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The online version of this article can be found at
http://www.sgmt.at/WhatRelE.htm . It contains links
to various definitions and related articles.
WHAT TO ASK OF A RELIGION
Copyright (c) 2004 by Heidrun Beer - all rights reserved
Although there is a growing percentage of people who don't
feel a need for religion - they do have ethics and they do
have spirituality, but they can live without any rituals -,
there is a whole bunch of obvious answers to the question
"My mother talked me into it with her lovely tales of sweet
Jesus" - that answer is good for many generations. Believing
in sweet Jesus equals being in a cozy union with Mummy,
in the childhood environment where everything feels so soft
and smells so nice. How could one be wrong if the other is
so pleasant and they always come in a package? (By the way,
there would be nothing wrong with Jesus if the Christian
churches were still teaching his genuine message - see the
work of Laurence Gardner.)
Religious concepts like hell or heaven built into early
childhood education are strongly imprinted on a child and it
would not be wise to fight them at a later point in life.
They might fall apart if challenged by logical thinking,
but basically mental training can succeed without
"I was kept in it by the power of group agreement and the
fear of losing my peers" - another good answer. Nobody wants
to be out there in the jungle of life without a powerful group
of peers to back him up. And unless the whole group of peers
decides to start questioning the religion in which they have
been brought up, the chances are small that anything will change.
Asking the question "Is tradition correct" or even "What would
be a better alternative?" is a very dangerous thing to do for
anybody in a group. He even might get something better than
the group's tradition, but at the same time he would lose his
group. A very hard choice to make.
"My mother sent me to Quran school so I would get to eat at
least once a day, and there my religion was beaten into me
with brutal force" - not a good answer but very convincing
when there is nowhere to escape to! And the less materials
I get to read that would provoke me to do some independent
thinking, the more liable am I to satiate my hunger for
information with inadequate teachings. How do I know that they
are inadequate? We will come to this in a moment - when we
define what to ask of a religion, and count all the religions
that fulfill these requirements, the inadequate ones will
become visible at once.
"My teachers told me so": a very good answer. After all,
what are teachers for? Why would I distrust them? Haven't
they been appointed by society, and aren't they paid by society
to teach me everything I need to know? If among 100 correct
informations they give to me there are 5 incorrect ones,
isn't that an acceptable ratio? Yes, it would be an acceptable
ratio - if the 5 incorrect informations were not key
informations that set my course into a destructive direction.
Now, why would religion be inadequate, incorrect or destructive
in the first place?
In The Beginning, There Was The Word...
...and the word was misunderstood. Read here in how many ways
the word "God" has been misinterpreted by human beings, and
how the ancient extraterrestrial astronauts who have created
the species of "homo sapiens sapiens" (modern man) in a petri
dish have made themselves the object of our worship, instead
of properly teaching us the truth about our (and their own)
roots in the Supreme Being, the truly divine parent that evenly
embraces as its offspring all of existence.
It is totally logical that religions which are based on a
misunderstood concept of God can not have the potential of
teaching us true spirituality, and that they can not help us
to improve our connection to our spiritual parent, the Supreme
The word religion comes from the latin "re-ligio", which
translates to "backwards connection". In modern terms, genuine
religion is about our connection to our divine origin, or the
root that we have in our spiritual parent, often without being
aware of it, because the teachings of father, mother or priests
have misled us to look for our connection to God in the wrong
direction - somewhere outside, far above the clouds, instead
of deeply inside ourselves.
Any religion that teaches or trains us to perceive and use this
precious line that connects us with God like a flower is connected
to the soil through its root, is a valid religion. Any religious
teacher who explains to our children how God is the living root
of every being, every sun, rock, plant or animal - and of course
every human -, and how we can learn to be more aware of our
connection with God and how we can better honor this connection
with God in everybody else, is a honest religious teacher who is
worth our listening time.
Existence sprouts out of God like a tree - from one root there
extend many branches, some of whom are neighbours while others
are directly opposed to each other. Any religion that explains
this model and shows how God is at the common root of even the
most opposed individuals, is a valid religion. If it teaches
respect and tolerance, it is a valid religion. Jesus Christ has
already stated that what we do to our smallest (least important)
"brother", we are actually doing to him. In his own words,
he says that whatever we are doing to somebody else, we are doing
directly to God. Any religion which explains this principle
is a valid religion.
