After attending another interfaith meeting on the Muslim Challenge to what is common to it and Christian faith, I remain boggled at both religion and human influence pedaling on the “True one God” or “One True God” or “God and no other god”.
I was raised to accept the Catholic bureaucracy as a kind of automatic pilot God machine. It was such a machine that it nearly never had to mention or talk about the Bible much at all. Imagery, ritual, and most importantly, programing as the one true church, was all it needed. Don’t go to church and you will likely go to hell, unless right at the end you happened to have Extreme Unction?
As I understood it, the Extreme Unction thing, if given in time, could forgive your sinful self and still get you into heaven. Once again, better stay connected to the church or else you risk a forever in hell. A place of apparently eternal torture of some questionable kind.
Mystify and Dominate
My opinion on religion has evolved into this over time from researching its historical roots, my own experience and observations; most religions seem to start out with one figures extraordinary experience or apparent message from something greater than we. Many of these messages go on to become institutionalized and reassembled by followers.
Many of the rituals have precedence in previous pagan or pantheistic concepts reworked to a newly defined unified theory–one true God. But now it becomes about institutional self preservation as the prime directive. Mystical secret or expert only knowing, gets solidified by circular reasoning’s no questions to the controlling core or else, finality’s. We end up with the know for certain club of entrenched “true” believers behind a spiritual-cultural paradigm and in some cases legions of followers.
Those two originating factors may be gone by now (first spirituality’s and a vision of Divine union). The now Sacred Prophets experience is usually felt by followers to be a magnetic one, one of profound revelation of a Love that extends to all things. Religions then go on to define their particular “brand” as the true one. The originating motivations are now mere symbols of remade traditions that have an operational life and cause of their own; continuing to attract and contain followers, or else.
I have had such a transformational transcendent experience (spiritual epiphany) when I was an agnostic at 27 years old. It carried no religious imagery of any known system of belief to act as a colored lens of interpretation. I was just cast into the presence of an absolute Love for a brief moment one night when walking down a city street. It effected my perceptions for days, as if the Divine rent open the night sky and handed me a gift. I have never had that all pervasive experience since, but it did change my then only scientific view of what reality is made of.
My generic experience
It seems to leave one who has it with a mission statement, but one hard to swallow; I was wrong about so much of my life and how I see and judge things. Most of the world I am aware of, as an individual perceives it by news and ones own living of it, suggest most others are in that same boat. We bale and bale the water out our whole lives, waiting on something profound to become sure. We try to arrange our lives to have some love and meaning in it.
If we are fortunate, we might have a passionate place in society, where we are valued by family and we value others. We can also be alienated, with profound feelings of separation from others. This sense of separateness might leave us feeling unloved, possibly even in a universe which seems to not care a thing about us. We may be attracted to religious or scientific notions of what life and its limits are.
How could someone as alienated as I actually was, live up to a vision that impressed me with the sense that everything is only actually born of Love? I had never acted or behaved as such. Who was I to turn into? A preacher?–Hey! I had this experience! No! Wait a minute. Stop! Listen! I really did! Hey stop!
I could not tell others how to have a transcendent experience. My life showed little evidence that I practiced what I preached. My behavioral patterns were quite entrenched. It seemed I’d have to fix me first before my mission could proceed. Long story short; day after day my “enlightenment” receded into the background, remaining as a kind of personal talisman to spiritual experience that serves me to this day.
Years latter I had a different kind of spiritual realization. The first and only time I tried it. I had heard at a health class, the instructor telling someone, (who asked after class if he believed it was possible), how to “do” astro-projection–leaving ones body. The next day I tried it. That really shook me up, but it left me with, not a sense of Love, but one of life and awareness beyond the body. A shocking view of consciousness beyond the dust and water we are made of, again tested my notions of the bounds of empirical experience.
Like the prior profound experience, I was left with no fear of death. Many of us who are in deep ways afraid to fully live, are haunted by a fear of death. I have come to assume that is our own life in a kind of stasis waiting to be brought fully to life, as if there is a mission and our boat is not up to making that journey, so we wait in a kind of fear zone, worried over our rising water. Some religions and other beliefs say this has to be because we are always sinners, so must do everything they say to save ourselves.
BACK TO THE GOD AND RELIGION THING
This brings me back to many religions who hold that fear zone card over the head like a guillotine, saying; follow us or else. It is a powerful card to hold, promise Divine Love or at least respect and eternal life on the one hand, and a card of damnation in the other. This see-saw works between ideal or belief and the realities of experience. I (we) am usually not omniscient enough to be perfect always to my ideals and beliefs. Then if will follow that I have baggage of fallen rock in my spiritual boat that always threatens to sink me, hence the recipes of how to cast the rocks out; by rejection, types of denial, persecution of self or others, and pandering to a Divine One to forgive my Divinely created fallibility’s.
