Just for a moment let us assume that religion does not exist. What, if anything, has changed? The sun continues to shine and at night the stars still twinkle in the heavens above. Remarkably, all is well in the world. Would it have made any difference to life on earth if we had never heard of Jesus, Buddha or the other founders of the world’s religion? Would not the natural impulse as a human being be to give gratitude and devotion to the source of such a magnificent creation? Of course the answer is “yes”, as is demonstrated in the common experience of well being whenever the individual feels connected to the earth It’s this original state of being that is always present that provides the immediate perception of love and beauty. But the connection is often brief and short circuited by the distractions of the mind and layers of emotional tension. Since the beginning of time, as a consequence of humanity’s increasing separation between the inner and outer realities, the religious idea emerged so as to retain some kind of formal link to the origins of life.
The presence of the religious idea provides the inspiration to counteract the enormous attachment to the material world. It does this by converting the past expressions of humanity’s spiritual aspirations into recognisable concepts and images consonant with the living experience of the individual and of the times. A Hindu, for example, conditioned through the Hindu religion could realise a particular level of spiritual truth through an aspect of Krishna, whereas a Christian realising a similar degree of reality would translate the same energy into an image of Jesus. On both accounts, the stored images and experiences of the past provide the means for the brain to make sense of the timeless quality of the spirit. This is made possible because preserved energetically within the religious idea are the principles of the founders of the great religions, as well as the spiritual insights and knowledge of mystics, saints and devotional men and women who have lived throughout the ages.
Surrounding the finest energies of the idea are the less enlightened psychic forces that make up a depository of the sum total of humanity’s false perceptions of reality. These lesser expressions of divine revelation stored within the human psyche include the dogma, prayers, superstition, psychic illusion and beliefs that have ever been projected into existence. These past expressions of life survive within the psyche as discarnate psychic entities that crave to re-experience the sensual life that only a living body can provide.
Psychic possession is a common occurrence that is rarely perceived for what it is. In an individual, psychic possession can be responsible for mood swings and irrational emotional behaviour. The stoking of firmly held beliefs through religious fervour is an established technique for mass possession. The rallying for national causes in times of war or crisis utilises the same effect through stirring the massed psychic force of the nation. Everyone born will be conditioned in varying degrees by the religious idea, although in some people this may happen at a deeply subconscious level. Even the atheist in renouncing his belief in God or religion is unable to detach from the overall effect.
The primitive spirit, as far back as prehistoric times, illustrated the instinctual religious idea evolving even then. These earliest of men engraved or painted on cave walls images of great meaning for their sense of identity as a tribe and in recognition of their primordial origins. The pictorial images were not just artistic expressions but were portals to the psychic reality they represented. By focusing on the image or symbol primitive man could merge inwardly with an aspect of the earth’s spirit. Further into time or past, the simplicity of the human psyche began to change through identifying more with the external world of the senses. There was an increasing emphasis put into the psyche for a demonstration of magic or illusion. Sacrifice of human beings, as well as livestock, produced the desired effects for millennia in succeeding civilisations, most famously in the Inca and Aztec cultures. This continues in the modern world with the reliance on ritual and ceremonies – and in the elaborate attire worn by priests and holy men in many religions. “The sacrifice to God is a broken and penitent heart”, as King David discovered, is the confrontation with the awful truth that I, the individual, am responsible for the consequences of my actions.
So would it have been better if religion had not been invented or is there a purpose to it that contains its own solution? The key to it all is in the ascending degree of self-knowledge gathered through each living life. In every interaction between people there is a constant exchange of information and, at a deeper unconscious level, an extraction of knowledge of existence. Although the living process is mostly superficial, the combined life experiences contribute energetically to the greater purpose of replicating the divine or spiritual idea that is the reality behind the person. Over many life recurrences, the idea that is the individual’s true spiritual identity begins to shine through the flesh to transform the matter of the physical form. As an individual approaches this evolutionary climacteric he is able to receive deeper intimations of reality as direct knowledge. This is the power of the present, or moment, which negates all reference to the religious indoctrination and traditions of the past. The religious idea is then perceived as an archetypal structure within the human psyche that stands guard like a flamed sword at the entrance to the higher realms of mind.
Lance Kelly 2012