On the other hand: Any religion that favours only one group or
nation of humans and presents other parts of humanity as inferior
or even enemies, is a partial religion. Its spirituality is
incomplete, if it exists at all, as it is based on old
misunderstandings of the word God, and most probably developed
out of the contract made by one extraterrestrial astronaut with
a "chosen people" whom he would help against their enemies
in exchange for their services in his army - instead of being
a body of wisdom and tradition that helps an individual to
discover and refine his connection with his spiritual origin
in the Supreme Being.
A well known example of a religion that is based on such an
exclusive contract between one group of humans and one ET
astronaut is the Jewish religion. There is ample evidence
of its adventures in the Old Testament. Of course such a service
contract would require a people to serve only one master;
but this master is a mortal person, not the Supreme Being,
and serving only one ET astronaut is absolutely not the same
thing as believing in only one God (the Supreme Being).
It would be a big mistake to confuse such a national contract
with a generic, basically non-historical religion that teaches
all-inclusive spirituality. In fact, using the same word
"religion" for both concepts is probably the one error where
all the trouble starts.
Truly spiritual religious teachings must contain information
about God embracing the most opposing extremes. No matter what
their historical writings, their traditions and rituals,
first and foremost they must explain the Supreme Being's
unlimited all-inclusiveness. As soon as we encounter exclusive
concepts - one of the most prominent examples would be the
concept of a devil or satan, but also the idea of an "infidel"
or "gentile" or "pagan" -, we know that this religion is not
teaching all of the truth. It might still teach parts of the
truth. It might have a good set of laws that regulate conduct,
or good ideas about nutrition, or some useful mental training
tools. But as it has not understood God's all-inclusiveness,
it is only a fragment and must be seen as such. On the tree
of life that grows out of God as its common root, it would be
just a branch that does not explain the concept of the whole tree.
Why Not Just Forget All About Religion?
Now, if everything is growing out of God in the same way,
couldn't we take this fact completely out of our talks and
In fact, there are some life forms who exist beautifully
without ever saying a prayer or contemplating the line,
or root, that connects them with their spiritual origin.
They are so firmly embedded in the Supreme Being that there
is no need to waste time or energy on a philosophical
discussion of whether or not God approves of them.
If you have ever watched an ant hill or a bee hive, the
certainty (or should we call it faith?) which is expressed
by the busy lives of these insects is stunning. They don't
need to search for God, they are God - one of his many
branches - in beautiful bloom. Why reflect on something
that is omnipresent and self-evident? We may call these
animals unconscious, unaware, not "in the know" - but why
should they know about their god-parentage if they demonstrate
it so effortlessly all day round?
Leaving any mentioning of God away because God is omnipresent,
so much that it would be redundant to keep mentioning him,
works as long as everybody either doesn't have enough
consciousness to make individual decisions, or makes only
decisions that are fair towards everybody else. In other
words, people can only afford to forget about God if they
are either absolutely unaware or absolutely decent.
Ants and bees play fair. So do the other animals, even if
some of them have to eat the others because this is part
of their genetic design (and it keeps the planet from
overpopulating). With human beings, it is a different matter.
They have invented a game called "mudslinging" and developed
it to perfection. Opponents or competitors are first covered
with mud and then pronounced dirty - which makes it perfectly
OK to do away with them as "necessary" (from the viewpoint
of the transgressor).
We have seen it so many times that we should have learned
all about it by now, yet the pattern is still in full bloom
and no end of it is in sight. Women are of an inferior gender.
Jews are of an inferior religion. Colored people are of an
inferior race. This projection of inferiority onto a group -
often not even a minority - is the mud that is immediately
afterwards used to pronounce them "dirty" or worthless enough
to make it allright to suppress or exploit them, or even
wipe them out entirely.
The same game is being played in the area of spirituality,
religion, or in one word: around the God-parentage of every
human being, no matter to what religion he or she belongs.
The Art Of Mudslinging
We all have seen the Catholic priest or Buddhist monk who
walks around surrounded by an enormous pride about the fact
that he is a blessed child of God. He is blessed and
"in the know" and we are the unwashed who have to feed him
and pay for his shelter just because we don't have the
divine blessing that he has.
