Moving beyond religion

One of the greatest obstacles to the elevation of consciousness is a mindset cemented into the “isms” of fixed belief, ideology, religion, or philosophy. It has been the root cause of much human suffering over the centuries.

With much of traditional religions having succumbed to the practice of empty rituals, the spiritual vacuum is being filled by political preachers and ideologues fanning the flames of fanaticism.

If the shutters to the mind remain closed there is no sunlight that can penetrate the inner room. The mind is captured in the conceptual prison of a one-sided truth. All the others are wrong, belong to the wrong crowd, the wrong tribe, and the wrong race, gender, or religion. There is a disconnect with soul authenticity.

Yet, innately we are spiritual beings living in a human form.

In a famous 1959 BBC interview, Carl Gustav Jung was asked whether he believed in God. The pioneering psychiatrist and psychoanalyst responded: “I don’t need to believe, I know.”

At the time the remark caused some controversy because Jung did not subscribe to a particular religion or doctrine but viewed spirituality as a fundamental aspect of human nature that could be explored through personal experience.

In a similar vein, the great scientist Albert Einstein was skeptical of organized religion and the concept of a personal God, but had great respect nevertheless for the ethical teachings of especially Buddhism and Judaism.

In Ideas and Opinions Einstein stated, “In their struggle for the ethical good, teachers of religion must have the stature to give up the doctrine of a personal God, that is, give up that source of fear and hope which in the past placed such vast power in the hands of priests.”

The human mind is too small to grasp the universe

According to Einstein, the universe is vastly complex and the concept of “God”, as explained by religion, far too simplistic.

“The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe. We are in the position of a little child, entering a huge library whose walls are covered to the ceiling with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written those books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written.

“The child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books, a mysterious order, which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of the human mind, even the greatest and most cultured, toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged, obeying certain laws, but we understand the laws only dimly. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that sways the constellations.”

Einstein was convinced that everything was determined by forces over which we have no control, all of creation from the insect, to the human being and the stars dancing “to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”

Religion has for eons imposed it’s view of God and creation on humanity, most often using it as an instrument of control and manipulation. Those who did not conform to conventional doctrine and dogma were at times and still today in some countries are brutally persecuted.

A unifying force permeating creation

Many of the Mystic teachers tend to avoid using the term “God” because of the many misunderstandings this has caused.

Instead of a judgmental deity, they rather speak of a unifying force that permeates all of creation. Rather than believing in dogma or theology imposed externally by a religion they believe that “God” can be experienced through contemplative practices such as meditation, prayer, and mindfulness practices such as deep encounters with nature, art, and music.

Einstein’s hope was that the “religion” of the future would be “a cosmic religion” liberated from dogma and theology.

“Everything is energy and that is all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality. It can be no other way. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

The parallels between the thinking of physicists such as Einstein and the Mystics of the early Middle Ages is profound.

The 13th-century Mystic Meister Eckart believed that God was beyond all form and creation and that the ultimate goal of the spiritual path was to transcend the limitations of the physical world and attain union with the divine. God was present in all things, and everything in creation was a reflection of the divine, the physical world an expression of the spiritual realm.

To put it simply creation is constantly changing form in an endless cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. Our purpose in life is to grow and evolve into ever higher consciousness.

The spiritual teacher and author Richard Rohr emphasizes the importance of recognizing the divine in all people, regardless of their background or beliefs. He believes that love and compassion are the most important aspects of spirituality and that they should be expressed through service to others and a commitment to social justice.

The Irish, poet, philosopher, and priest John O’Donohue describes the beautiful complexity of growth in consciousness within the human soul:

“It is helpful to visualize the mind as a tower of windows. Sadly, many people remain trapped at the one window, looking out every day at the same scene in the same way. Real growth is experienced when we draw back from that one window, turn, and walk around the inner tower of the soul and see all the different windows that await your gaze. Through these different windows, you can see new vistas of possibility, presence, and creativity. Complacency, habit, and blindness often prevent you from feeling your life.”

Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker

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Filed under meditation, mental health, mental-health, spirituality

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