Organized Religion vs. Spirituality

religious-icon-25196264Buddha

I am a firm believer in spirituality as a way of life, as a belief system to sustain ourselves as we make our way through life before we inevitably shuffle off this mortal coil, as opposed to organized religions of any type…I was raised as an Irish Catholic, but am no longer a practicing member of that religion…. Although I understand people who embrace organized religion, I am just not one of them…

My reasoning is because I find that all the organized religions, from the Hebrew through the various Christian sects to the Eastern religions, the Muslims, through Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism all have their particular ax to grind as far as doctrine goes……

They all think that theirs is the only true religion, and they are all mutually exclusive in some ways, thinking that they are the only ones who possess the ultimate truth…As usual, to mix a metaphor, “the devil is in the details.”…

I’m also classify myself as a spiritualist because I personally don’t believe there IS any ultimate truth, and that by practicing spirituality on a daily basis I can pick and choose through the various belief systems of the multitude of religions extant today to find certain parts that I agree with and embrace these parts, while having the freedom to discard any other parts of their dogma that i disagree with….

All of these established, formalized organized religions started out as well meaning and philosophically sound belief systems, but over the centuries it is my personal observation and belief that they have all been corrupted by their modern day interpreters and adherents…

I am not going to get into any specifics here, because I was always taught to never argue politics or religion because you can never win your argument, both sides just tune out the other and try to get you to accept their particular point of view, you just can’t win so why argue about it?

No, I am talking in broad generalities here, not trying to pick apart the basic religious tenets of any particular religion…The point is, they all have their own mutually exclusive way of looking at things, with good points and bad….I am not a judge nor a missionary man, these are just my own personal opinions…

To me, being a spiritual person is to believe in life after death, to believe in the moral ethics of doing the right thing, to believe in karma, the concept that anything good or bad you do will rebound to your credit or detriment, as the case may be…Obviously, i have picked and chosen through various religions to arrive at this viewpoint, but spirituality gives me the freedom to do so, without being bound to other parts of a particular organized religion I do not agree with…

A wise man once said “In a 100 years, we will all be dead,” and this is a profound and meaningful home truth to me…Whenever I am feeling down, this concept puts things in perspective for me, because nothing is really that bad that time will not eventually heal it….

Maybe not completely, certainly, but it will be a lesson learned and a fact that, like it or not, bad things always happen…When I am feeling good, on top of the world good over some successful victory in the business or financial or social world, it is a sober reminder that all good things must end, and a reminder not to wallow in some petty triumph of the moment like so many people do…..

According to my Google sources, as William Shakespeare once so famously said in his play Julius Caesar, “The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.” This is unfortunately usually, but not always true…It is just that evil has more of a tendency to linger…It is only through fighting evil on a daily basis that we can conquer it….Fear and ignorance are the main components of evil, but in the end they too do not matter…

I believe in spirituality as a way of life, as a means to determine the natural culmination of the eternal battle between good and evil, as most organized religions do, but my belief system is uniquely personal and relevant only to me…I believe that if I do the right thing all the time, or as often as I can, that I will improve not only my own personal life but the lives of others around me, and that if everybody truly did the right thing, eventually good WILL triumph over evil…..

Of course, I fully expect to be rewarded in the after life, and the actual existence of the after life is so prevalent a concept in all religions and all societies all over the world, through all recorded time, that to me this is proof enough that it must exist….So many people can not have independently thought up the concept of the afterlife, isolated by time and space as they were, and it truly is an undisputed universally held concept….

The mere fact that such widely geographically scattered and temporally isolated societies all believe in some form of the afterlife without it being some bone deep, DNA encoded part of our brains is enough proof to me that it MUST exist, as some form of some universally shared human, unconscious basic knowledge…Any other way of looking at this phenomenon is to me incomprehensible….

If every single one of these people, societies and religions are wrong, from the dawn of time, including me in the here and now, if we only get one life and that is it, well so be it…I can shrug that off philosophically as just “oh well” because then it won’t matter in the end….It’s actually a win-win situation!

But I DO passionately believe in the existence of some form of an afterlife, of some next step, of some evolutionary leap forward, of either reincarnation on this earth as determined by how we lived our last lives, or as the joining together in some cosmic concept of a super aware group consciousness in the here after….

I don’t know exactly why I believe this, but it is firmly ingrained in me, and it gives me hope and sustenance on a daily basis, that life is worth living, and that good will eventually triumph over evil…

I fervently hope this will all work out for all of us, but I myself have actually already accepted this fact, internalized it as an integral part of my belief system…I also firmly believe that we all live on anyway, at least for a while on a different level, because we are all immortal in the hearts and memories of our friends, our families, and all of our loved ones as long as they live….

This thought gives me comfort, too because, after all, in a 100 years, we will all be dead….Nothing last forever but the human spirit…

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