Today I am going to take on the most controversial topic I’ve ever written about: religion. (Finally, I know. This draft has actually been sitting on my blog since January. But, fake busy.)
If you’re close-minded, an extremist on either end of the spectrum, here just for slander/to argue, and/or lacking analytical skills absent emotional outbursts, this is your stop. The train will not stop again so please make your way to the exit now. And for those of you still here, leave your stereotypes and witticism at the door.
This is long overdue. (Especially since Mormons came by a few days ago with one mission: to get my non-Mormon friend baptized in their church. Nothing else, which of course proved my point.)
I’ve noticed something recently, now that everyone has an equal platform and therefore renewed, and heightened, sense of entitlement, that I’ve been quite reluctant to address.
Time and time again, I see that the problem most people have with faith and religion is not really with God or any divinely-inspired doctrines. The problem they have is with mankind. (This was me at one point, too.)
Allow me to explain.
I am no religious expert and I haven’t spent my life going through all religious doctrines in existence, though someday I hope to find the time, but from what I have observed, all religions share a common thread/purpose: to make us better people. It’s that unifying imperative and overarching ideal that I feel we should all focus on, recognize and appreciate, as opposed to focusing on what separates.
The Christian Bible, with which I am most familiar, is open to interpretation, as are the other doctrines that people believe in. But they all have the same concept: someone at the head, probably the author, who essentially tells you what is right from wrong so we can all live in harmony with each other and with the Earth. That is, and has always been, the purpose of religion.
And what’s so bad about that?
Can’t we all agree that this world we live in is suffering from a severe lack of humanity, morality, and compassion? Whether you tie them to religion or not, these are naturally occuring emotions that humans have practised for years to ignore and replace instead with other emotions that they created for each other and tied to religion. (Namely, competition.)
I don’t think any religious doctrine is meant to be taken word for word. And I don’t think the purpose of them is to be used as a crutch for someone who doesn’t actually adhere to or grasp the full concept of the belief system. The division created by mankind’s organised religions is a false assumption of separation that comes through the rejection of the symbiotic relationship of life and the empirical oneness we share.
Christianity alone has 34,000 different sub groups. That is 34,000 groups of people who think the type of rice is more important than the rice itself; 34,000 groups of people who have succumbed to the human ego that tells them they are in competition with each other and the rest of the world about whose God is better; 34,000 groups of people who separate themselves and learn to hate others because of little unimportant varying details.
Yet most of those same Christians treat the bible like a terms and conditions agreement. They just scroll all the way to the bottom and click agree, without really having read anything they just agreed to. Then, they use it in their everyday lives as if they’ve got the whole thing memorised. This is mankind’s doing. Not religion. This is what man has decided to do with religion — hide their lack of willpower to self-actualise behind false claims of a religion they don’t even know if they really believe in.
Religion is not a crutch. And God isn’t limited to a building or a time of year, or a book. God is inside of you, inside of me. God is the wind, the trees, the ocean. And we have disconnected ourselves from all of it to pay attention to things that further separate and incite hatred for each other — things like money, religion and construction. We have built a world that can no longer be sustained by the world that was here for millions of years before us. And we don’t care because we are so busy being blinded by competition and our own narcissistic beliefs.
But the truth is, whatever answers you are looking for to life, your purpose, or whatever strength you are turning to religion to find, is already inside of you. All of the answers come from the universe, the same one that we destroy and ignore every day.
Our disconnect with God and our disconnect with nature are not two separate things occurring simultaneously. God, nature, the universe are all one–as are we. And there is no such thing as independence in nature. Everything in nature is dependent on the other. We cannot coexist concomitantly in the world if we are all trying to be independent of each other in our actions and beliefs. We need to eliminate the divisional noise that we have all been conditioned to think is true — i.e. I believe pastors should be able to marry, I believe you’re supposed to pray this way, I believe you’re not supposed to eat that, so let’s all divide into groups — and align ourselves with the eternal signal that comes from our empirical oneness.
The minor details that separate the world’s religions, in my opinion, aren’t more important than the big picture. You can’t use people’s separate interpretations of a subjective material as an argument against faith in its entirety. Pay attention to what is in you, and what feels good in your heart. Be proactive in your beliefs. God, the universe, whoever, gave us brains that can analyse for a reason. Nature gave us all our own mind, and hearts that can connect to others’. Nowhere does it say that we have to all interpret something the same way for it to be. No where does it say anything about separating and labeling each other based on individual interpretations.
If you want to go to a Catholic church because you feel good when you leave, then go. If you don’t want to go because you get nothing from it, then don’t. But all of that is up to you and what you want to get from it. All I am asking is that your reason for not going, for example, not be because Catholic priests touch little boys. Teachers touch little children too, but that has never given anyone a reason to boycott school altogether.
What makes church so different? If you can focus on the fact that school is there to help us better ourselves, then why can’t you focus on that for church, too? Are priests not simply teachers, and regular humans, too, whose job is to help people become good members of society?
Stop looking for reasons to feed your ego.
The only separation in spirituality, in my opinion, is those who believe in it and those who don’t. That’s it. If we think of it that way, we’d find that we have so much more time to focus on those core values that bind us all as humans, as one race of people. But we’ve been so conditioned by the world to segregate ourselves based on even the smallest of things, like hair type, or melanin levels, that it would literally take an entire overhaul of our psyche, and society, before we can begin to live in true love and unity.
And please, spare me the science argument. Science and faith should not be put into the same category. Faith is a focus on morality and how to interact with the Earth and each other. Science is just to help us understand the Earth and each other. What we need to do, in my opinion, is master the moral part of God (Faith) so we can then master the engineering part (Science) of living in this world with each other and the rest of the creatures in the animal kingdom.
Still, in the end, I can’t tell you what to think, or who or what to believe in. I can only give you a new perspective that you can either reject, accept, or, at the very least, respect.
My only goal is to help you open up your mind.
And I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that if you don’t believe in religion then that’s your prerogative, and I’m not here to tell you if it’s wrong or right. But if it is that you don’t believe in it, make it be because you don’t believe in it; not because you don’t believe in what human beings have done with it.
Because much like everything else in this world, the purity of faith has long been tainted and destroyed by human beings.
With that said, I will leave you with some other stuff to think about: the first, some tweets from one of my followers on Twitter; the second, a quote from a documentary I watched a few weeks ago called I am; and lastly, a set of guidelines carved anonymously into the Georgia Guidestones. All of which can be adhered to no matter the religion with which you have been taught to align.
— “In all of our great intellect, we humans seem to be the dumbest creatures on the planet. In all of our belief in a creator, whatever name you know it as, we turn and we destroy that very thing … Nature. God is not some man in the sky waiting to damn you to hell. God is the nature that you have turned your back on in these technological days. God is the trees you cut down every day, the grass you pave over, the lakes you dump toxic waste in. That is God. And If God is nature, then “what is the Devil?” becomes the question. The devil is the human ego that says you don’t have to live within nature. The human ego that will have you think you are somehow more important than nature itself — that is the devil.”
— “There is one fundamental law that all of nature obeys that mankind breaks every day: Nothing in nature takes more than it needs. The red wood tree doesn’t take all the soil’s nutrients, just what it needs to grow. The lion doesn’t kill every gazelle, just one. We have a term for something in the body when it takes more than its share … Cancer.” — “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity. Unite humanity with a living new language. Rule passion, faith, tradition, and all things with tempered reason. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court. Avoid petty laws and useless officials. Balance personal rights with social duties. Prize truth, beauty, love — seeking harmony with the infinite. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.”