The Error of Religious Belief

I was recently handed a letter at an evening of tarot card readings from a born-again Christian. It contained a message (apparently from God) that I was a sinner, with a pamphlet on what awaited me in hell unless I repented. There was also a story of a psychic who had supposedly seen the error of her ways and now acknowledged Jesus as her saviour. I asked the lady if there was anything she wanted to say to me and she said only that she would see me in heaven sometime in the future.

This is what I have to say about such religious statements and the need for any religious belief. Religion is an invention of the mind. It is not the truth because it evolved in time as a desperate attempt by humanity to stay connected to the divine nature inherent in man and woman. As humanity extended further into time, the progressive world began to suck the virtue of the human race and it became harder to return to the simplicity of the original timeless state of being. Various spiritual masters and teachers who had realised the truth of life endeavoured to guide those who were receptive back to the inner reality; but when they died, their followers and priests soon corrupted their teachings for personal gain through the indoctrination of the masses.

Religious belief is an aspect of the religious idea that has been formulated in the mind over thousands of years by the search for God or meaning to life. The experience of the religionists throughout the ages provided a psycho-spiritual structure for self-reflection by an individual in their personal journey of self-discovery. However, like a great pyramid, there are different gradations of diminishing ignorance that must be overcome towards the summit of human excellence and supreme knowledge. Religion and all religious belief systems signify a specific level of self-knowledge comparable to an individual’s receptivity to the truth. It is a step that must be transcended before the individual is able to rise above the restrictions and limitations of human intelligence. The true spiritual perception is stillness and the place of simplicity and peace. It has no images or voices but is pure knowledge without the need to know. Implicit in this state is the realisation of this creation as a disharmonious harmony, where everything serves that which is below it and everything serves that which is above.

It is only necessary to believe in something that is not immediately demonstrable in the moment now. To believe in Jesus, for example, involves the reflection of the mind on stored data conditioned by an image or a mental formulation of the past. This is indirect experience or ignorance in motion. Not able to perceive reality as direct knowledge, the mind converts the timeless energy of consciousness into a past impression compatible to acquired knowledge stored in the memory. Furthermore, the spiritual power is often then emotionalised by the person, who becomes attached to the experience and converts the spiritual power into emotional force – which, in extremes, externalises as violence. Holy wars and acts of terrorism are a reaction to the combined force of religious beliefs. These virulent energies possess the minds of individuals vulnerable to the persuasion of radical views and attitudes. Belief is a selfish action since it excludes the totality of existence and results in the need to take a particular stance or position to defend one’s faith or opinion against another. Any position taken is potentially destructive of love and simplicity. Inevitably, organised religions attract a counter-force to dismantle the rigidity created within the human psyche due to the intensity of continual prayer and ritual over time.

To transcend belief is to discover a place which has no position but encompasses the whole. When the mind is still and the emotional self is quiescent, an individual’s intelligence can reflect directly off the intellect. The intellect is attuned to the higher levels of mind within the structure of the psyche. Its function is to activate aspects of the ideas held within the divine intellect or mind of God. One of these ideas is the idea of love. As far as I have observed in people (like the earnest born-again Christian who was compelled to save me from eternal damnation), the main impediment to direct knowledge of truth is the absence of real love in people’s lives. This is because love is the medium in which truth or virtue is communicated in the world.

It is undeniable that many people have a deep and profound love of God. This often manifests as a desire to help others or to convert those to their particular faith or spiritual beliefs, as seems to be the impulse of born-again Christians. Although inspired through the inner impulse of the divine, without sufficient love in the body the truth is distorted, or emotionally conditioned, by the time it externalises. Misunderstandings and conflict is common, due to the force and self-expression masquerading as the need to help others. As a reaction to the lack of love in their lives, missionaries and such-minded people, despite their heartfelt convictions to convert others to their faith, have inflicted much harm on those they sought to help.  

Love is its own solution providing, without choice, whatever is required in the moment, with no need to convert or persuade as a means of serving another. Without making love (or more specifically, enough love) an individual cannot really serve another to their full potential. Physical love made in the spirit of true recognition of the beauty and privilege of being in another body neutralises the force and the need to convert anyone or anything.

Lance Kelly 2013