Many religions posit a Mr. God who is out there, apart from a man's inner self. They rigidly adhere to ancient interpretations of still more ancient words, and have forgotten that real, experiential truth can only be found within.

We are born with a strong drive to evolve ourselves, to find and become the beautiful and good, and to know Reality. I call this drive the innate spiritual quest, and consider it the driving force behind all consciousness (read all existence). Some men have always looked within and found this ultimate truth, which has been called Enlightenment, Self-Realization, and God-Realization.

Modern religions, especially those which came from the Middle East, have forgotten or distorted this goal to such an extent that they paint their Mr. God as an idiot (I'll explain below), and have grossly distorted the meaning of the word faith.

First, let me explain what I mean by some religions portraying God as an idiot. These religions take their concept of God, anthromophize him, and then attribute traits to him which would only be found in a foolish, petty, and unwise human.

Obviously, there exists no vengeful (in need of psycho-therapy) Mr. God who punishes people for not following an unheavenly host of petty, foolish RULES. You can certainly bet your soul that there is no God who prefers some kinds of meat to others, who has limited sexual preferences, who wants people to slaughter some of his creatures as a gift to him, who cares what a man has been hypnotized into believing, or who feels a special kinship with any particular official religion. There is obviously no God who lets you into Heaven eternally if you would simply believe some package deal of ideas developed by political church leaders in about 300 A.D.

God (he, she, it, us, raw awareness?), if such an entity must be hypothesized, would have to fully encompass wisdom or the source of wisdom, as well as infinite compassion. Wisdom is totally at odds with true believerism, literal interpretations of ancient writings, or being an unquestioning follower. Most of the sages whose experiences led to modern religions, would never have connected with most modern religious souls, especially with fundamentalists.

Think about what I'm saying about this portrayal of God as an idiot. You are connected with all that exists. You have the intuition to discern the profound from the foolish. Your intuition may seem limited, if you've rarely attended to it, but it's really all you've got. In a way, it's your link to what religions call God. You have all the power of the universe to discern the wisdom or folly of any teaching or edict. Look, do you need outside guidance to judge whether some action on your part is right or wrong? Would you, in your highest state of compassion and wisdom, try to Stalinistically micro-manage the behavior of others, or punish them because their understanding differed or was less than yours? Certainly not!

Well, there can certainly be no Mr. God who would do so either!

It should be obvious too any serious seeker that a teacher who does not ask you to question and test EVERYTHING he says or does, should be teaching no one.

The founders (original priests) of religions may have been imitators of self-realized sages.

Look at these things called religions. For example, the bizarre hodgepodge that constitutes Christianity is a largely political overlay onto a modified Osiris cult that latched onto Jesus as its new Osiris. Christianity quickly devolved to totally lose the real meat of what any spiritual quest is about. The real meat of any spiritual quest is, of course, to experientially realize ones unity with the source of ALL THAT EXISTS (this is sometimes called Enlightenment). Over time however, people forgot that eternity means TIMELESSNESS (no time), not infinite time. They forgot that 'Heaven' or 'Paradise' was present and fully experiencable in the here-now. Whereas it is possible that some of the individuals that the presently termed 'mono-theistic' religions sanctify did manifest real spiritual accomplishment, all three of these systems offer little towards real enlightenment.

(These three religions have had occasional hidden subsects that did pursue the real meat of spirituality, possibly the Essenses in Judaism. the Sufis in Islam, and certain Alchemists in Christianity. But these groups were only incidentally part of any religion.)

Some have even hypothesized that these three modern religions lost real meaning because they developed in largely intolerant desert cultures, whereas the Indus/Buddhist/Taoist systems of thought, whose cultures retained more Socratic open-mindedness (at least as regards philosophy), kept the meat alive. An individual can experience and pursue the innate QUEST for meaningful truth without brainwashing himself with some package deal.

The more I study ancient Indian religion (Vedic writings), the more I'm impressed with how sane, encompassing, practical, and wise this philosophy was. Most modern religions posses only a degenerated subset of this knowledge. Things that modern religions hold as uniquely theirs, were included and wrapped into a much more thorough model by these ancients. If you don't look beyond your own place and time in history, you risk becoming a hypnotized sheep.

I'll be a little more specific. This Vedic philosophy (knowledge) held that everything is awareness (God). It held that most men are so lost in their thoughts (Plato's cave) that they do not experience their oneness with this all-encompassing awareness. It held that experiential (not intellectual) union (yoga) with this all-encompassing awareness was achievable by man ("I and my father are one"). It held that such experiential union was achievable by numerous means (the company of sages, disciplines, devotion, extreme wisdom) suited to different human types. It held that such union was a sort of entry into our real state, a blissful and timeless (eternal) state. This was achievable, practical philosophy. What could be more practical than achieving bliss and losing fear of death?

An EXCELLENT way to judge any religion is to examine the extent to which it lays claim to exclusivity. That is, does it consider itself to be the one and only path. To the extent that it does, it's probably full of 

P.S. Number 2
I've always considered it to be weird that most humans follow the religion of their parents! How could so many people have such a limited world view that they all imagine that they were lucky enough to have been born into the correct lineage? This tragedy of failed self-seeking, combined with that other tragedy whereby some lost souls become true believers, really indicate the hypnotizability of the human species in modern cultures.

P.S. Number 3
I have more to say about the second tragedy mentioned above, that of lost souls becoming true believers. We probably all know people who've gone down this path. Many of them led anxious, empty lives before their conversions. But they were more fully HUMAN (and even godlike), anxious though they may have been, before they bought into a package deal. While buying into these package deals may have given them their first taste of some sort of good religious experience, they turned off other parts of themselves, including that most important key to wisdom, the OPEN-MINDED SEARCH FOR TRUTH. They imagined that all current doctrines of their particular new found religion must be correct. They forgot that GOD HERSELF would value open-mindedness much more than hypnotizability, and might consider them fools who largely wasted their human potential!

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