Religion is a difficult subject! Many modern spiritual thinkers blame religion for the evil done in the name of religion or God. I’d like to say that it isn’t Religion which is evil. Religion is a set of guidelines, a series of stories…often in metaphorical form,.. disciplines and structures. The evil is spiritual ignorance and self- righteous ego that believes it is spiritual. Religion isn’t going to go away but spiritual ignorance could. When there’s spiritual awareness religion can be a force for good because the guiding principle is spiritual awareness…an open heart! As Jesus pointed out, human weren’t made for religion, quite the reverse. There are plenty of religious people who are guided by awakened hearts and good is expressed in the name of God. People won’t be guided by love if there is no religion. Evil won’t go away if there is no religion. Our hearts and minds have to awaken first and then religion is rendered, at worst harmless and at best a tool for good and when we are awakened at the very core of our being God is revealed as a fundamentally creative and unifying force of Love.
Religion literally means to bind back or reconnect. In this context to the essence of oneself… to God. God is depicted as making humans in the image of God. Humans, though, seem to have made God in their own image. Judaism instructs that one must NOT make an image of God. I think anyone here can see the wisdom in that injunction. It’s not just that one may not make an image of God. One CANNOT make an image of God. So, how are we made in God’s image. The confusion is in the use of the word ‘image’. We think of it in visual terms but I suggest we think of it I qualitative terms. Our essential quality is that of God and our spiritual journey is in firstly awakening to that and then gradually realising that as we let go of our conditioning and bind back or reconnect with our true nature… with God.