The Purpose of Religion
Religion versus Spirituality? Man-made order versus Natural Law? Body versus Soul? What's more sacred? What's more important? What's more profound? The answer is not obvious, even if the answer is “both.” After all, we live in a moment in time, when even truth betrays itself three quarters of the time. The Natural Law does not manifest itself fully, and that means we live in sin, even if we are not aware of it. That's why it is called the Age of Ignorance. In the Iron Age, when everything can rust, special insight is needed — guidance from that level which is beyond the influence of the elements.
When the Natural Law is manifested in its entirety, there is no need for an organized system of beliefs, there is no need for any spiritual practice, no need for meditation or any other technique to uphold what is out there fully reflecting the Absolute. Every cell and every planet is realigned to express the totality. Everything is in the state of equilibrium anyway, gods and humans are drinking soma (manna), so what need is there for any commandments or any togas? Every being is aware of Being. There is no self, other than the Self of all. When that knowledge is lost, harmony is no longer possible; there is no other ignorance, except for the ignorance of one's real nature. Prophets and revelations come into the world precisely at those periods, when that knowledge is lost, eclipsed by darkness.
All revelations in essence are the expressions of the Absolute in Its desire to restore and uphold the Natural Law. Revelation leads to the establishment of the spiritual teaching and that, if the invested power is strong enough, gives birth to a religion. So, religions are a most sacred and most beautiful gift to the world. All history of mankind is the history of Spirit taking different shapes, over and over again. Religion shaped by the culture gives rise to civilization. The revelation of One truth speaks through the mother tongue of the prophet, which gives uniqueness to every religion, and superiority to none. Religion and civilization are synonymous. The rise and the fall of religions are the rise and the fall of civilizations. The root of the word, “relio” stands for re-unite. It is the highest achievement of human endeavor on the collective level, and the most cherished human concept.
Religions are not to be blamed for failing to deliver, or for the atrocities committed in the names of their God. Why is that which came into existence to re-unite, being used to separate that which came into the world to restore harmony but is instead being used to manipulate the essence of life itself? The Bhagavad Gita declares that it is the loss of the essence over time which is to be blamed, it is the loss of that element which makes the religion capable of reuniting; it is transcendence of all opposites, in the presence of Oneness.
The paradox of life, is that spiritual revelation comes from a vertical axis, only to spill onto the horizontal plane of existence. The seers are mountain dwellers, while the churches and temples are being built in the valleys. The message from the summit gets distorted, and pitched differently at the different levels and altitudes.
Spirituality is a recognized necessity for total freedom. Religion is a discipline of the inherited cultural phenomena, distilled into the community for the sake of social order.
We are now living in the time of religious decadence, the time of bankruptcy of its theology and ideology, and hypocrisy of the custodians. Until the critical mass is finally shifted, that will be the case, and no attempt is going to convert an ignorant Christian, Muslim or a Hindu to recognize the Christ, the Allah, the Shiva deep within one's own heart... until that heart is filled with enough silence and enough peace.
Yet it is changing, and the new wave of Energy is already out and deep within; all one needs to do is to have the silence to sense it. It is erected to spill its seed onto the horizontal plane of the world, to fertilize it once again. After all, that was the leitmotif of Christianity itself, with the Cross being the place where flesh and Spirit are reconciled, in the paradoxical manner of a cross.
Igor Kufayev, London, Little Venice. June, 2006