SOS to Spiritual Grownups
By Bill Epler
Sometimes in life you have to remind yourself that it's better to speak from the healthy and positive than rant about the unhealthy and negative.
Institutional religion is arguably the most unhealthy and negative force on planet Earth. Once that original transcendental moment gets gobbled up by the religious professionals and theologians, the institution kills the intuition.
More specifically, when the religious institution (and this certainly includes the 3 great western religions of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), presumes to "intervene" in your life and assumes the role of being an intermediary between you and truth or reality (you know, the ultimate stuff), then its game over.
It may be ok for religion to play that game with children, since they need spiritual support and protection, but for adults, all that institutional baggage is just dead weight.
And that's the good news! Religion for adults is an unnecessary luxury. Forget the theologians and priests and sheiks, etc. Who needs 'em? We have life itself to relate to.
Spirituality is the name of this game, and spirituality is in its essence always one on one. It was one on one for Jesus, Mohamed, and the Hebrew Prophets, just as it was one on one for the Buddha.
It's also one on one for a Zen Master and your grandmother.
Hence, the tragedy of so much of what's now happening on the Earth (e.g., the
Such people relate to religion much as an infant relates to a breast. But they aren't infants, and the abstractions they kill for (in the name of God) aren't breasts.
What would our planet be like if all grown ups related directly to life without the arrogant intermediaries of institutional religion? Wouldn't it be like seeing the full, crystal sky without the blockage of clouds?
Said differently, spirituality should never be confused with religion. Ironically, an atheist is typically the other side of the theist coin. They go together and neither have anything to do with pure spirituality.
So, religion is rejected (or transcended) not because it is so terrible, but because spirituality is so wonderful.
Spirituality is all and it lives in immediacy.
Lastly, and sadly, no one ever kills for "their" spirituality, because no one belongs to or has membership in spirituality.
Many, many humans already know these things, and more, but their numbers are still so minuscule that the planet continues to be destroyed by War in the name of God people -- the "righteous" ones, preaching their monotonous, locus-like certainties.
For spirituality, God is a metaphor for mystery and war is the acting out of fear.
Life without intermediaries is freedom incarnate. Indeed, it is life itself, and there is no path to this place since we are all already there. Religion is not knowing this.
W. Christopher Epler
Here are a few links to some other great reads on the net today.
The Centre Ground is a Barren Wasteland
People of all classes and ages find idealism more satisfying than pragmatism
by Maurice Saatchi
Give Peace Department a Chance
by David Hartsough
We Stand at the Crossroads
by Eileen Fleming