The Religious Dilemma and What to Do With IT?
Religions means 'To Bind': I believe that it is time to remove the bindings. Instead, we ought to take the next step towards getting to the truth about GOD, for we have gone around the same mountain, of religion, long enough. Why? What we refer to as God is bigger, I believe, than the majority of religious institutions understand. Most religious institutions are stuck in primordial religious mud! In fact it is recorded in some religious texts, that "God is past finding out". Perhaps, that might have been true in the past when the human race was in its formative stages, however, I suspect that it is no longer true anymore.
We are not children anymore!
Today, we have advanced technologies, a better and broader understanding as well as resources at our disposal that our predecessors neither were aware of, and have never been used before to interface with God. Modern-day advancements and technologies, exceed, and have outstripped the limited understanding of our predecessors. Primitive man and woman (many who still live with us today apparently), would likely be unable, for the most part, to grasp what we know. In other words, we ought to be their teachers, and not the other way around.
Have not I said that 'ye are gods"? Now if twain, the two could perhaps meet, (primitive and modern-man) we would likely appear to them to be gods ourselves, because we are by comparison, so far advanced some of us. Imagine, if they were to witness cosmonauts and astronauts climbing into a Space Shuttle, and being launched into into outer space, only to return a week or two later to descend upon the earth. Elijah in a chariot of fire perhaps, comes to mind?
In fact, if one were to take into consideration the whole of human history (religious and non), and all that our ancestors have passed down to us, what they essentially concluded was this: That there is an invisible, all powerful, unseen and unknowable quantity, that is responsible for everything in the known and unknown Universe - if not outside of the known Universe's dark matter and dark energy. Now, even though our predecessors concluded that that there was some invisible, hidden and powerful being or force, that they neither saw nor fully comprehended during their time - they insisted that it existed. To the pantheists, God was everything and in everything, to the deists, God split after creating and bringing all things into being ... And to some of them, all God, simply wanted was a blood sacrifice, to include females and children!
Sadly, today, we have adapted to the way of thinking of our primordial ancestors, and as a result are still teaching our children about a God ..., that is hidden, invisible and unknowable, accept by faith. I believe that we have done ourselves a grave injustice, by continuing to follow these outdated patterns. In other words, starting at the place of primitive religion has hindered, and contributed to most religious groups being stuck in a historical place.
I also believe that we are missing out on a golden opportunity in advancement, and stopping the flow of human development. Consider this? Imagine if you never had to go to the library again, and instead were connected to the source of all knowledge? How would that change your life? What dividends would it have for you, the world and what God IS!
When someone says that a phenomenon is unknowable, what I hear them saying is, that they simply cannot explain the phenomenon! Early humans, medieval, modern and post-modern - mostly all have one thing in common:
1). All of us speak about the mysterious in speculative terms.
2). All of us are still circling the same wagons.
3). All of us still believe that IT is unknowable, or does not want to be fully known by us, at this time
(a conclusion that might be a simple rationalization, to justify our inability to comprehend or connect with IT).
Sadly, in a post-modern context, too many of us are still following simplistic patterns and practices of a less enlightened past,and living our lives according to superstition, flawed epistemology and fear of an unknown quantity, that can apparently be known and understood, if only we tried. In other words, we have not advanced much, 2 to 5000 years later, with respect to getting to know what we refer to as GOD, any better, than our earliest predecessors did. The fact of the matter is that just as they were, we have been taught to fear and to believe that we can "never come to the knowledge of the truth", or to be one with what could turn out to 'our best friend', true knowledge and all that comes with having true and full knowledge!
And that is where I take my point of departure, from my past, modern, religions and historical ancestors and espistemology. I believe that in a post-modern world, we should remove the limitations and the shackles that have been imposed on us, shackles that we have all too often, been willing to wear, bequeathed to us by our predecessors and some contemporary teachers and mystics. Instead of appeasing the memory of our ancestors, we need to close the intellectual/espistemological gap, and distance ourselves from the romanticism of the past.
Our ancestors, believed that the inexplicable unknown quantity of their time, wished to remain anonymous. Their face to face encounters with IT, occurred only in the shadows, or under the cover of clouds, the darkness, and perhaps by a voice of whisper. And given the thousands or more years of human history, no one has ever come into contact with, or had IT over for dinner. Given the appearance of some of our early ancestors, australopithecines
Sacrilege? The fact of the matter is that there are some holes in what has been passed down to us by uneducated, fearful, superstitious and conditioned human beings, and is still being served to us today. And as a result, I and others like me have been, and are on the right track, that is to continue our search for the real IT, while some are still stuck in a caveman's mindset or religious romanticism.
