Why Do We Need Religion?
There is only one core need
Religion comes from the Latin words ‘re’ and ‘ligare’, which means to reconnect with the divine consciousness. As you may notice it’s not just connecting with the divine consciousness but reconnecting as we were once a part of it. It’s after incarnating on the earth that we have amnesia and associate ourselves with the body and the mind. The true purpose of religion is to help us come out of this amnesia and get back to our source.
As is the case with any other subject, one needs guidance to become a master in it. If one wants to be good at English then he needs various tutorials to learn English. But real creativity in the person can occur when he goes beyond what those tutorials tell and find ways to make effective use of his learnings. English tutorials are just tools that he uses to realize his creative potential in writing.
Similarly, various religions provide ways to reconnect with the divine consciousness. There are some aspects like forgiveness, ethical living, etc that need to be followed if one wants to be at peace with himself. When the emotional turmoil in the mind is soothed then the person has a higher chance to attain enlightenment. Thus, religion is just a tool that a person uses to attain his purpose in life.
A tool need not be perfect
Most of the religious texts were written a long time ago when the society was different from ours. As human beings, we may not have changed as far as our bodies are concerned, and hence the purpose of reuniting with the divine consciousness remains the same. Any suggestions to help us attain this goal can be followed by us. But religion goes far ahead of just this primary goal. It tells us the do’s and don’ts that may not be applicable in the current times.
Every generation has its own dos and don’ts. Things that were acceptable in an earlier generation may not be acceptable now and vice-versa. There is a reason why this shift happened and one must adapt accordingly rather than clinging to the older belief.
Example: In many parts of the world music was condemned in medieval times. At that time aggressive behaviors were appreciated as people were struggling with survival. There would be one invasion after another and that required people to be on their toes and be adept in warfare. Music at that time would distract people from their priorities and hence it was not seen in a positive light.
In current times the need for survival is comparatively lesser. This caused people to shed their aggressive side and embrace creativity. The music rose to prominence and people good at music are now considered celebrities.
Thus, we see that with times the various dynamics that govern the society, changes that cause things that were unacceptable earlier to become acceptable now, and vice-versa.
Use inner guidance
Learning English may require knowing various words and their meaning and for that, you have to blindly trust the books. But this is not the case with religion. One does get benefitted from learning means of attaining enlightenment but there is a way to verify if the things told in the religious texts are fine or not. One needs to get in touch with his inner voice.
A person who is devoid of any fear will have inner guidance that will tell whether a certain rule is applicable to him or not. Everyone should try to attain this fearless state so that he can see for himself what suits and what doesn’t. He will then be able to filter out things from religious texts that help him in his evolution in the current times while discarding items that may not be applicable to him.
Why do people follow blindly?
Most people have quite a lot of fears in their minds. These fears require them to adhere to certain rules laid out in the religion so that they could adjust to society. Things like non-violence, ethical living, etc are emphasized by various religions. Also, a lot of social norms set up in society require us to curb our natural desires and one needs the help of religion to derive a sense of righteousness in following these norms.
Example: Valentin had a difficult childhood. He underwent quite a lot of trauma that made him fearful. When he grew up he had quite a lot of anger so he became a blind follower of religious texts as they would provide means to suppress his anger.
Shyam on the other hand grew up in a conservative society where affairs before marriage were condemned. Shyam was a masculine man and was naturally attracted to the opposite sex so he used religion to derive a sense of righteousness in curbing his natural desires.
People who fall under the above two categories would become blind followers of religious texts because they would not have the clarity of mind to discard anything from those written rules. If they apply the process of catharsis and refinement of the inner child then subsequently their fear levels shall come down and they will develop the inner voice that will guide them to the truth. It is then that they will critically be able to analyze religious texts and take things that suit them in the current times while leaving aside things that are detrimental to their happiness.
There is no need to be attached to a particular religion. One should remove his fears and develop an inner voice that would guide him in taking the good teachings from every religion and discard ideas that seem detrimental to their growth process. As far as becoming an atheist is concerned I would say it devoids you of the good things that religion has to offer and moreover, it also shows that you still haven’t developed the inner voice.
Religion is a storehouse of quite a lot of good materials for our personal growth. It is just that it also contains items that may not be suitable for the current times. I wish everyone use their inner voice in selecting items that help them in their pursuit of enlightenment.