Why Religion Fails

Posted: April 23, 2015 in Sidewalk Spirituality

As a spiritual guide who shares the truth of enlightenment, freely, with anyone who will listen, I find myself engaged in discussions with many different types of people. Sadly some of these people are of deep religious persuasions that limit their ability to see the truth for themselves. This is not to say that religion itself is the problem, but rather that people’s attachments to their religious views are. Religious institutions often demand this level of fealty though, so – yes, religion itself is problematic overall.

Please don’t misunderstand my position. I am a man of deep and profound faith in God. I honor the teachings of Jesus and the Buddha in my own life, and I find great inspiration in the multitude of teachers that have arisen since the dawn of time to preach God’s message of infinite love. That said, I see religion as one of the most insidious and damaging spiritual traps that exists in this world! Religions are nothing more than institutionalized systems of influence and control that hold people back – often on purpose!

Of course this position draws instant ire from those who don’t really understand what I am trying to say – which is, God is real and is waiting for you with infinite love and patience. God is not found by adopting the dogmatic beliefs of others and doing as you are told though; but by stepping out of the illusion of control, investigating the nature of the self, and discovering that there is only one-self that contains everything. The one self that truly exists is God. We are one with God, aspects of God’s divine nature, and reflections of God’s love.

On one hand many religions would agree with this position, but on the other they would argue that one must have a system in place or everyone would have their own religion. It would be complete anarchy. This is what some accuse me of – saying that I have invented my own religion and am teaching anarchy, to which I simply laugh. Only someone who is blind to the truth would believe such a thing because once you have experienced the truth, your faith in “the beingness that exists beyond our being, of which we are all a part” becomes unshakable.

Faith is a funny thing. Most people place their faith in a prophet or a teacher, or a messenger of God instead of directly in God and in themselves. I am not sure I fully understand why. You are a human being at one with God. Why do you need an intermediary to govern that relationship? Indeed any person who steps forward and tells you to trust in them instead of trusting in yourself and in God has robbed you of your personal opportunity to experience God directly in your own life – and you let them do it. This is exactly what religious leaders and religious systems do!

Then we find ourselves standing in the fires of religious fervor and disagreement, breeding further separation and division amongst ourselves instead of unity. A unity only achieved when one has realized the underlying truth of our oneness for themselves as part of their own investigative experience of self-examination and self-realization. This leads to a greater understanding of ‘no-self’ and the ‘one-self’, of ‘being’ and ‘non-being’, of duality itself. Ironically, when one experiences this for themselves, the need for religion is dissolved entirely.

Community is a better understanding of what we should be aiming for instead. We need to have groups of like-minded seekers wedded to the principles of experiential learning and independent investigation; with only one goal – personal realization ‘of God’ as part of a personal relationship ‘with God’ that is uniquely your own and not subject to the rules and expectations of others. These communities can be easily established and maintained when all individual actions remain in clear alignment with love, kindness, generosity, gratitude, grace, and forgiveness.

This is the clear diving line between religion, spirituality, and community though. Religion is about adopting the beliefs of others and adhering to their rules. Spirituality is about discovering the true nature of the self within the self to arrive at being selfless. Community is about honoring the self and the selfless without expectations or judgements, so long as the principles of love, kindness, generosity, gratitude, grace, and forgiveness are being observed. Notice the emphasis on actions, not words, when it comes to my descriptions of spirituality and community.

Many religious people, because they are so wrapped up in their dogmatic belief systems, prefer to tell others how to live, reaching for memorized scriptures as evidence of what God demands. Sadly these people are confused about who and what God is, who and what we are, and how we are all one – one with God, one with each other, one with the earth, and one with the universe. They would rather abdicate personal responsibility for their own journey to another, relinquishing their power; all the while thinking they have the answer.

So I will quite clearly state, here and now, to any person who adheres to any system of belief – I am not interested in your opinions. That you have surrendered your search for truth is a great sadness – but it is not my place to tell you what to do or how you should live any more than it is your place to tell me what to do or how I should live. The direction of my life is wholly and completely governed by God. The only God I know is a beingness that is both beyond my being and within my being at the very same time – and it is the manifestation of pure love.