Arguing that IT exists, but never having actualized or come face to face with, lived with, seen or interacted with it, other than by than by faith, belief or death, appears to be a skillful use of rationalization, of the kind to justify one's inability to prove or connect to what is real. Most parents that I know, look forward to the day when their children are reared, those who have children, and they will be able to interface with them, adult to adult, as opposed to from the perspective adult to a child. Who wants their progeny to remain in a retardtive child-like state of being?
I knew a lady years ago, who shared this story, good or bad: She said, "my son has grown up to be my brother. And now, he wants to tell me what I can and cannot do!
My proposition is essentially this: We need to take the baton, thank those who carried it before we arrived, and run the next leg of the race ourselves, having seriously examined and tested what they had to say, or wrote. Our predecessors used primitive knowledge, romantic understanding and primitive methods to arrive at 'their truth'. Both the means and the methods that they employed, prevented them from ever getting past a certain point, that would have likely brought them face-to-face with the actual God phenomenon.
The latter might have disappointed them anyway, if they were to have been successful and located it. They were taught to be afraid of IT, and out of fear or respect, they complied. Sadly, that trait has been passed down to us today, and left many of us with a 'fear of the unknown complex'. Fear drove them, and fear hindered them. And fear is a crippler, and can cause anyone to miss out on something that can be beneficial.
For example, and don't tell anybody this, but when I was in my pre-pubescent period, I was afraid of girls. Yes me, the young kool, suave when I walked and talked, handsome, prepubescent macdaddy Solomon. One of my friends who knew me at the time, met my cousin years later in Los Angeles. Upon discovering that the lady that he was talking to was my cousin. He told her, "I knew your cousin, when he was afraid of girls".
Had I been there, I would have denied it, of course. But the truth is, it took a while for me to get over my fear, even though I was crazy about them, but not bold enough to walk up to them and say, 'what's happening baby'? In the 7th grade, my fear diminished, and I approached a girl the wrong way from behind, and got smacked, er herm!
Perhaps it was natural before - I don't know, and perhaps it is natural for humans to be afraid of what we refer to as God today, but I don't believe that anyone has anything to fear, anymore - we were simply conditioned to believe that the old man in the sky wants to kill us, if we step out of line.
Today, I am proud to say, tch tch, that I am neither afraid of girls, nor God anymore! To be honest, I might be less afraid of God, however. Seriously, I don't believe that IT wants us to be afraid, even if it turns out that what we refer to as God, has the anthropomorphic features that we have been taught to believe that it has (emotions like anger, rage ...).
Having said that, and as I explained before: At some point, we ought to grow up and be able to say, I'm ready to know you, IT, or the truth about whatever IT turns out to be. That IT has not revealed itself, can mean that it is as impersonable as a cloud, the wind or an earthquake can be, but nevertheless either of the 3 remain powerful. And please don't be offended when I use 'IT' to describe, what religious people call God, both are equal in value. And even if IT turns out to be a spirit, according to the rule of language, IT could not be a she, or a he!
In other words, we do not have to 'just believe', in a God of the shroud, darkness or the mysterious ... I suspect that we should be suspect, or afraid of individuals who attempt to encapsulate, or trap us into never crossing over an imposed imaginary line into the other plane. We need to go out on a real date, as go we IN SEARCH OF THE REAL GOD phenomenon (which might not turn out to be, what we were taught to believe before, what it was in the first place)!
We, no longer need to live with a speculative or mostly invisible God by faith. Instead, let's thank our predecessors for bringing us the point where they did, however, we can carry the baton further forward and even faster, however, and at costs, we can neither keep living in yesterday, nor continue to see what is in front of us by using yesterday's tunnel vision!
Jesus was martyred when he attempted to raise the level of awareness of his religious cohorts, the religious leaders of his time, mostly the Jews He, apparently, understood more at the age of 12, than many in the religious establishment of his day, understood over the course of their lifetimes.
I believe that it is imperative for all of us who care, to do what Jesus did, that is to take off the blinders of our time, and to don a new yoke, that of pursuing what is real using all available speed. And to my secularist friends, and you are: Do not look for the God of religion to prove or to disprove it, simply seek after what is real (as many of you are already doing, and let it find you). For truth does not lie, conclusively or exclusively, within the domain of religion, religious paradigms (short stories) or religious dogma - Jesus proved that during the common era!
Prior to the time of his departure, Jesus informed his disciples that 'the spirit of truth', (paracletos; a guide, comforter ... ) would return "to go alongside them", and that it would "guide them into all of the truth"), which was a direct affront to the religious institutions, clerics and teachers in the common era.
