#Religion – do we need it? (#spirituality #knowledge)

doweneedreligionThe news and other mainstream media seems to be dominated by reports of conflict around the world related to some religion or another.

So many times we see religion used as an excuse for abominable atrocities against our fellow humans. Of course, those who use religion to justify their disgusting acts are not necessarily representative of everyone who follows the religion. However, there are a significant number of ‘believers’ who succumb to the propaganda and manipulation of these so-called ‘leaders’ to cause serious concerns for the rest of humanity.

But do we really need religion at all?

The three major religions in the world (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam) are all basically the same, and are derived from the same theoretical teachings of Abraham. Yet there is constant conflict where one or other of these religions are the aggressors against the other(s) and their followers and cultures.

Some claim that without religion there would be no social or moral structure. This is nonsense.

Our closest biological relatives, the Bonobo, manage perfectly well without (as far as we know) religion. The Bonobo society is peaceful and empathic.

‘Lost’ tribes such as the Zo’é have lived at least as long as other humans in the developed world, yet live in peace with (and value) each other. Again, they have developed a social and moral structure that the rest of the world should envy. They are spiritual people who recognise their connection to everything around them and live their lives as part of their environment.

People among us who have no belief in religion are as ‘moral’ and engage in society as much as any other ‘sector’ within our world. They are no more or less prone to behave in a way which is contradictory to the rest of society as any other group of people – ‘believers’ included.

Another aspect of religion that is often used for justifying its existence is that without religion humanity would have no purpose and become lost.

Again, this is total nonsense. The theory that without religion a person has no reason to exist or comply with society is a manipulative control mechanism born from a ‘hellfire and brimstone’ style of religious delivery – which still exists today.

Human beings are not born with the purpose of engaging in conflict and violence with or against others. Our natural instinct is to live peacefully together in mutual cooperation. It is society (in most cases, although there are exceptions) which creates environments where a person may develop dysfunctional behaviour.

For example, the pressure placed on the individual through real or perceived expectations that they should ‘aspire’ to becoming financially wealthy and contribute financially to society is in conflict with the core values most normally functioning human beings experience. This conflict can transpire as guilt if the person feels they are failing to attain these false aspirations, or confusion when a person realises that these false aspirations are damaging to other members of humanity. This is one of many false aspirations placed on individuals, and most are manipulative and designed to be of benefit to a small sector of society.

Leaving aside the biological, dysfunctional behaviour is the result of frustration, guilt, confusion, and abandonment. A person is unable to reconcile the core feelings they have with the realities of their environment and the society they live in.

The mainstream religions mentioned previously are significant contributors to these false aspirations and are purposely designed to control large numbers of people. Some people will comply and believe these false aspirations are how they (and everyone else) should live their lives, and will place pressure on those they see as dissenters and non-believers.

Within every one of us there is purpose to our existence.

Our basic biological functioning gives us reason to exist and a purpose to continue our lives. Continuation of our species is one of the most basic natural driving forces, with each of us playing a role – whether that is to produce offspring or to maintain an environment where members of our species live safe and healthy lives.

Biological functioning is only part of why any human being, regardless of ‘belief’, continues to exist in this world.

Within each of us there is knowledge that we are part of something much bigger than the small space we occupy on this planet. It is irrefutable and all pervasive – but can be elusive at times.

For some people, part of these feelings may be interpreted in concrete logical terms, in that we are generally social animals and need to belong to groups containing other humans – a matter of instinct and survival. For others, it may be a much deeper feeling and have much deeper meaning, such as being part of the universal energy which exists all around us – or being part of some esoteric creation.

An interesting point is that atheism is not a belief system or religion. Because someone considers themselves to be atheist does not necessarily mean they do not believe in other forces or energies relating to the spiritual. It merely means that someone does not consider the religious explanations of a god or gods to be evidence of a god or gods (or other supernatural beings) existence. For example, some Buddhist sects are atheist in nature.  So atheists may hold some form of belief system or none at all – it depends on the individual.

Whether we have a belief system or not we are all aware that we exist, and will continue exist (at least until the body’s demise) for an inner reason that we may or may not be consciously aware of.

Religion provides a convenient answer to many questions about the nature of life and existence.

