This section and the next will deal with the mixed legacy of religion. There is little question that religion remains an important feature of life. But it is rapidly moving in the direction of universal spirituality. This is an attitude that sees our faith as rising from within us all, not being provided by a set of dogmas.
The only dogma of spirituality is that is includes everyone and that its aim is goodness based on the realization of every person on the planet.
This requires little documentation.
The day when a particular faith can make great strides in converting folk is over. Instead, religions are following the lead of history and treating their membership more as individuals in search of self-hood and less as those who identify as Baptists, Mormons, or Presbyterians or any of 100s of other faith groups all over the world.
Institutional religion is fading.
The number who consciously pursue a way of life based on meditation, prayer and DIY practices is rising daily.
The Bible stands as the most influential religious text there is. But it is hardly lucid. To be lucid is to cast a light of coherent truth on a subject.
I well remember how, when I agonized in my mid-twenties over the future of the church, I tried in vain to write a book which I titled, in my mind, RELIGIOUS SCHIZOPHRENIA. The title had a negative sense then and it continues to have one now.
But I know now what I couldn’t know back in Geneva in the basement of my house at 8 Chemin Riant Bosquet in the suburb of Cointrin. Exactly what such a book should say.
Rather than being a lucid presentation of a religion for the entire world, the Bible is a super-profound but intentionally confusing collection of official conclusions and largely original teachings, maxims, stories, and exhortations. It says everything points to Jesus, born of a virgin, presented as a sacrifice who ensures salvation only to those who profess him as a Messiah figure, the head of an exclusive and punitive institution which has since split into thousands of disparate fragments.
All that is true. That’s where the text points.
It is the opposite of lucid.
It dulls and dims the clear and wonderful presentation of Jesus as the One who represents the Idea, the One, God, Abba. The beautiful and ever-accessible and living Jesus who proclaims the absolute, unconditional salvation of all.
Jesus did not intend religion. He raises the energy of the planet, as we speak, to his level, the level of Christ Consciousness. He champions your freedom to accept or reject. But in either case his answer is only love, absolute and all-embracing.
Jesus returned the minute he vacated his earthly body.
Whether he died on the cross or not is a matter of much debate.
But that he is a risen soul is underlying truth.
That he will speak with anyone who calls his name is also true.
The way of Abba which he taught and embodied is also undeniable. Down to loving the last enemy.
Much the Bible claims is not true.
Jesus does not say no one comes to God save by him. He says we are all part of God.
Jesus did not present hell as eternal punishment for nonbelievers. He says we create our own hells here — and in the hereafter. But finally no one is lost.
Until those who mock Jesus by perpetuating fundamentalist dogma and exclusionist orthodoxy admit that the Bible is not lucid, but a contrived and heavily edited effort by a religious establishment, the mockery will simply diminish and fade with the rise of awareness.
Religious schizophrenia is healed by multiple encounters with heaven that tell us that the true picture is only a modest percentage of what is preserved in the Scriptures. That picture is that the only thing that waits for us is love.