Before organized religion, there was life as usual. There were disagreements, small battles were fought amongst tribes and within the tribes. Groups joined with other groups for protection from their environment and perceived or known enemies.
Man, intuitively was aware of his connection with his environment. There was a certain amount of respect for the land and the life on it. Man looked to the sky and felt humbled, and had reverence for something that was bigger than himself, that he could not explain. Although, he may not have been able to explain what he feared or felt, for some reason he bowed his head to a higher power.
Life was much like it is today, accept that man was freer to explore his thoughts about who he was in relationship to his environment. There was no appointed authority established to explain what he saw around him. He simple was, with nature. This inner feeling of reverence he had for himself, others and his surroundings was what is now known as spirituality. Mans relationship to man and his environment. Man has always had a sense of his spirit and his place on the planet.
Religion came along, and the church changed all that. Religion is manís feeble attempt to explain spirituality, the church did not invent it. Somewhere along the way it all got messed up.
Religion took away manís freedom to re-create himself spiritually, by laying down dogma and ritual and forming a belief system that fit into his understanding of his environment. Man invented "God." Before religion there was no "God," in the minds of men. The new religion and a "God," gave man some security, while taking away his freedom to see himself as he really was. Religion brought organization, and institution and an agenda. Groups of different beliefs were brought together in communion. Organized religion brought with it, greater fear, redemption, condemnation, retribution and alienation, and worst of all separation from that which created him, by introducing the "middle man." As man became more organized through religion, he divided himself in to cliques or privileged groups.
Differences of opinion on a mass scale, turned into holy wars. Religion, solely was responsible for more wars in the worlds history than for any other reason, and still is today, even as we declare how enlightened we are.
Religion is not spirituality, it is manís attempt to explain spirituality. It is observable, what religion has done for us. You need not take my word. You can read about it in the paper any day of the week. It has not served us well. If fact it has down right, failed us miserably. It is not working for us any more today, than it did thousands of years ago. It certainly has not brought us peace on earth. It has divided man from man, man from women, man from his environment and man from God.
Why has that happened? Spiritually, man is only responsible to himself. Manís only concern is for himself and his immediate needs. This love of self extends to others and his environment when he sees that it is in his own best interest. Without self love, man nor women has nothing to give to anyone else.
When man started to organize and explain spirituality through religion , he lost his sense of himself. His interests turned toward protecting his position in the hierarchy of the institutions he created. To protect his beliefs/religions was to protect his interests. Turning over some of his power was a small price to pay for a little security and absolution of his sins, and a guaranty to return to heaven. Man successfully boxed his beliefs/religions and sold it on the world market.
I do not see any overall advantage to religion. What I see, is observable to all. It simple hasnít worked. What I see of some of the "good" deeds of the church, is their attempts to correct some of the damage they have done in the first place. We have become so indoctrinated into the church that we have lost our souls in it. We have made is virtually impossible to separate from it, because of the fear and severe punishments that we created, should we try. What the church set out to do, was to find lost souls and redeem them. Instead it produced a whole world of lost souls. The most pitiful thing, is that we have told the lie long enough that we now believe it.
We have bound ourselves with paper chains, and believe that we can not break free. These paper chains are stronger than mans free will, to set himself free. We are willing to fight to the death, anyone who would break the chains for us. Fear is the weld that holds the chains together. The evidence is irrefutable, but there is none so blind as he who will not see. We know itís not working, but we have been overcome by the "ya-but" disease. We are convinced that we must live this way, and accept our conditions in humbleness. This is not spirituality, this is not how it was meant to be. Spirituality is bold, it is life, it moves ahead, it does not bow its head. Spirit is free, man was born free, once the truth of who we are, sees the light of day, the paper chains are easily broken. The power is within the individual, not in his religion or the chains.
God being all there is, requires not title, no name. the term was given to him by man. Whether its "Jehovah," "God," "creator," "nature," or "all there is," is of no relevance accept in manís experience. Spirituality is simply a knowingness that exists in the psyche of man, of his connection to the source. It doesnít have to be explained or understood. It can not be denied. Life recognizes life, that is the only connection, we do not have to explain it. Life always recognizes itís own right to exist and the rights of others. Itís inborn and part of our creaturehood. Itís manís attempt to explain spirituality that gets in his way of experiencing it fully. He trips over his own thoughts about it. He builds institutions to point his finger at when it doesnít work, in order to take the responsibility for the mess his life is in, away from himself.
Man recognized the awesome power he had over his own life and the environment, before religion was born, and turned away from it. Religion was the perfect scapegoat. He bought into the illusion en mass. Man will never re-connect with his spirituality until he takes responsibility and accepts the power that goes along with it. Before religion, man shared the power with his creator. Now he feels he must own all of it, in order to control it. It scares him, it is unnatural to him. Man has become more involved in ownership and less in sharing. Man can not ever free himself until he recognizes the chains that bind him. It is his own creation, it is religion. Spirituality was here long before religion. It is the truth about who we are. It is all about us.
Roy is a resident of British Columbia, Canada. An international published author, a student of NLP, spiritual philosopher, New Age Light Worker, Teacher and Phenomenologist. Roy's books and articles are thought provoking, and designed to empower your imagination.Review Roy's new book at: http://www.yourlifewasnevermeanttobeastruggle.com