(Then there is authentic contrition, not based on damnation but on loves return releasing guilt. This is available to everyone no matter faith or not, so I will not attach it to any particular belief system, though it may be claimed by them as their special awareness or compensation.)
BUT WE HAVE TO TRUST IN SOMEONE OR SOMETHING.
It all might be of the best intentions. This can become a pseudo-spiritual headlock. Gridlock of the soul enmeshed in a surrender to apparent authorities who presumably have or are privy to more truth. We become the forsaken, since we are not allowed to truly examine spiritual tenets, presumptions and authorities. We become addicted to the cause, be it of truth, fantasy, illusion or some fusion between.
Many religious institutions were once cults of a possibly enlightened individual. They regress to hierarchical structures, ridged rules and behavioral regulations, and with the perversions of might making rights obvious or subconscious fear cards (damnation and hell). Usually various forms of male dominance over women’s apparent practical connections to the creative powers of life. These religions now come to present a kind of threat to our continuing physical existence on earth. Did not whomever’s one true God know what mischief followers would get into over the one true turf battles? Is this one true God really obsessed with judging our fallibility’s and whether we acknowledge God’s existence, or say God’s name in the “right” language?
The usual answer to questions is a circular reasoning short circuit; that– one cannot question God or “His” ways. Brain unplugged, mission accomplished!
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
We are told we have free will so we are all responsible, yet much of government, religion and culture is often about shunting off communally unacceptable free will adventures, usually because in the operational consensus reality, harm or dysfunction result from those ideas that pop into our heads, and so need to be controlled.
Fair enough, I say. But if we are prevented from examining our taboos and laws for their continuing relevance, we are machine robots and not conscious and responsible beings. If I act the way I do because of treats or threats of punishment, I am not actually being responsible. I am essentially being forced or tortured (in future) into so doing. A Pavlovian experiment gone big time. There is little merit in mindless control, yet orthodoxies, in particular, seek out mindless (unquestionable) behavioral control as a solution to reoccurring apparent dysfunction. They literally become insulated from examining if truth itself, a living truth, is being prevented from being known, because of might makes right institutionalized circular reasoning mind control.
CONTRADICTIONS AND CREATION
There are religions out there that believe you can buy your ancestors into heaven. Imagine the controlled perceptual notions that equate money with salvation after you are already gone! But how convenient a fund raising gimmick!
Many seemingly have you in the position that if you are not perfectly conforming to books and dogmas, because of your mistake or stupidity, you will be eternally tortured by a God the Sadist-Supreme Terrorist. I wonder who could have actually inserted those notions into society for rote control? Any ideas?
While some are urged to be in constant fear over their own God given bodies and abilities, other are issued guarantees of favor now or in the afterlife, if only they do what whomever is saying to them. Many TV religious pop shows promise health and healing, pandering to the ill and a fear of death, most always followed by a God needs us to buy another satellite to pass the word. Interesting how God was kinda strapped in until writing and now rockets came to be. Now the holy word of someones liking can be spread far and wide. Of course you must send in your part of the retirement check to join in Gods mission through whomever. God, it seems, is quite dependent upon fund raising.
FAITH IN FICTION
Most of what I have presented can be described as nothing more or less than monkey business. It has all the attributes of domination and mystification–Darwinian power tricks and truths. It attempts to shut down critical (God given) critical thinking abilities. It seems to promote a highly conditional love and acceptance to behavior. It in effect, marginalizes God to human control features, requiring obedience, begging, not facing the source of ones own actual motivations, thus empowering evil as a reactionary power. It makes God out to be a dysfunctional ego addict, needing endless pandering from more unable creatures to what? Feel good about Itself? Know it has created robots who learn to suppress their own God given inquisitive and exploration abilities for a frozen in place ethos?
The interfaith meeting I started this post with is about the Muslim challenge to Christians to meet the two basic laws of Love; Love of God and Love of neighbor. In essence I am for this. However I believe much of these faiths are in the very position I was; where is the operational evidence in my own life of these beliefs?
I was privy to have experienced the union of Love across all things and apparent problems of being. I believe everyone can have this presentation given to them if it is so required. How much more noble, how much more of merit if we were to not require being dragged into the transcendent, but came to recognize it as the organizing principle of Being. Who is able to activate their own minds and hearts to get past programing and touch the fullness of Being, without being scared to dare know for oneself? This is always the problem of deprogramming from cults, just to get you own will back.
Love flows in, through and around us continually. It is I who chose to look otherwise by appearances. No matter what you or I have done or not done, It is there unconditionally, with Arms open.
This I have known, and at my most conscious, can see as obvious and true.