The Purpose of Religion
|What is religion? What is its purpose? How is it different from spirituality?|
After being raised in a very religious household, I put all my inherited beliefs aside in order to learn spirituality directly from my spirit guides. Finally I circled back – I had to know how religion fit into the picture, and what it could add to my spiritual view of the world, humanity and myself.
Religion is deeply engrained within society. The major recognized religions collectively claim most of the world’s population as their members. Although very different from each other in terms of doctrine, they all share certain core beliefs. So what’s the difference between religion and spirituality? And what do spirit guides say about religion?
WHAT IS RELIGION?
A religion is a set of beliefs about one or more superior beings, called God(s), and how we relate to those being(s). Religions are most often categorized as being either monotheistic or polytheistic, depending upon how many gods are recognized. The most populous religions are Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. With that in mind, it is fair to identify what these very different belief systems actually hold in common.
For starters, they all agree that we have a soul which lives on after death. In fact, they see life here as mostly preparation for the afterlife. The rules to attain a happy afterlife are determined by a god who judges our worthiness. These rules are imparted to us by a prophet, and are non-negotiable. The god is considered to be an entity which created us and the Universe in which our world spins. The gods of religion expect worship, devotion and sacrifices. These days, some also accept cash.
From what we know of the ancient religions of Greece, Sumeria, Egypt, and other early kingdoms, many similarities exist to the religions of today. Gods lay down the law, tell us how to live so that we can have a pleasant afterlife, and expect worship and sacrifices in exchange for favors such as bountiful harvests, prosperity, and healthy families.
Well, the path to eternal life certainly seems very important, so these claims of religion deserve a serious evaluation.
THE PURPOSE OF RELIGION
I recently asked my spirit guides about religion, and I was absolutely shocked to hear:
Religion seeks to separate you from God.
That shocked me because I thought the purpose of religion was to reunite us with God – to provide a path for us to atone for “bad” things we do in order to earn a happier afterlife. When they explained it further, not only was I dumbfounded, but I was equally shocked at how obvious this truth is.
How does religion separate us from God?
1 – by identity. Religions portray God as a separate entity from us. That is the first untruth. The very first Universal Law is the Law of Unity:
All comes from One, All integrates into One.
Everything that exists IS God. The spiritual realm is all that truly exists. The physical planes we incarnate into are temporary realities created so that we can have physical experiences. Our bodies are temporal. Souls are immortal. There is never a moment in which we are NOT God. Your little toe is a distinct part of your body, and is even slightly different from your other little toe. Yet at all times it is still part of your body. Souls, and they physical worlds and bodies they temporarily inhabit, at all times are still part of God. So in identifying God as a being that is separate from us, religion has attempted to separate us from God.
2 – by hierarchy. Once religion has portrayed God as a separate being, it elevates God to a judgmental position over us. God has rules and expectations which no human is capable of satisfying. From birth, we are guaranteed to fail in meeting the expectations of God which would have ensured a happy afterlife. Breaking God’s rules even has a special word – “sin”.
Even if a human at some point is capable of satisfying God it wouldn’t matter because religion claims that the entire human race is responsible for our ancestral sin – called “original sin.” From birth, we are beneath God and unworthy of a happy afterlife. We must spend our life earning redemption. This concept introduces additional separation from God. Not only are we portrayed as separate from God, we must also appease God’s requirements or face eternal punishment. For a God to judge us, that God must have authority over us. Yet in the realm of Spirit, there is no hierarchy – because there is no individuality. It is very difficult to create hierarchy within a party-of-one.
The concept of sin requires judgment. Judgment is the act of labeling something as “good” or “bad.” Judgment is an activity of the human mind. The mind is part of the body, which is temporal. A soul can choose, but is incapable of judgment – because judgment is a lower vibration which simply does not exist in the spiritual planes. Judgment dies when the human body dies.
So if a soul is incapable of judgment, then how can God, who is higher vibrational than a soul, judge? Judgment is a human invention, and without judgment – from the perspective of the spiritual realm – there is no such thing as sin. We are simply here for the experience and we are not judged by anyone other than ourselves and our fellow humans.
So the concept of sin takes us a second degree of separation from God – by labeling us as unworthy of God.
THEN WHAT ABOUT THE AFTERLIFE?
My guides once summarized the view of religion from the perspective of the spiritual realm:
The big joke about religion is that immortality must be earned or gifted.
You wonder how to earn immortal life? Congratulations! You already have it! Your body is temporal but your soul already is immortal. How can that be? Simple: the spiritual realm is permanent, and that is where your soul resides. There is no beginning or ending in the spiritual realm, because time does not exist there.
You wonder how to get to Heaven? Simple – look all around you! Welcome to Heaven – you never left it!
THEN WHO IS GOD?
I recently asked my guides that question, and this was their definition of God:
A god is anyone or anything to which you give your power of choice.
When a religion spells out exactly what you should and should not do, and you adhere to that, then religion has become your god. You have given up your birthright of free will to religion – which, as defined above, is a set of beliefs. You are placing these beliefs above your own wishes and desires, and you have limited what you may experience in this lifetime. Those desires are the very reason your soul incarnated. For clarification, desire is from the soul, while an urge is a human impulse.
If your job demands that you do things that violate your own personal ethics, and you comply against your own conscience, then your job has become your god, because you have compromised your power of choice.
If you’re looking for God, I suggest you begin in the mirror. Am I saying that you are God? I am saying that you are part of God. There is no part of you – physically or spiritually – that is not God. Nothing is superior to you, and nothing is beneath you. Your birthright is the ability to create experiences for yourself while here on Earth. When you surrender this birthright to any limiting belief, it becomes your god.
IS RELIGION GOOD OR BAD FOR HUMANITY?
To say that would be a judgment either way. I am saying that religion is not necessary to have a happy afterlife – because there is only one spiritual realm and we are all already there. In the spiritual realm there can be no hell because pain and torment are lower vibrational and do not exist in the higher vibrations at which our souls exist. Pain, torture, regret, and similar hellish experiences only exist in the physical realm, and only bodies – not souls – are subject to them. So given that, the question becomes, what benefit does religion provide?
Religion is certainly a personal choice. On an individual basis we can ask ourselves what benefits religion provides us personally.
Historically, religion has been a conduit for codes of moral conduct. Religion arose from deeply seated fear and superstition during an age when the world felt lawless and uncivilized. Curiously, however, religion has not always adhered to its own moral conduct. The Inquisition, the Crusades, and the Old Testament are a few of the many examples of mass murder condoned by religion, for the sole sake of protecting religion by punishing those of another religion or no religion. These acts of murder are supposedly authorized by God. So while religion is seen as promoting law and morality, it also exempts itself from those same laws when convenient. In particular, religion has a long history of being divisive.
On a psychological level, religion has been a source of comfort. Humanity has a propensity for fear and insecurity. The concept of a God who is fatherly – strict and judgmental, yet loving and always there to rescue us when we think it’s needed – is naturally comforting and easy to relate to. As we learn of our own power to improve our lives through conscious creation, and as we learn how the Universe works, we can release these fears and insecurities. We can feel safe and secure without believing that we are relying upon an unseen all-powerful entity that demands our obedience. As humanity embraces its potentials through conscious creation, belief systems that have been emotional crutches will become irrelevant and will fade away. When we fully realize that God is not separate from us, and that God is not a judgmental entity that puts restrictions on our life experience, then religion will no longer make sense.
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