Most Americans (Christians) follow a second book of the Bible, well they used to, many of its teachings are becoming eradicated. But this opens up the question, particularly since from the “Old Testament” New, and other books, have followed the teachings of Prophets or been assembled by their followers; How many new Prophets and sections of the Bible are to come after the first one?
Thus comes the “Sacred School” theory. When I was a member of a church, it considered itself a third sacred school. It saw the Old Testament as directed at a more savage state of human consciousness, where laws and orders were the rule of the day since humans could not be expected to do the right thing, for it not being obvious in their own consciousness.
According to that theory, Jesus Christ came along to initiate a second school of thought when people could handle it. People were now more ready to comprehend right from wrong, but still often chose wrong for their own advantage. Christ then introduced the mental way of reasoning to rightness. Parables and such gave the individual reasons to think more deeply on their decisions and perhaps their ramifications, not because a law said yes or no, but because you yourself could reason what was right to do.
Other Abrahamic religions have this advancement noted in human comprehension as a now inherent moral sense. Currently we have some religions and groups who have gone further on the sacred school concept for various reasons. The one I was in believed they embodied a third advancement into a spiritual phase having grown out of Christianity.
Now allegedly, we were or are able to comprehend, that much greater than ourselves and act in a cogent manner accordingly and naturally to what is Divine Intention on our own. In that groups view, suddenly many spiritual practices and belief systems have in part moved up to this allegedly new level. That level being a spiritual awareness that is transcendent into a presumed inevitable continuity between individual desire and universal harmony. Implying that if and when I am fully true to myself, I will be true and congruent with all life, whether understood by events or not. Here it is presumed one is then one with God, or if you prefer, Being, or the Soul of existence.
While I personally find the view uplifting, and discovered many people who seemed to live by a higher identity with God or Beingness, a de facto refusal to recognize that at times any individual human may be dealing with issues that draw them back into prior schools of thought, could not be acknowledged. The church expressed it was all about purity of that transcendent union, so it refused to go back to dealing with what seemed like regression. It seemed caught in a kind of catch 22. I moved on from it when the contradictions in theory and behavior, of myself and the group leadership in particular, were too disassociated to be taken in honestly as being Holy or Sacred. We cannot ignore realities.
I believe the more mystical sects of many religions are at this place, where they struggle with what one at times finds too much to handle, then surrender back, when they (individuals) have their senses of perception returned, to the immersion into a more transcendental state of union with the Divine. Poetry and song, or deep meditation-prayer, and or some trance like dance and rhythms sometimes signify these acknowledgements.
Groups will attempt to “brand” that process, or personal cosmic union (your sense of cosmological cohesion) to their own groups sole identity. That will remain a kind of tribal impediment to humankind sharing seamlessly with a common perception of being at one with Creation, and what borders of consciousness are real or invented.
Once we are reduced to tribalism, or us against them consciousness, our options and identity with life is apparently severely compromised. Yet in the world today, political and religious leaders are at times on the side of this self imposed divisive ignorance. They will rationalize why their listeners too, should follow their lead.
What are your limits?