To summarize, I will leave you with a story that comes from the Buddha. It encapsulates my views on religion quite nicely:

“Once there was a king who asked his servants to round up all of the persons in the city who were blind from birth. When they had done so, the king had brought before the assembled blind men an elephant. To some of the blind men he presented the head of the elephant. To others the ears. To others the tusks. And the trunk, body, feet, hindquarters, tail, and tuft at the end of the tail. Each man, touching what was before him. When it was done, the king then proclaimed ‘This is an elephant. Tell me, what is the elephant like?’”

“Those who had touched the head of the elephant replied ‘an elephant is like a water jar’. Those who had touched the ears of the elephant replied ‘an elephant is like a wicker basket’. Those who had touched the tusks of the elephant replied ‘an elephant is like a plowshare’. Those who had touched the trunk, ‘like a plow pole’. Those who had touched the body ‘like a store house’. And so on. And then the blind men began to war with one another over what the elephant was truly like”.

This is how one should view all world religious beliefs, systems, and doctrines; as the works of blind men touching parts of God and yet not seeing the truth of what God really is. Each one holding to its blind views as if truth. Each one warring with the others in their blindness. Who among the blind is right and who among the blind wrong? Only the man who opens his own eyes to look upon the elephant and see the elephant for himself can tell you what the elephant really is. You must open your eyes to see the truth of God for yourself.  Stop listening to blind men…

May the everlasting and infinite presence of God’s love reverberate in all that you do… Amen.

  1. Bob says:

    “You are a human being at one with God. Why do you need an intermediary to govern that relationship?”

    Because that is the way that God created His creation.

    I think we agree about the true nature of spirituality, which is the inner essence of every true religion. I also agree that the outer, social aspects of the unchanging, eternal Faith of God are an important facet of the whole truth. The religious rituals and social structures are important facets of human nature and civilization. There is a personal spirituality. There is also a social spirituality.

    Islam, submission to God, is the inner essence of every religion. Jihad is our personal struggle to submit to God, instead of our animal passion, our selfish ambition. Each Manifestation of God also reveals social laws that apply to the people of the time and place they are revealed.

    Baha’u’llah has founded a universal and divine civilization, with detailed instructions about how to organize the Kingdom of God on earth, which will last for at least 500,000 years. Every thousand years or so, another Manifestation of God will appear, to renew the Revelation of the Word of God and advance the Cause of God. Baha’u’llah is the Resurrection, the Messiah coming in the Glory of God, the Tenth Avatar of Hinduism, the Matreya Buddha, the Return of Jesus Christ in the station of the Father.

    Thank God Jesus saved us. Jesus Christ is the Lord and Savior of every human being, past, present and future. The sovereignty of Jesus Christ will last forever. There is only one Almighty God and Muhammad is His Apostle. Baha’u’llah is the Manifestation of God for today.

    Of course, all this is just my opinion. I love the cowboys and the Indians, the Arabs and the Israelis. The human race is my tribe. Baha’u’llah is the focal point of my understanding of and relationship with the one true God. Peace be with you.


    • Anonymous says:

      Again Bob – when you find your own enlightenment you will understand the truth. Until then you are working with a misunderstanding that has been handed to you and to millions of others.

      Direct knowledge of divine revelation trumps everything that comes from external sources. I have my own conversations with God that do not require me to concern myself with intermediaries. That I actually live my life in a manner consistent with the examples of Jesus and the Buddha is far more important than any religious perspective that someone else may hold.

      Everything you speak of comes from your beliefs – everything I speak of comes from my direct experience. I again urge you to seek your own enlightenment rather than worshiping at the feet of another… Once you find God within you the truth becomes clear and everything else falls away. You will then realize why I stand so ardently against teachers who have elevated themselves above the teachings they were sent to share with the world.

      Jesus and the Buddha are the only two teachers that I truly honor. Jesus because he emptied himself of himself and gave his life for all of mankind, and the Buddha because he laid out a clear path for others to find their way to personal freedom. All other teachers – throughout all of time, are inspirational and nothing more – and they are only an inspiration if they called upon all of mankind to wake up to the truth that lives within them.


      I stand with God as his instrument, giving voice to that which must be said. He has asked me to share the truth as his humble servant and to step out of the way, not elevating myself, but elevating his message. The message is to awaken and see the truth revealed for yourself.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s