Posted by Karen Hadalski at 29 September 2012

Category: Uncategorized

Why are religion and war so interconnected?  It has been that way forever–remember Christianity’s “Holy Wars?”  This latest bout of  hysteria, chaos, murders, and destruction just rips the scab off this festering sore spot in human history yet again.

What is religion, anyway?  In simple terms it is a way of life, or belief system, based upon mankind’s ultimate relation to the universe and God.  It is a communal faith and the community of believers binds itself to a particular pattern as its “rule of life.”

Though diverse, all formal Religions are comprised of a CREED: Faith in a revealed pattern and in the Divine intelligence that gives this to man.  A CODE:  A Divinely sanctioned and authorized system of laws and morals comprising the active participation in a particular community.  And a CULT:  the ritual of worship or symbolic acts through which a particular community brings its collective mind into accord with the mind of God.

By definition, then, institutionalized religion is ex-clusive and promotes a “them and us” mentality–each believing itself to be the “right way, “the only way,” and their members to be the “chosen ones” of God. How could such an exclusive world view ever hope to bring mankind into a peaceful, harmonious, mutually respectful and beneficial state of co-existence?

As anyone who has read KARMA knows, I have been preoccupied with this question for decades and have, after much thought and exploration, come to believe two things:  1:  Personal spirituality is far more valuable than affiliation with any organized religion.  And, 2: Hinduism and Buddhism have it right (not really “organized religions” in the Western sense of the term):

In Hinduism, Liberation is valued, not membership.  The world can be separated into independent things only in thought.  In Reality, the world is a non-duality and there is no “them and us.”  Buddhist teachings urge morality and compassion NOT as a command, but as a voluntary action to which the free man commits himself without hope of reward or fear of punishment.

“By their fruits you shall know them.”  What quality of “fruit” has organized religion produced throughout history?  What can be done to reverse this tide?  Two questions worth pondering…

 

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