Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Simplest Religion

Before I get into this, one thing I should clarify is my definition of "religion". I feel like that is one of many words that can have different meanings among many different peoples. Religion could mean a belief in a god or gods, or any higher power, or religion could be a set of practices specified by a scripture or collection of writings. My good friend Merriam-Webster defines religion as an interest, belief, or activity that is very important to a group of people.

This is how I see religion as an institution, any religion you could think of. Religion is man trying to fix himself, recognizing his shortcomings and providing a standard to reach in order to overcome those shortcomings. I think this is incredibly difficult to do, because you have to check your ego on a regular basis, overcoming pride and submitting yourself to an ideal higher than You. This takes a great deal of practice, a lifetime in many cases, and is a great achievement to strive for.

The beauty of mankind is that we have the ability to interpret wisdom in our own individual ways. An issue I have with religions as most people see them is that they try to teach "one path", and they all say theirs is the "right" path. I think that shows how religion is a man-made institution, because it has that ego inherent.

So what do I think is the simplest religion? The simplest religion is You. See what you want to be in life and become it, and never stop becoming more. Develop your own morality, wherever you think you are, and build up from there. Be the best you because you want to be the best you, not someone others say you should be. Choose your teachers and mentors based on what you want to be and grow in.

Most importantly, share what you've found. You never know when something you find works that works for you may work for someone else. New perspectives are what allow us to grow together.

Is this atheistic? I don't think so, but that depends on your definition of atheism. I would say this is spiritual, meaning it is not part of any established "religion". A quote I've come across recently by author, holistic health/New Age guru Deepak Chopra I think would be a great capstone for this post:

"Religion is belief in someone else's experience. Spirituality is having your own experience."

So, if you want, let me know what you think in the "Contact Me!" box to the right. Still have not had anyone try to reach me with it, and I'm curious if it works. God bless and good luck on your individual path.

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