True religion is the realization of truth.
Through our belief and reliance on the authority of others we have cut ourselves off from the ability to discover the truth of ourselves and the Kosmos on our own. Throughout human history there have been individuals who have transcended their limited terrestrial personality and consciously realized the fundamental nature of reality and their own identity. These sages, Jesus and The Buddha among others, have taught the way to God.
This is the true and original purpose of all of the worlds great religious traditions. These religions are based upon the direct experience and insight of their founders and these sages taught that this insight and understanding is available to anyone provided they are earnest in their desire to know truth for its own sake – regardless of whether it brings them material gain.
“Who am I?”, “Where did I come from before birth?”, “What happens upon death?”, and “What is my relation to the all, to reality?” are the domain of religion. These questions are answerable and are answerable in this lifetime.
The ultimate goal or purpose in life is to find out if there is something truly sacred, something uncontaminated by thought. To discover, for oneself, what actually is; what is living and what it means to die. This is the most fundamental human need and the basis of all religions, to explain the unknown.
“The highest form of spiritual work is the realization of the essence of man.You never learn the answer; you can only become the answer.”-Richard Rose
Fundamental Unity of Religions and Their Basic Message
All truly religious teachings state unequivocally that life, as it is normally lived, is characterized by sorrow, suffering, ignorance, limitation, delusion and illusion. However, they also teach that the recognition of the insanity inherent in the human condition is the arising of sanity and the beginning of the path which leads to the uncovering of ones true nature and the end of sorrow and limitation. They teach of the abiding peace and joy inherent in this human condition if one transcends the limited personality and dedicates themselves to Truth. The heart of our religions teach that union with God/Reality/Being is possible in this lifetime by one willing to devote their life to the necessary purification of consciousness. This state of consciousness is referred to as awakening, liberation, and salvation, among other names. It is The Kingdom of Happiness, transcendence of sorrow, eternal life, unalterable Peace, Bliss, Joy, Freedom, Love, Truth.
The major religions of humanity are different in expression only. As the human being is fundamentally the same, so our experience of the transcendent is everywhere and at all times the same.
All of the major religious traditions agree on two fundamental insights into the human condition and the nature of Reality.
First, they all say that the human experience is one of ignorance of reality, which causes unnecessary sorrow and suffering.
In Christianity this is known as Sin. The word Sin means “to miss the mark”, or in other words, to miss the point, to not understand the purpose of life, to live unintelligently. Thus original Sin is true, in that we all have identified ourselves with a limited body and mind and therefore do not consciously realize our oneness with all that is. To be separated from God, or rather to believe or think that we are is the only original sin.
In Buddhism this is known as Dukkha, which translates as suffering. The Buddha’s teaching was simple. He said that he taught “the nature of suffering and the end of suffering”. Suffering is simply caused by living a life dominated by desire and fear. To live a life of desire and fear is to live in ignorance…….
In Hinduism this dysfunction is know as delusion and illusion. Due a simple mis-identification we have taken the world to be real and the self to be transitory and limited
Second, the enduring religions of humanity all teach that there is a possibility and a path to the ending of this dysfunction.
Religion & Metaphor
Central to understanding the truths contained in Humanity’s religions as well as the ending of the ridiculous debates between theists and atheists is in the proper understanding of the use of mythological symbolism and metaphor in the teachings of religion.
The great tragedy is that the deep truths contained in religions are either believed as facts(“religion” as the world knows it) or dismissed as fiction(atheists and intellectuals); and therefore both groups are totally deaf and blind to the beauty and truth of the stories and teachings which are open to one who reads them as symbolic of deeper truths which cannot be concretely said.
Religious myths, stories, and teachings must be read as poetry, not prose. The domain of religion is that which transcends thought, is beyond the rational mind, surpasses the humans ability to grasp it; therefore it must speak in symbolic language which points beyond itself.
Ex: The Kingdom of Heaven. Heaven is not some place up in the sky where you go when you die, heaven is a state of being. Heaven is here and now, right in the midst of this world which contains pain and suffering.
His disciples said to him, “When will the kingdom come?”
“It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, ‘Look, here!’ or ‘Look, there!’ Rather, the Father’s kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don’t see it.”
-Gospel of Thomas, saying 113
Future of Religion
What place does religion have in the present and future of Humanity? Limited, external religion – being the adulation of an outdated and irrelevant conception of divinity, and the worship of external forms – serves no purpose in the growth and expanding awareness of Man. It is already dead and will only take time to completely fade away.
The future of Man must and will have a religion worthy of the modern man – an inner science which is the equal counterpart of our great innovations and explorations in the external world of science and technology and knowledge. The inner man will no more be neglected and obscured by the outer man of clay.
It is a religion which fully embraces and affirms the newest breakthroughs and understandings of science, yet still penetrates to its heart and shows the fundamental mystery and sacredness behind and at the heart of all matter, which science cannot see or touch.
The future of religion which will be our guide in our journey through the Kosmos is the consummation of the spiritual traditions of the past. The affirmation of these teachings and the adapting them to our modern world. The religion of the future will be a practical, common-sense, and verifiable roadmap for the individuals inward odyssey.