I have a deep interest in the brain science that is gradually revealing what drives Human
beings to do the peculiar things we do and read yesterday that kids aged 3-12 have an innate theism that makes them see the hand of supernatural agency in the natural world (and parental egos are such that parents want their kids to be just like them, hence they indoctrinate kids with their religious dogma). Spirituality
(a 'sense' of one's own higher consciousness that can bring about deeply felt 'inner peace' and connectedness), as opposed to religion (belief in a reality beyond ordinary existence and morals guided by a code of ethics, laws, traditions and community), in most people draws out the best of their human traits: acceptance, forgiveness, kindness, etc., a good thing at any age.
This got me thinking...
- SPIRITUALITY = RELIGION: ✔
- SPIRITUALITY ≠ RELIGION: ✔
- RELIGION = SPIRITUALITY: ✔
- RELIGION ≠ SPIRITUALITY: ✗
By which I mean:
- SPIRITUALITY that evokes RELIGION can also be a good thing.
- SPIRITUALITY free of RELIGION can elevate human consciousness,
- RELIGION that engenders SPIRITUALITY can be ‘a blessing,’
- But RELIGION bereft of SPIRITUALITY has proven to be the source of much evil.
We would do well to hold all the world’s religious texts and spiritual tenets up against this moral litmus test and reform the ethics of the ancient (or modern) texts that do not, in intent, match its message and the needs of our human tribe in these modern times, especially for kids today, who are growing up sadly disconnected from their fellow human tribe members versus the way we evolved to socialize and learn as a species. Kids now interface primarily through an always-on screen (a phenomenon I call "Our Collective Experiment on the Minds of Children") and spend little unstructured time in each others' collective company. [Note that we split off from our nearest primate cousins 7 million years ago, started to live in permanent settlements just 7 thousand years ago (.001 of our species' existence), and began addicting our pre-school offspring to inhumane technology about 7 years ago (.000001%). Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it a 'nod along' good idea -- we have NO idea what the consequences will be...]
At the same time we, the majority, should, without reservation or exception, excommunicate the dogma-bound religious leaders who, from the content of their sermons and writing, clearly demonstrate that spirituality is not at the core of their beings, but that literal interpretation of texts written in a world in which vastly different guidelines could flourish, whether their intent was for the greater good or not, is what they 'hang their hats on' -- without the troublesome interference of using a moral compass guided by a solid footing in the ever-changing needs of their fellow human beings. . If these so-called leaders are not first and foremost 'spiritual,' they have no place at the pulpit or front of the class. Regardless of their faith, these deeply inhumane individuals draw out and exacerbate dangerous tendencies in the few among us who are morally bankrupt (low empathy, narcissistic, wired to feel angry and murderous through no fault of their own), and it is up to the majority of us to demand our collective interests are upheld against the extremism of a troubled few, regardless of what position they've managed to wrangle for themselves in our culture.
Just a thought.