For over 60 years I belonged to forms of organized religion. These still play a useful role for some individuals who need to have verbal formulations of truths and liturgical and cultural forms that reassure and comfort.
However, we live in a world where increasingly everything is challenged and each one is called to define what rings true and is meaningful to them ,considering the collapse of traditional authorities, whether it be in the field of spirituality or ethics, health, diet or education.
This seems to me to be especially true in the area of religion and spirituality. I believe personally that organized religions will fade away and become a practice combining personal development and spirituality, such as taught by Dr. Joe Dispenza, for example.
A friend sent me recently the beautiful image included in this text:
Kindness has no church
Peace has no religion
Compassion has no temple
Love has no borders
I have known too many so-called atheists whose daily lives overflowed with kindness and too many religious bigots in whom one didn’t sense any iota of compassion nor the slightness ripple of love, to be impressed with great declarations of faith – and I say this as a former theology student who very quickly made a radical change. As far as I am concerned, the only thing that counts is: “Am I progressing in my ability to love?” This constitutes my Ten Commandments, my Bhagavad Gita, my Sermon on the Mount, my Koran, my Four Noble Truths and my heart Sutra, my Manifesto and my Tao Te Ching. Certain tools can be useful, even very useful, such as a spiritual guide, provided she/he brings me closer to living love. And in this regard, I am still in kindergarten (though some friends protest and tell me, “come on, you are in first grade …”) but it doesn’t change much.
The positive side is that I know I will never be out of work, whether in this live or a future one!
Pierre Pradervand, July 2019
Image credit Jeremy McDonald