All one needs is faith. Faith in what others have decided as the purpose of one’s life, how one should live, where we came from and where we go when we die. Many of us have decided that all religion is a bunch of crap. Not a bad place to start. But I don’t think it is a good place to stay.

The reality is that religion has played a major role in human evolution and it does not look like it is going to end soon. Believers tell you that there is a commitment of faith that must be made in order to fully appreciate and experience their Truth. Make this commitment first and you will then understand. Well, there are a lot of us that are not willing or incapable of taking this leap. So why am I writing about this? I don’t know really…Maybe it is because I am confused. I have wanted to make a spiritual commitment and have checked out a lot of different religions. All of them tell me that there is a God. All of them tell me that I must restrict certain activities and desires. All of them tell me I should attend their weekly and sometimes daily services. All of them tell me there is an afterlife of some kind. All of them tell me that in order to ensure I get to participate in that afterlife I must do what they tell me to do. And all of them tell me I should at least think about giving them a minimum of 10% of my income. Much of what they say rings true to me but Some of it doesn’t. Most of them tell me that Doubt is the enemy so my apprehensions are normal. After a lifetime of searching and experimenting I have decided that one thing is for sure. No matter what any of them say I will not look outside of myself for the Truth. The Truth lies within. This does not mean that you should not study what others have said and what others say. But after studying and searching and testing things out I will always go within to decide. There are many ways to do it. I recommend checking out yoga and meditation. Why? Because, for better or worse, you are with your body and mind this go around. Yoga and meditation are techniques that assist you in being with your body and mind in a productive way.

I think some people should turn to religion if that is what they are called to do. I see any organized religion as a weigh station…a kind of spritual rehab for those who are spiritually empty. Another way to look at it is that religion is like taking antidepressants. It will help you get out of a rut. But once you are out I think it is time to titrate off of it. I would not want to live a significant period of my life on antidepressants. I know some medical professionals think it is necessary for some to be on antidepressants for extended or permanant periods of time. Bullshit!!! You can’t stay in Rehab your whole life and you should not stay on mind alterating drugs your whole life either. Warning!!! Getting off Cold Turkey is sometimes dangerous. It can take up to 3 to 6 months to get off antidepressants and most rehabs suggest aftercare sessions for about 3 to 6 months. So, if you have never experienced religion and have not delved into spiritual matters then check out Christianity or Buddhism or Kabbalah or whatever. Then get out and go within. Explore ways to go within that are void of secular beliefs or dogma. Good Luck

2 thoughts on “Organized Religion”

  1. I think that you have stumbled upon the realization that canned “medicines” (religions) are not for you. Thats an important step. I don’t agree with your view that Religion is like a drug though — at least not for everyone. Mind you, that I’m saying this while not being religious myself. I think it can provide an avenue for continued growth as long as perspective and open mindedness are kept in check. If all you’re concerned about is following some “laws” or “rituals” then certainly, you have missed the message. But if you genuinely commit and put into practice some of the wonderful teachings, well… maybe you can affect change within the very community that provided you with a raft. I think you’re writing from the perspective of 90% of the followers you see in all religions. They don’t commit, they’re just part of the social order so that they feel like they “fit in”. Instead of getting upset with them though, I think its a great opportunity to practice compassion. Why is there so much hypocrisy and suffering? Why is there so much ignorance? Finding out the answer to those questions will help us all be of better service to our brothers and sisters.

  2. It seems to me that in committing to your search and journey you have made the ‘spiritual commitment’ you refer to. As someone who is also non-religious in the traditional sense I also have a difficult time with the blanket comparison of religions to drugs. The specific reference and seeming comparison to a 3 to 6 month rehab is a bit unnerving. Although I am not traditionally religious I think that for the vast majority of society religion serves a tremendous purpose in community (or significance), sense of belonging and reassurance (or connection), answers to troubling situation (or certainty) and free will (or uncertainty and variety). All four primal needs are being met. If you look at the two spiritual needs of growth and contribution those needs are being met or are perceived to be met also. Remember I am not religious but if one looks through the lens of those who are – it is not difficult to see why so many people do consider themselves so.

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