Wednesday, January 4, 2012
The Miracle of Religion
Religions are systems that have been applied to spirituality. Usually, a teacher comes along that is in direct contact with God or merges with Divinity. Such teachers rarely write down their own teachings as they are just so content with life. In that space, they are just content with the state of being. Later on, people come along and interpret, recollect and paraphrase the lives of these prophets. They create elaborate systems that were never the intent of the original teacher. These systems are primarily intellectual in nature. They are a way for the mind to relate to the teachings and then how to make that make sense in the light of contemporary thought and culture.
From there, generations of followers of these religions create different flavors of it; they break off from the original religious branch and create their own. Some religions may be combined with others to create hybrid religions. In the end, it is all the same. Religion is an intellectual system of thought that systematizes a vast body of knowledge that came about as a result of an enlightened teacher.
Some of us mistake religion as God. We misinterpret the enlightened teacher and think that our religion is the only way to God. We think that if we focus on the words of our religious writings, that that is the voice of God. We do not allow God to talk to us in any other way than the channels which our religion approves. In this way, religions can be idols that take us away from God.
A religion may be useful for the vast majority of us to bring us to the One force in this world, the First Cause at it were. Religions make things very palatable for our minds. They predigest the concepts of God and spirituality for us. A system has been created that we just have to follow to achieve union with God, or whatever the goal the religion espouses. Religion is like spirituality with training wheels. After some of us learn to ride the bike of spirituality, we are then ready to get rid of the training wheels.
We see that the world is our religion. Life is our spiritual practice. At that point, we look up and see that the world is full of religions, just like ours, that are also paths to the Divine. Ours was but one path. We may leave the religious path and enter a wider spiritual path.
At some point, we may choose to re-visit our religion of origin and are amazed at what we see with our new spiritual eyes. The miracle of religion is how the voice of the One can still come through vessels that constantly mix in ego and personality into the transmission. How is it that we were able to see past the stumbling blocks of ego and narrow viewpoints that flavored our religious writings and teachings?
That is the true miracle. That we could see through to the truth about our Beloved, despite all of the additives that were put into the mixture. This is testimony to the Light that is inside each of us, that we can learn to discern true teachings by the light of this flame. In a way, the light of God is able to illuminate the truth of God; light attracts light. May we forever appreciate that the Supreme cut through the entanglements of dogma to show us her true nature and guides us on our spiritual path.