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Religion and Mankind

Today I am going to take on the most controversial topic I’ve ever written about: religion. (Finally, I know. This draft has actually been sitting on my blog since January. But, fake busy.)

If you’re close-minded, an extremist on either end of the spectrum, here just for slander/to argue, and/or lacking analytical skills absent emotional outbursts, this is your stop. The train will not stop again so please make your way to the exit now. And for those of you still here, leave your stereotypes and witticism at the door.

This is long overdue. (Especially since Mormons came by a few days ago with one mission: to get my non-Mormon friend baptized in their church. Nothing else, which of course proved my point.)

I’ve noticed something recently, now that everyone has an equal platform and therefore renewed, and heightened, sense of entitlement, that I’ve been quite reluctant to address.

Time and time again, I see that the problem most people have with faith and religion is not really with God or any divinely-inspired doctrines. The problem they have is with mankind. (This was me at one point, too.)
Allow me to explain.
I am no religious expert and I haven’t spent my life going through all religious doctrines in existence, though someday I hope to find the time, but from what I have observed, all religions share a common thread/purpose: to make us better people. It’s that unifying imperative and overarching ideal that I feel we should all focus on, recognize and appreciate, as opposed to focusing on what separates.

The Christian Bible, with which I am most familiar, is open to interpretation, as are the other doctrines that people believe in. But they all have the same concept: someone at the head, probably the author, who essentially tells you what is right from wrong so we can all live in harmony with each other and with the Earth. That is, and has always been, the purpose of religion.

And what’s so bad about that?

Can’t we all agree that this world we live in is suffering from a severe lack of humanity, morality, and compassion? Whether you tie them to religion or not, these are naturally-occuring emotions that humans have practised for years to ignore and replace instead with other emotions that they created for each other and tied to religion. (Namely, competition.)

I don’t think any religious doctrine is meant to be taken word for word. And I don’t think the purpose of them is to be used as a crutch for someone who doesn’t actually adhere to or grasp the full concept of the belief system. The division created by mankind’s organised religions is a false assumption of separation that comes through the rejection of the symbiotic relationship of life and the empirical oneness we share.

Christianity alone has 34,000 different sub groups. That is 34,000 groups of people who think the type of rice is more important than the rice itself; 34,000 groups of people who have succumbed to the human ego that tells them they are in competition with each other and the rest of the world about whose God is better; 34,000 groups of people who separate themselves and learn to hate others because of little unimportant varying details.

Yet most of those same Christians treat the bible like a terms and conditions agreement. They just scroll all the way to the bottom and click agree, without really having read anything they just agreed to. Then, they use it in their everyday lives as if they’ve got the whole thing memorised. This is mankind’s doing. Not religion. This is what man has decided to do with religion — hide their lack of willpower to self-actualise behind false claims of a religion they don’t even know if they really believe in.

Religion is not a crutch. And God isn’t limited to a building or a time of year, or a book. God is inside of you, inside of me. God is the wind, the trees, the ocean. And we have disconnected ourselves from all of it to pay attention to things that further separate and incite hatred for each other — things like money, religion and construction. We have built a world that can no longer be sustained by the world that was here for millions of years before us. And we don’t care because we are so busy being blinded by competition and our own narcissistic beliefs.

But the truth is, whatever answers you are looking for to life, your purpose, or whatever strength you are turning to religion to find, is already inside of you. All of the answers come from the universe, the same one that we destroy and ignore every day.

Our disconnect with God and our disconnect with nature are not two separate things occurring simultaneously. God, nature, the universe are all one–as are we. And there is no such thing as independence in nature. Everything in nature is dependent on the other. We cannot coexist concomitantly in the world if we are all trying to be independent of each other in our actions and beliefs. We need to eliminate the divisionary noise that we have all been conditioned to think is true — i.e. I believe pastors should be able to marry, I believe you’re supposed to pray this way, I believe you’re not supposed to eat that, so let’s all divide into groups — and align ourselves with the eternal signal that comes from our empirical oneness.

The minor details that separate the world’s religions, in my opinion, aren’t more important than the big picture. You can’t use people’s separate interpretations of a subjective material as an argument against faith in its entirety. Pay attention to what is in you, and what feels good in your heart. Be proactive in your beliefs. God, the universe, whoever, gave us brains that can analyse for a reason. Nature gave us all our own mind, and hearts that can connect to others’. Nowhere does it say that we have to all interpret something the same way for it to be. No where does it say anything about separating and labeling each other based on individual interpretations.

If you want to go to a Catholic church because you feel good when you leave, then go. If you don’t want to go because you get nothing from it, then don’t. But all of that is up to you and what you want to get from it. All I am asking is that your reason for not going, for example, not be because Catholic priests touch little boys. Teachers touch little children too, but that has never given anyone a reason to boycott school altogether.
What makes church so different? If you can focus on the fact that school is there to help us better ourselves, then why can’t you focus on that for church, too? Are priests not simply teachers, and regular humans, too, whose job is to help people become good members of society?
Stop looking for reasons to feed your ego.