And this truth would be in deference to what the religious hierarchy of the day (priests, levites, pharisees, prophets, Sadducee's, rabbis... understood and taught the people)! And even though most religions of our time, even Christianity in some instances, have distanced themselves from most of what was taught in the Tanakh, the Talmud ...., Christianity is still dependent on ancient texts, myth and stories borrowed from other cultures, even they would admit that they never came face to face ... with God!
In the past, too much emphasis was placed upon rudimentary principles, metaphor, myth, superstition... Even though we picked up where they left off, we should be beyond that by now. Instead we ought to be seeking after what is real, no matter what IT turns out to be, in modern baptist, pentecostal, Muslim, philosophical, Mormon, Methodist, catholic circles ... "If my people who are called by my name ..." were to seek the truth as opposed to attempting to turn ancient texts and myth into 'the truth', imagine where we would be today, given the hold that all of these groups have on the minds of modern-day individuals!
In our post-modern world, we find ourselves being challenged by individuals, inside and outside of religion, who forbid anyone from going beyond the limited boundaries of their (religious ... understanding), which is limited at best. For example, the persistent rejection of scientific discovery in some religious circles, is limited at best. Why? They are clearly not at the end of knowledge, all of us are still somewhere in the middle I believe. But having said that, members of the scientific community, and anyone who will listen to them have experienced wrath, vituperation, obfuscation, excoriation, repudiation and rejection ... from limited and obtuse religious zealots (that often possess a political bent), as well as organizations and other individuals who are afraid of having their myths, pre-conceived ideas and errant belief systems examined, debunked and repudiated.
Religious institutions for example, have their own reasons for not wanting things to change, or for anyone to grow beyond what they teach and have taught. Some have an economic need for things to continue as they have been. Others believe that what they are teaching is true, and others have a fear of having what they have been taught is sacred truth, being debunked. Was the late Bishop Usher, a good man I suspect, corrupt given his flawed estimate, with respect to how long man has been on the Earth? Evidence at Olduvai Gorge, carbon dating ..., would seem to say that his computations, that many believed, at the time, were accurate, were in fact inaccurate! He was a good man, I believe, that made an honest mistake, and he is not the only one.
A person who makes an honest mistake is not impeached, the mistake that he or she made, is impeached. Bishop Usher, and of late Reverend Camping's findings, both have and are being impeached!
Sadly, the religious community, (even the one that I am a part of, even though they are not always a part of me the heretic) will not always tolerate the 'spirit of truth (that which leads a person or group to 'hunger and thirst after what is real)', something that even Jesus promised was to come. In other words, truth is not always the number one motivator for a religious institution, or its adherents. Instead, religious people, and religious institutions prefer their own limited understanding(s), dogma and interpretations of ancient texts (looking into a dark looking glass as it were), and screening out all else that does not fit neatly into their speculative paradigms.
In Summary: What is there to be afraid of, I ask?
!). I used to warn members of my congregation to be responsible for, and to take responsibility for their own destinies.
2). I also reminded them to never outsource the responsibility for their own outcomes, successes or failures in life, to another human being, not even me!
3). I finally reminded them, that one day they would meet, 'what we refer to as God for themselves', and therefore to be responsible for the outcome of such a meeting.
It is time to move beyond ancient and even modern-day religious paradigms, myth, and in some instances truth for its time, that is no longer relevant or valid! As Karl Marx once explained and I agree with him wholeheartedly, 'religion can be an 'opiate of the masses'. We see the latter being played out even in a 21st Century context.
I encourage you to remove the religious shackles/bindings from your minds in spite of what you have heard from 'them of old and some from modern times', just as Jesus once taught his disciples to do in the common era. The latter put him at odds with the religious hierarchy, apologists, aristocracy and sycophants of his time, and it will likely cause a similar problem for you.
I would still encourage you, however, to take a walk on the wild side," for if you seek the truth I believe that, it will find you", no matter where you begin your search - just be sincere about it. Jesus once explained that, 'truth will make you free". Free from what? Apparently from pride, error, domination, narrow-mindedness, egotism, confusion, intolerance of ideas or scrutiny, political or religious zealotry, bindings, suppression and oppression.
From hereon, I would suggest that wherever you are today, or might find yourself in the future, seek after what is real, even when it comes to science or anything else that just might even debunk outdated myth or constructs. Instead, pursue what is real. Galilei Galileo, and Copernicus (posthumously) proved that religion, with its best intentions, could be wrong, when on the other hand scientific discovery, logic, reason ... could be right. The two can co-exist and one can compliment and even test the other! The members of my profession will never admit it, but they and I have often make some critical errors!