Instead of embarking on their own path of seeking and discovery, many humans willingly accept the most convenient answers from those who have manipulated themselves into positions of perceived influence and authority. Others will form opinions and perceptions based on little or flawed information, even though this information may not be in congruence with their inner most feelings and knowledge.

This is hardly surprising when most humans are kept busy for most of their lives and are bombarded with information from varied and sometimes conflicting sources. Taking time out to really consider the questions and analyse vast amounts of information can be difficult in the modern world.

The basis for all mainstream Abrahamic religions are (what they claim to be) ancient texts, being the Bible, Koran, and Torah (Pentateuch) which are claimed to contain the direct word of a ‘God’ as spoken to Abraham. Over time, the majority of these texts have been translated and edited to suit the needs of various regimes throughout history – including churches, governments, and royalty.

Abraham is claimed to have existed around 2000BC and his story is first written about in the Pentateuch (Torah) around the period 520-320BC (the Persian period), which scholars believe was as a result of land ownership disputes by Jewish landowners – claiming they had rights to the land through their lineage to ‘Abraham’. From this we have the book of Genesis – authors unknown.

In the context of the time, claiming rights to land through a direct link to ‘God’ would have been a very convenient bargaining tool with others who were superstitious and feared the wrath of the ‘gods’.

It has since been established that many of the Abrahamic religious texts are inaccurate in their historical references as new archaeological and historical evidence has been discovered.

To all intents and purposes the religious texts on which Abrahamic religions are based are nothing more than man-made stories written in the context of knowledge and the needs of that society (or those in control of it) at that time. In effect, it was the propaganda/spin-doctoring of the time which aimed to manipulate and control vast numbers of people.

In times past the general population did not have access to science, education, or information which would help them come to their own conclusions about life. Most of the time they were living in fear of repercussions if they went against the majority view in society, or acted against the interests of those in power.

Effectively, religion was used as a way to enslave the population and subdue any alternative view of life which may expand and threaten those in power. Dissenters were branded as heretics and witches – practitioners of sorcery that was an affront to ‘God’. The result was (and still is to some extent) that people became afraid to access their inner selves and find their own meaning. Instead they accepted what was spoon-fed them by those in power.

We see this in our modern society.

Despite progress which has been made in understanding the world around us (although still fairly primitive) people are still convinced that religion provides the answers to the meaning of our existence.

A collection of stories written around two to four thousand years ago by people with little understanding of the world still maintains a controlling influence over billions of people. It is estimated that around 70% of the world’s population identify with one of the major Abrahamic religions or their derivatives.

Quite astonishing, but also understandable when we consider that the world’s population has been subjected to constant religious bombardment for centuries.

The infiltration of these religions into our society has been so relentless that many people have no idea whatsoever why they have belief in them. If questioned, they may provide some reasoning based on their perceptions, but none will be based on first-hand knowledge that can be attributed their particular ‘brand’ of religion – nor any particular belief system.

Perhaps the majority of people with belief in these religions would cite ‘teaching’ or inherited beliefs as their prime reasons – which could be from relatives (who have been subjected to the same bombardment of religious information), peers, schools, churches or temples, and so on.

The hard fact is that there is no real evidence at all which supports the overall claims of these religions. If anything, they have been disproven time and time again yet people still believe in them through their selective analysis of our world.

If people continue to blindly believe in the easy answers these religions give them for their questions about life, they are distracted from the reality that is around them, and which has been part of every human being since our species has been on this planet.

People also become complacent, and stop looking for real answers and knowledge, instead readily accepting various stories which do not necessarily represent truth.

Even though we exist in the reality of the world and the earthly and universal energies that surround us, often we take them for granted, using a combination of ‘science’ and ‘religious belief’ to dismiss their real meaning or to look further into how we are directly connected to them.

Even though we can not see the wind and can not see the heat or cold, we know they exist because we can feel them. We see the effects of these energies all around us, whether that be the clouds moving in the sky or the grass and trees turning colour throughout the seasons.

In our modern world we can not see radio signals yet we know they exist because we can connect to the internet, watch television, or listen to the radio. We can communicate vast distances – even into outer space. We can not see electricity, but we know it exists, and we know how dangerous it can be to us mere mortals if we fail to treat it with respect.

Energy is everything and everything is energy, working in a fine symbiotic relationship.

Even though modern science is still fairly primitive, we know that everything in our world vibrates – if it didn’t then it would have no energy and therefore could not exist.

