Spirituality Does Not Equal Organized Religion

I consider myself a spiritual person actively engaged in improving my relationship with my higher power.  However, I do not feel the need of a 3rd party's help.  My view of organized religion, ALL organized religion, is that it combines the worst aspects of superstition and big business, without their benefits.  The minute somebody shows me a playbook for getting into heaven, I'm gone.  I regard these playbooks as fairy stories intended to help frightened children get to sleep.  To make my views even less popular I will reveal that I don't even believe in a historical Jesus, much less a divine Jesus.  The tall tale about the historical Jesus I regard as a sort of urban legend like Paul Bunyan or the story about the poodle in the microwave.  Man's relationship with his maker - that is - his spiritual life - is paramount, it takes precedence over everything.  One's moral life is ultimately all one has of consequence.  But organized religion, far from being a blessing, is the enemy.  All you need do is look around the world and see what is being done in the name of God to understand my point. 
ElLagarto ElLagarto
56-60, M
11 Responses Jul 7, 2007

spirituality does not equal organized "religions" however You can have an organized group of believers that are bound by spiritual relationship rather than man's rules and regs.<br />
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Jesus was pretty harsh with the religioius leaders and bigshots of his time...He called them some very unflattering terms yet he never shamed accused, condemned or shunned criminals, prostitutes. lowlife tax collectors and lepers....he actually went way out of the way to set free a raging maniacle demoniac or two<br />
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What a guy<br />
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Not everything is meant to be understood. For example, baseball's infield fly rule.

I don't understand faith, I don't know how people get it or how they keep it - or why.

Faith is blind. I prefer to keep my eyes open and look around.

That's why they call it faith.

And most religions do not seem to encourage thinking for yourself. If you did that, you would start to question them. You are just supposed to trust them, "have faith"; take their word for everything they tell you. It is akin to brainwashing, wouldn't you say? If you point out contradictions, many religious people will get very annoyed and tell you "well, that is what I believe!" If you ask why, they say "that is just what I believe!" It has been handed to them so they don't even know why they believe what they do.

All organized religion is predicated on the idea that people prefer being told what to do over thinking for themselves.

I hear you - I am very turned off by religious dogma and doctrines myself. Too many people have died and too much pain has been felt in the name of religion. What gets me the most is the "my beliefs/religion is the one true religion and if you don't subscribe to these specific beliefs then you are wrong and are doomed". There are so many religions and sub-sects of main religions that it seems obvious there is no one, true, all correct religion. Besides, religion is MAN MADE. It is man's attempt to explain the meaning of our being here. I take great exception to someone telling me what I must believe or do to be in favour with God. <br />
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As for Jesus, I don't think there is any question he was an actual man who lived 2 thousand years ago. There is just too much scholarly research and evidence to back it up (I'm certainly not an expert but this is what the experts say). My point of view is that Jesus was a wonderful, enlightened human who gave us the benefit of his profound insight and tried his best to spread his word. What happened with his word is that it has been so distorted and mired with centuries of men in robes deciding what it all means that we have lost the original meanings (actually I think it is possible to get to them but you have to wade through a lot of sludge). I haven't spent much time doing this, but I believe his word has much value, as do the teachings of other great, enlightened teachers such as the Buddha and others mentioned by WittyOne.<br />
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And that's the way I see it. Happy spiritual seeking to you all! Let your intuition be your guide.

I feel that the only thing that religions seek to do is highlight the differences between theirs and someone else's

What a breath of fresh air you are! I cannot imagine a God that would create sex only to make us ashamed of it. The God I understand love us and wants us to be happy - it is only human beings that manage to foul things up so badly. All great religions have spiritually enlightened beings in their origins, it is the bureaucrats and middle-men that, down the ages, corrupt and foul the message. Rock On Witty One.

I am not a fan of organized religion myself, the most shameless hypocrits I have ever known belonged to a fundamemntalist type church. In my experience, the more virtuous one claims to be, the biggest liar they probably are.<br />
I don't mean to paint everyone or every church with a broad brush, I am only speaking of my experience.<br />
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As you allude to, there has been so much death and destruction in the name of religion.<br />
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I believe that Jesus, like Siddhartha Gautama, Muhammad and others, was what you might call a master, a truly enlightened soul. Something that any human being can acheive, though most never do.<br />
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I don't beleive in the punishing, jealous, angry God that so many religions teach.<br />
I wish we all could be accepting of other's beliefs and not feel compelled to make everyone think as we do, the world would be a better place.