The only separation in spirituality, in my opinion, is those who believe in it and those who don’t. That’s it. If we think of it that way, we’d find that we have so much more time to focus on those core values that bind us all as humans, as one race of people. But we’ve been so conditioned by the world to segregate ourselves based on even the smallest of things, like hair type, or melanin levels, that it would literally take an entire overhaul of our psyche, and society, before we can begin to live in true love and unity.

And please, spare me the science argument. Science and faith should not be put into the same category. Faith is a focus on morality and how to interact with the Earth and each other. Science is just to help us understand the Earth and each other. What we need to do, in my opinion, is master the moral part of God (Faith) so we can then master the engineering part (Science) of living in this world with each other and the rest of the creatures in the animal kingdom.

Still, in the end, I can’t tell you what to think, or who or what to believe in. I can only give you a new perspective that you can either reject, accept, or, at the very least, respect.
My only goal is to help you open up your mind.
And I guess the point I’m trying to make here is that if you don’t believe in religion then that’s your prerogative, and I’m not here to tell you if it’s wrong or right. But if it is that you don’t believe in it, make it be because you don’t believe in it; not because you don’t believe in what human beings have done with it.

Because much like everything else in this world, the purity of faith has long been tainted and destroyed by human beings.

With that said, I will leave you with some other stuff to think about: the first, some tweets from one of my followers on Twitter; the second, a quote from a documentary I watched a few weeks ago called I am; and lastly, a set of guidelines carved anonymously into the Georgia Guidestones. All of which can be adhered to no matter the religion with which you have been taught to align.
Enjoy.
— “In all of our great intellect, we humans seem to be the dumbest creatures on the planet. In all of our belief in a creator, whatever name you know it as, we turn and we destroy that very thing … Nature. God is not some man in the sky waiting to damn you to hell. God is the nature that you have turned your back on in these technological days. God is the trees you cut down every day, the grass you pave over, the lakes you dump toxic waste in. That is God. And If God is nature, then “what is the Devil?” becomes the question. The devil is the human ego that says you don’t have to live within nature. The human ego that will have you think you are somehow more important than nature itself — that is the devil.”

— “There is one fundamental law that all of nature obeys that mankind breaks every day: Nothing in nature takes more than it needs. The red wood tree doesn’t take all the soil’s nutrients, just what it needs to grow. The lion doesn’t kill every gazelle, just one. We have a term for something in the body when it takes more than its share … Cancer.”

—  “Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature. Guide reproduction wisely — improving fitness and diversity. Unite humanity with a living new language. Rule passion, faith, tradition, and all things with tempered reason. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court. Avoid petty laws and useless officials. Balance personal rights with social duties. Prize truth, beauty, love — seeking harmony with the infinite. Be not a cancer on the earth — Leave room for nature — Leave room for nature.”

7 Comments

  • ALWA 12/03/2014

    Where do I start?

    I guess I could start with flattery. I find your writing to be limpid and fairly critical and that is a compliment seeing as we never ever had the chance to discuss anything….yet alone pressing matters on Religion, people’s beliefs and the Humanities.

    Having said that, I promise you that my response or rebuttal to your written piece won’t be long. If I may, I want to point out some simple points you’ve made which I agree with and disagree with in the same breath and with the same weight.

    The first point being your primal observation of all religions, in their entirety….where they were innately designed to help people better themselves.
    “I am no religious expert and I haven’t spent my life going through all religious doctrines in existence, though someday I hope to find the time, but from what I have observed, all religions share a common thread/purpose: to make us better people”

    I find this relatively short-sighted seeing as your writing attempts to claim an objective ground. Religions were not designed/made/ or started to make anyone or two or collective group of people better; it instead was birthed by philosophy; which is to find truth. Truth is neither good, bad, ugly or indifferent…it is merely truth. So once again, I believe if Historians were to dissect the original intent of the first religion; their findings would indicate that it was made on a philosophical platform. This platform interrogates, pulls, pushes, stretches and creates ideas about what truth could be.

    This method of arguing is neither based on science nor faith but instead based on REASONING. Therefore if one were to attempt to focus on the idea that Religion was created for us all to become better, then one would be flawed. This brings me to my closing point where we both agree.

    Mankind has certainly demonized or made religion out to be something it wasn’t meant to be. We (as mankind) have also attached stereotypes, opinions, constructs and ideals on things that never had them to begin with. Philosophers call this existentialism; where men created something from nothing out of bored um. All this to say; while I agree with your outlook on the outcome of Religion and our (Mankind’s) way of perverting a pure entity. HOWEVER, I see where we disagree quite sharply on the premise Religion was made.