Using a precise methodology to corroborate what is real, as opposed to merely speculating about what is real or fits into a particular paradigm, is preferable, I believe, particularly when there is so much at stake in the present, and will be in the future. Carrying the baton in a more sensible fashion during our dispensation, is critical, and will have dividends for the individuals (perhaps Kurzweil's Cyborgs who may follow us). And it is critical that their is a method of scrutiny in place not only for the current inhabitants of the earth (even when it negates dispensational truth and theology), but for the ones who are to follow us.
Our successors, I suspect would build upon current epistemology, and sadly, some of us what we would have to offer them, if we keep going the way that we have been (religious v philosophy, science and any other scrutiny) derived from 2 to 5,000 year old stories, won't help them. In fact, I suspect that they will suspense with it, and begin away from where they are, building upon science instead.
It is as if some of us, haven't learned anything during out time on earth, but instead, stood, intellectuality or parabolically, in the same place for the generations that we were on earth.
In fact, I like what Albert Einstein, once said: "science without religion is lame, but religion without science is blind". In other words, the two need each other! Am I making a case for science? In fact I am making a case for seeking after the truth wherever it is posited. Typically truth does not reside in 'a single place'. And with respect to the latter, both disciplines have been mistaken from time to time - but only one discipline will typically admit to it - not religion.
Now keep in mind however, that similar to what Jesus and others experienced during the common era, the ones who challenged the status quo and the accepted constructs of their day or time, you might be put out of the synagogue, the National Academy of Sciences, or some other religious, non-religious or sophist institution of our day - even by a religious teacher who knows that what he or she is teaching, is not the truth, or at least has holes in it. But having said that, "something is amiss in the force Luke", and we need to be loosed from whomever or whatever force it is, that binds or hinders us, keeping in mind that we should always pursue what is real in order to be free and to grow!
Now, wouldn't it be a shame, if one were to discover that Jesus' promise came true long ago, and that the spirit of truth is and has been here for thousands of years, but religion, politics, culture ... has rejected and hindered us from embracing it. I believe that is the case, and that some individuals are being 'left behind', the ones who teach and taught religion!
There is more at stake here than what any cult, religious guru, celebrity preacher, philosophical group, teaches and has concluded all that you and everyone else needs to know! Ask yourself this question, if that were the case, how come all of our religious groups ..., disagree or teach something that differs, from group to group? In other words, they don't agree, but each respective group wants you to believe them. Why? typically, each group believes, typically, that they are the exclusive harbingers of truth. I believe that we should continue to seek the truth, until it finds us whether it is The Singularity, the God Equivalent, Unifying Principle ..., and not an old man in the sky based on the untested and limited beliefs of individuals who preceded us!
It is a fact, that after all of our holy men and women of God, examine the same texts, that the majority of them will come away with a different conclusion, even though each one will claim to be in contact with the only true God. Hmm!!!
Wherever you are, even if you are burned-out on religion, religious people or religious organizations, and I understand that, why not stop where you are, and simply consider pursuing, with an uncluttered mind, what is real; it worked for me. If you are sincere, 'IT' will find you, and get you to where you need to be mentally, spiritually, physically and cognitively! And to the ones who won't like me for writing this, because they believe, just like everyone else that they know what truth is, just remember this: Jesus was hated for the same reasons that some of you might distrust me (debunking misplaced religious ideas and practices). Because if I had not told you the truth, you would not distrust, hate or doubt me!
In closing: This is my opinion, and I believe that it is time to move on, as I have already moved on: Also, beware of individuals who love to study for study's sake, but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, there are a lot of them who like to hang around religious circles, and religious institutions who love religious circumlocution, elocution, theosophying and deciphering religious texts.
They are the ones, that you should really fear, the researchers and worshipers of history; but you don't have to fear me! For having said that, I am simply not afraid of living in the present and pursuing what is real in the present, and neither should you be afraid of girls or what turns out to be real, either in a modern, post-modern or future context. Just remember this, that religion can and often does bind us. I am not suggesting that you throw it away, rather, simply keep it as a tool in the toolbox, as you set out to discover what is real today. After all , that is what Jesus did after all, and he discouraged his audiences from looking back 'to some of them of old times!
It is really too bad, that religion has a monopoly on God; most people have accept that God belongs exclusively within the domain of religion, and as a result have no idea I suspect, on what they are missing! I can only imagine what generations before, and individuals in our present reality, have missed and are missing out on, given the misplacement of God, as a God of, heal my leg, give me money, let me speak in tongues enlarge my territory, and it's all about me and going to heaven, religions ... It would have been better, and will be better, whenever God is freed from religion and therefore myth, the mystical, magic and superstition! Thank God for science too ..., where would we be without it, especially, if we relied solely upon religion?
Rev. C. Solomon, a Post-Modern Ministersealofabraham.blogspot.com