r E li G i O n

Most of us have our own religions. We don’t have to believe in a deity in order to practice a religion. It could be manifested through patriotism by adhering to patriotic rituals such as saluting the national flag.  We can practice religion through sports by painting our faces and cheering during a sports event.  We can also practice religion through politics by attending a political rally and through entertainment by attending music concerts.

The dictionary defines religion as follows:

1.

    a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
     b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.
The fourth definition reflects more what I am describing in this post. But I am going to take a step further here.

Notice that the word RELIGION has the word EGO in it (r E li G i O n) , which may explain why it is basically the manifestation of our Egos (tongue in cheek).  But seriously speaking, Religion (of any kind) simply nourishes our Egos by making us feel superior, protected, and invincible.

Any kind of religion is an attempt to make us feel better and superior.  It is a desperate way of deceiving the real self from the hard and true nature of our fragile existence.  We tend to feel inferior to other more powerful and greater entities, such as authority figures and natural phenomena.  So we prefer to deceive ourselves by assuming a greater role than what we truly are, such as calling ourselves professionals, wealthy, experts, and intelligent.

Our different kinds of religion can also give us a sense of protection from our volatile state of existence.  It temporary relieves us from being prone to pain and ultimately death.  It keeps us from being ridiculed and marginalized.  We do this by armoring ourselves with rituals, citizenship, drugs, and fashion.  It provides a false sense of security fueled by fantasy.

All sorts of religion can also make us feel invincible. It helps us feel unstoppable through identification with a sports team, political party, culture, and race.  It provides a sense of immortality.  This “eternal identity” is also manifested through family traditions.

But there is hope.  We can still free ourselves from the deception of the different religions that keep our egos nourished.  It is through the difficult process of emptiness.  It is scary to refrain from protecting our egos through any kind of religion described above.  But I believe it is possible.  We have to accept the fact that we our finite beings and will eventually die.  So, I invite you to take my challenge and start living life without relying on feeding the falsified ego.  Surrender to suffering and embrace it.  Practice mindfulness, surrendering, and being in the present moment.

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About Noel

I am a person who has realized that the teachings of Jesus are centralized in the genuine care and service of others. I have evolved from fundamentalism to a moderate spiritual approach. I am a reflecting person who has grown to not fear doubt but to embrace it as a means to growth and increasing closeness to God. View all posts by Noel

6 responses to “r E li G i O n

  • Howie

    The poll doesn’t have all of the above as an option! Ego is something that is likely subconscious at times. Ego can sometimes be talked about as healty when it comes to self esteem. Maybe it’s one of those things that should be balanced. I’m just thinking out loud not trying to pontificate.

  • Val Boyko

    Noel, thank you for helping me be clear with myself. My religion is non attachment and being open to everyone and their beliefs as long as they do no harm.
    I also think religion came about – not just for the followers, but for those in charge. Think about it – What a great way to manage the people and ensure they don’t run around killing each other. If you get them to believe in a set of rules that also happen to support wha you want, then you can reign in peace.

  • Petra

    “…start living life without relying on feeding the falsified ego.” Reminds me of another post quote I’ve just read here wp.me/pqvuH-142

  • barbarafranken

    lovely thoughtful post Noel… I can see you are allowing yourself to go beyond the mind… where all the knowing is… Barbara

  • ross42302

    Hi Howie, Val, Petra and Barbara and Noel 🙂

    I’m wondering, is subconscious even a real state you can be in? I mean, we can be unconscious of certain processes that lead us to make conclusions, and we can also be concious of some of them. But subconscious? Usually when I read the word “subconscious” its being applied in a new age sense, as in altered states of being, or “unconsciously” connected nature, spirits or past lives.

    A definition of subconscious is “concerning the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one’s actions and feelings”.

    And I may be just splitting hairs over definitions, but to be subconscious ever a present state of being? it seems at least in my experience, you are either concious of something or you are not?? what is subconsciousness then? under its definition you could only experience and label something as “subconscious” in past tense.

    How can you both be “aware” and “unaware” of a process or a applied causality? we cant both be aware and unaware of something can we?

    For example if I said “I think I subconsciously wanted John to lose the race” – then the very act of me being aware of this would cancel out my assertion that I was unaware of this.

    So to be “subconscious” is never an actual present state? but only in past tense?

    Hope you are all going well

  • hipmonkey

    Dogmatic religious people don’t want to hear this, which is the problem. Belief is a substitute for knowledge and when someone doesn’t know something they create a belief. That belief stagnates them and closes their minds to actual gnosis of the true nature of Reality and our true divine nature of Being. We are of One Self indeed.

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