    Denominations,sects, cults and other institutions rose from Religion because of disagreement, which in essence is subjective. Religion’s crude intent was to find truth…it was made to accompany philosophy; not to judge it.

    With my point made very briefly, I rest my case.

    • Mei 12/03/2014

      You rest your case lol. Well firstly, thanks for reading it and for your opinion! I always welcome a healthy debate, though online isn’t exactly my favourite forum. While I can agree that people seek out religion to find truth, the point I was making is that the doctrines on which religions are based have a unifying theme. That is what I meant by basis. Further, it could be said that what you’re arguing came next — after the bible for example, is when people started to seek out “truth”. Philosophy, as a science, isn’t older than religion/faith. It came about when man started asking questions publicly, which is a fairly recent phenomenon. Anyway, thanks again for your insight!

    • ALWA 13/03/2014

      I’ll respect your opinion and agree to disagree for the most part. 🙂 Since you prefer not to debate online…I won’t prolong this debate either but it’s good to know that conversations like these are even here. :))

      one love.

  • Anonymous 14/03/2014

    This is a great piece, you can tell time and thought was put into it, you truly give me life, it just amazes me that a young lady like yourself is even real in this day and age, tackling such topics, thinking about the greater good of humanity rather than what Justin Bieber has been up to, what’s gonna happen next on scandal etc.
    I follow you on Instagram and twitter and your post on both social sites are really a breath of fresh air. You really live and breath the mantra ‘Love the Earth’ if only more people would realise that and live it. Instead of tearing each other apart because we speak different languages, eat different, look different we are still one, we all came into this world the same way, don’t we all have a heart that beats and pumps blood through our veins and have to breathe oxygen to survive. It’s really sad how we as a human race can be such a big enemy to ourselves, in this day and age we rather kick each other down, rather than help each other up.
    Religion should be a relationship between you and whoever you believe in, and you should live your life based off what you get from that relationship. No religious group should be walking around condemning people because they do not share the same belief, instead respect a person for their belief, but hey we don’t live in a perfect world. Forgive me if all of this is a bit disjointed but it’s like 4:30am a bit sleepy and typing whatever comes to mind.
    It really is great to see A blog post like this so balanced and well written. I like your positive energy overall, you really seem to be a great person. I really hope that one day I will get to meet you and get to know a little more about you. If I’m lucky that one day shall become a reality. Till then continue the positivity and may you be an inspiration to the rest of our generation… Keep up the good work, much love

    M. A. P 🙂

    • Mei 19/06/2014

      I really am so late and terrible at responding to these. I’m sorry. But don’t for a second think I don’t see them or appreciate that you took the time out to write to me. What you said makes a whole lot of sense and I am glad to have incited those thoughts at 4:30 in the a.m. :). And thank you so much for your kind words. I will try my best!

      xoxo

  • Anonymous 14/03/2014

    Meish,

    I like your tone and structure. In a very rational and unbiased way you organize your thoughts and make understanding your perspective, easy. I mostly agree with the inherent theme; we are all one, interconnected and coexisting with all mankind (nature, Earth, and the cosmos alike), apart of one body united through our humanity and individual imprints of God. In the same vein, I do agree with the above comment that religion was implemented as a doctrine set on truth, that was never at the mercy of our feelings towards them, in fact many religions challenge people to deny their feelings, to turn away from their own desires and thoughts of what is “good” and “right.” This is why many people have contempt for religion as a whole, because it challenges our way of life and calls us to live to a higher standard. Thus people will call themselves “spiritual” and not “religious” without really knowing what either means. Yes, religion has been tainted and used as a crutch but it solidifies spirituality. I, myself would also like to, one day, study the religions of the world but in essence that may be a lifetimes work. It seems as though people are constantly searching to recalibrate the path of religion. I guess you can call this separation. That fact is, the minor details that separate our religions are actually major details but still not greater than our common purpose and duty to all mankind. The trouble with the nonreligious, spiritual movement is that it dances on the lines of mysticism and POA and a lot of new age beliefs… but that’s a whole other topic. I think I’ve wrote a blog post in itself in one comment. Online isn’t my favorite forum for these discussions either. But ultimately, Jew, Christian, Catholic, Buddhist… the common thread here is love and peace with all our fellow beings.

    Thanks for stirring my thoughts and sharing yours.

    • Mei 19/06/2014

      No, thank you. I welcome interaction. And I certainly enjoy reading these comments. I would actually love to hear more about your take on the spiritual movement. It sounds rather intriguing from what you’ve written here. You are clearly a writer, too, as “dances on the lines of mysticism and POA and a lof of new age beliefs” danced right off the page lol. I assume we are friends, or at least speak to each other, since you called me Meish lol, so if ever you want to continue this conversation I wouldn’t be opposed to hearing more about your POV. Thanks again.

      xoxo

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