Well, this is not what really happens. The truth is that
this guy is a mudslinger who first throws a handful of
"you are godless!" mud at us, and then holds his hand out
to us to fill it with food or coins or a church tax, because
he was smart enough to adorn his own head with the label
"I am blessed by God (while you are not)!" The truth is
that we are not godless at all. Our very existence is
rooted in God, whether we think about it or not. Even the
atheist's existence is rooted in God - he is just part
of the atheist branch on the tree of life.
The little priest or monk is a gangster who makes us pay
for our own stupidity, because if we really knew about our
own God-parentage (if we "really had faith", as Jesus would
say), we would just laugh about his audacity and leave it
up to him (or, unfortunately, to other victims of his
mudslinging) to support his lazy existence. Of course he
will say that his existence is devoted to teaching you,
yes you, everything about how to find God, and this is
how he earns your donations: but what he actually does
is the opposite, he tries to talk you into believing
that there are people or parts of the world where God
is not, so that they depend on his eager efforts to lead
them back to God - unless, of course, he teaches and trains
you how to find an all-inclusive God inside yourself, in
which case a few coins might be given to him, not because
he earned them but as a general gesture of friendliness.
We have done something we thought to be clever. We have
simplified (as in simplifying a mathematical equation)
our social relations by taking the self-evident "Child
of God" label out of it. We don't mention it anymore
because everybody else has the same label. It would only
complicate life if we kept saying "Iris, child of God, will
marry Robert, child of God, and they are planning a family
with four offspring, children of God." It's much simpler
to say "Iris will marry Robert and they are planning
a family with four offspring". That everybody in this
picture is a child of God doesn't need to be mentioned
because what else should they be? If there is nothing in
the whole universe that is not rooted in God?
It would be the same as saying "2 apples plus 2 apples
are 4 apples". Nothing is wrong with that, except that it
could be simplified by leaving away the "apple" label and
saying "2 plus 2 is 4". Until, of course, some smart crook
figures out that he could have an advantage from pronouncing
some of the apples non-apples, after first pronouncing
all non-apples inferior. Then all the apples that he has
pronounced non-apples have to lower their heads in shame
and serve the few remaining apples who have been clever
enough to think of such a sophisticated way of getting
support without doing any work for it.
He is counting on the lack of brain cells in the people
he is trying to delude. How can there be a non-apple in a
world where everything is an apple? Of course we have big
and small apples, red and yellow apples, sweet and sour
apples - but a non-apple apple is an impossibility. Maybe
we are just in an intermediate state of our evolution -
not really unaware anymore, but also not really aware yet.
As a species, we will reach maturity at the moment where we
realize that a godless child of god is an impossibility in
just the same way as a non-apple apple. As soon as we have
followed up on this insight by eliminating the bad habits
from our daily lives that are based on considering others
godless, we might even be considered adults by the rest
of the universe.
Until then, we better wear a label on our forehead that
publicly pronounces us an apple - or in our case, a child
of God. It is much more difficult to declare somebody godless
(and shoot bullets at him or bomb or nuke him) if there
is a label on him that says "John Doe, child of God", than
to just wipe out a random number of "John Doe's". Not that
he wouldn't be a child of God without that label - but until
everybody has realized that (and with all the deeply embedded
misteachings that might take a few centuries), we better
make sure that it cannot be forgotten.
What To Ask Of A Religion
What we have to ask of a religion follows from the points
discussed above. No matter what a religion's traditions
and rituals are, how they call their God or deities,
what kind of statues they are carrying through the streets
and whether they are burning incense or joss sticks; no
matter what bodyparts they demand to remain covered,
and what food they allow or forbid, and whether they
grant a man one or four or twentyseven wives - first
and foremost they must be asked to teach the truth about
every living being's God-parentage to those who want to
know, and of course to the children.
And they must be asked to carefully explain the difference
between ancient astronauts and the Supreme Being.
And they must be asked to purify themselves from all
the human fallibility and arrogance written into their
national "religious" contracts that is bordering on
fascism in some cases.
This is not an impossible task. If every living member
of such a religion honestly reviews his understanding
of God and the tree of life that is growing out of God,
we have a chance that future generations will learn nothing
of the errors and the lies anymore which have polluted
the body of information of these religions in earlier
With all these necessities fulfilled, the various
religious traditions on this planet can be enjoyed
like any other colorful folklore that is a contribution
to the richness of God's creation.
Workgroup for Fundamental Spiritual Research and Mental Training
Sun Jul 1 13:01:21 EDT 2007
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