So far scientists have developed instruments to measure a tiny, tiny part of the frequency spectrum that is part of our world, and the visible range is an even tinier part of that.

As an analogy, if a standard piano keyboard were used as a measure, modern science is able to measure one octave (8 notes), yet it would take thousands of keyboards stretching from the earth to the moon to represent the estimated range of frequencies which exist.

Scientists are discovering that they are unable to measure much of the energy within the universe, and many of the ‘laws’ which govern science just result in garbage data.

Fortunately, there are maverick scientists who do not conform to the institutional dogma which plagues scientific development and knowledge. In fact, if it were not for maverick scientists we would probably still be in the dark ages in many ways.

An area which may be of interest to anyone who is interested in spiritual matters is that of quantum consciousness.  The research of Professor Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose have advanced understanding of consciousness immensely and had withstood the test of time, with much of the criticism coming from the established dogmatic scientific community (with their criticisms being proved wrong as time passed and research developed).

In a nutshell, the theory proposes that our consciousness (spirit, soul, thoughts, etc.) exists in particles within microtubules in the brain. Despite attempts to disrupt them, they always stay or return to their original pattern, and continue to exist (in more than one place in the universe) when the body’s system stops supporting other bodily function. Therefore, they will continue to exist when our biological bodies morph into other energies.

And this is another interesting fact – our bodies do not ‘die’ (as in ‘cease to exist’) because that would be impossible. Our bodies continue to exist as they change into other forms which provide life and substance to other things in the universe. Whether buried or cremated, our bodies morph from one energy source to another energy source which other things use in order for them to exist. Whether that is the biological changes that provide energy for animals and plants, or carbon which is the building block of everything living on our planet.

Many events and phenomena people have experienced are often attributed to the supernatural, whether that be religion or other belief systems.

In one way these events and experiences are supernatural in that they are not explained by our current understanding of the universe. In another way, they are not supernatural at all because they are perfectly natural and within the fabric of the universe. – it’s just that we don’t know how or why they are part of it yet.

In perspective, it wasn’t that long ago that scientists and mystics considered the sky to be the ceiling of the planet because it was the only way they could understand its existence within their limited knowledge.

Similarly, theories of today’s science will become expanded on or disproven as time passes.

There are many unexplained things in this world, and those who try to give explanations are often basing their theories on dubious information or within the framework of their own particular flawed views. Some of these are close to the truth, while some are outright wrong.

Mainstream religion is more often wrong and (as with any cult) is nothing more than a control tool used by manipulators and psychopaths for their self-interest.

More pain and suffering has been bestowed on humanity in the name of religion than any other influence in our existence.

The information provided by religious leaders has been based on the needs of the controlling power, whether that is a church, or some self-appointed leader claiming ‘divine’ rights and is nonsense.

We are in an age where vast numbers of people have become disillusioned with the disparity between the preaching’s of religion and the reality of their existence and the actions of so-called ‘leaders’. Religion does not provide answers, it only provides confusion and conflict.

As we are seeing in the Muslim world, it is the manipulated, the vulnerable, the psychopathic, and the lost who choose to embark on violence which is against every concept of humanity and inner most truth.

They justify their actions in the name of their ‘God’, but all they are doing is believing those whose only interest is in control and domination. There is nothing ‘religious’ about their actions whatsoever.

It is within each of us (with the exception of the clinically psychopathic and narcissistic) to find true meaning. There is no mystery other than our lack of knowledge. And whether we consider the world around us factual, spiritual, or a combination of both, the truth stares us in the face every day of our lives.

In time there will be increased understanding of the nature of our existence and the undeniable connection we have to each other and everything around us. But for now, we must embrace the unseen and the ‘supernatural’ as part of the rich experience of being human beings and our spirituality.

There is nothing to fear, there is nothing to feel guilty about. The ‘rights and wrongs’ of being a human being are already known to you.

Don’t be afraid of rejecting the manipulative chains which bind you. Don’t be afraid to explore yourself and the world. Most of all, don’t be afraid of rejecting the dogmatic belief systems which have plagued humanity for thousands of years.

We are entering an era of discovery – more so than any other time in our recent history. There is a path for each of us, and the direction of that path, how far along it we go, and what we discover along the way is our choice.  

 

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  “Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.”– George Bernard Shaw

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