69 – On Organized Religion …
There is currently no physical evidence whatsoever of the existence of Jesus. The accounts of his life, according to historical records, were written decades after his death, and thus they differ. It is a very well known fact that the human mind, in re-collection, begins to take for certain its own distortion of events.
But the Fact remains that like Buddha or Muhammad, Jesus left an indelible mark on Humanity. Thousands, millions, still follow him. If Jesus truly existed he was a very courageous man. With a message of Love he dared to challenge the tyranny and cruelty of the Roman Empire, knowing full well that this will bring him death by crucifixion.
As History shows, Organized Religion creates gods in our own image but with qualities we can never attain. We are told that Jesus was human enough to feel desire, anger, love, loneliness, doubt, pain; but we are also told that he was god-like enough to be born of a god-impregnated-virgin, and to die and come back to life and ascend to heaven in his resuscitated body. And although the god-like qualities cannot currently be verified … may never be … followers are expected to believe in them without doubt. This is Dogma.
In our current cultures, especially in Western and Islamic cultures, the overriding role of Organized Religion is to perpetuate Dogma by limiting Rational Thinking.
The phenomenon of Organized Religion as a form of Power and Control is a great Human paradox: Organized Religion is a human invention that commands Division and blind Obedience … our god is the true god, no questions permitted … yet it also brings us together to help others and to do good, especially in catastrophic situations. As a form of Power, Organized Religion is a wonderful force when focused on Nurturing, but as a form of Control it is a horrific force that keeps us Hating and Killing each other.
Faith, to believe in something, to know that there is Something or Someone beyond the beauty and brutality of Nature, to know that there is Something or Someone behind the order and complexity of our Universe, to know that there is Something or Someone inside all of us … stirring us to keep on going, to keep on seeking … is a characteristic of our highly evolved intellect. We are highly self-reflective creatures, and so we have the capacity to wonder about what it means to be Human, to Exist, to Love, to possess a Mind that can reflect on itself. But because each one of us grows so uniquely … day by day, moment by moment, experience by experience, manipulating and being manipulated by our environment … our beliefs are very personal and filled with doubt and wonder. And because we are vulnerable, especially in our developing years, it is a horrendous crime to bend Belief to perpetuate Division and Dogma.
Organized Religion rescues millions from desperation and loneliness, but it also incites hate and ignorance. How different our world will be when Religions let go of Dogma and guide people instead to discover their own Faith … how very different!
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