Religion Is Being Demonised
We can see the divisive effect of this on society.
The origin of the word ‘religion’ is ‘to bind’, and you don’t have to be in a religion to be bound: being bound to anything is being religious, so in sentient terms, there’s no escape! 😀
There are powers that encourage this divisiveness to gain control. Religion can be seen as a possible stepping stone to “knowing thy true nature”: knowing the difference between a mistaken self nature and ‘thy true nature’. But we don’t have to be in a religion to do that.
Guess what? It’s religion – the binding – that encourages demonisation by appearing to be exclusive, separate, aloof, cultish and extremist, and it can wrap us up in ‘membership’.
Religion has nothing to do with personal spiritual practice. Religion is an organisation. Spiritual practice is only concerned with one thing, and that is awareness. Awareness that is uncontaminated by self interest. Pure awareness is self-less.
Spiritual practice is therefore clear: it’s clarity of mind, empty of personal gain. This is what religion is supposed to be about – clarity that is compassionate. That isn’t extreme, is it? It’s being ‘ordinary’. But religions are sensitive creatures, and not always compassionate. If we step outside their rules, we are “shunned” and rejected without discussion. That, in itself, shows fear and a lack of love.
If the group mentality takes over and we find ourselves in a ‘religion’, this can be the cause of worry about our spiritual practice and how it fits in with being part of a group.
It’s easy to become confused – and religion doesn’t help. To attend a group or centre/church/temple is useful to find out information; then we make a decision about whether it suits us. Once we get the message, we can then go away and practise, and find fulfilment in life. ‘What it’s all about’ is only found in personal practice. We only need to go back if we feel we need some support or clarification, or we wish to be of support to others (although we can do this outside just as well).
The problem with religion is that we feel we have to join and keep going back: that is the binding aspect. No one says to us, “You can leave now”. We may assume that only advanced practitioners go away and practise in isolation, but any of us can do this and still be a house holder. We just work in the world without getting involved or distracted.
As human beings, we are social creatures, and therefore tend to be attracted to like-minded people. We become a type, and invest a lot of time and effort in maintaining that habitual behaviour, making it difficult to break that bond.
Spiritual practice is all about the unity (or oneness) of pure awareness, which is the two aspects of our being: one is aware and the other is pure. Some may call this ‘union with God”; a Buddhist would say it was the unity of relative and absolute truth.
When we understand this, we are free of everything that binds us – even our own demons.