On Organized Religion

May 7, 2021

Although religions are different, they all serve, pray, to the same God, and that God is love; We all search and pray for love. The difference in religions is HOW we search love and search for God. What differentiates us is "the manual" that we use to pray to God, to find our way to God. The differences are really in the rituals, in the (A) not in the purpose of serving God. For instance, the Jews put their hat on their head when they enter the synagogue. The Christians take their hat off when they go to the church and the Muslims take their shoes off when they enter the mosque. One religion takes Friday off to rest, another one on Saturday, and third one on Sunday. You want to start a new religion and stand out to differentiate yourself, Thursdays are available.  
 If we only remove the manuals and focus on the purpose of why we serve God, we will be all united.
 There is a reason why rituals, manuals, undermine spirituality. All organic systems try naturally to conserve energy, to use minimum energy whenever possible. All religions start with an (I) goal: Unity, Love, Respect for your fellow man and woman. Great message. Then the (A)s take over and manualize the experience with rules and guidelines and promises of rewards in the next world if you follow the manual and strict punishment if you do not. And as predictable,  since all organic systems try naturally to conserve energy,  to use minimum energy whenever possible, the (A) takes hold of the believers and “pushes out” the (I);  It is easier to just stick to the manual and believe you are serving God than to ask your heart what to do. Certainty provided by manuals is preferable to the uncertainty that your own judgement has to decide what is right and what is wrong.
 Granted, the HOW, a manual, is important. It gives clarity and predictability of behavior   but it is also very dangerous because it can undermine the purpose of why we do what we do.
 I have noticed in my life some very ”religious” people who follow the rituals to the smallest detail and at the same time are immoral. Notice the Catholic church . Some of its  leaders are accused of sexual behavior that should lead to prison sentences.  But it is not only true for the Catholic  church. Some Jewish religious leaders served in prison already in Israel.  And among the Muslims,  beheading of non believers is not unheard off. And the Buddhist in Myanmar  leading ethnic cleansing of a minority can not be considered an exercise in spiritual behavior of serving love.
 How easy is to follow rules and policies and forget why they exist in the first place.

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes