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True Religion

Jul 25, 1996 05:51 PM
by Alan

True Religion

The word 'religion' is thought to come from the Latin 'religio,' to
bond, and it is without doubt a fact that one of the main attractions of
religion for individuals is its ability to bring people together in a
common context of fellowship and trust.  Trust, after all, is another
word for faith.

It also offers two other essential ingredients: an assurance of survival
after physical death, and a moral code which can be applied to people's
lives on a day to day basis.

Whatever kind of religion it may be, there is almost always some form of
a shared meal, whether formal, as in the case of a Christian Eucharist,
or less formal, as is the case with some other religions.  In any event,
the common meal is invested with a purpose, namely that of bonding its
participants together in a single communion, or community of trust and

There are those who seek something more than this from religion, and so
far there is nothing in the ingredients mentioned which cannot be
provided without the need for either 'deity' or 'spirituality.'

Essentially, though, it seems that human nature requires - or
*recognises* - a spiritual dimension to life, both in this world and
beyond it.  As for 'God,' well, if we can accept the use of the term as
relating at least to the *fact* of being as an eternal phenomenon, and
we can appreciate the view of both the Christian Church Fathers and the
Jewish 'Hasidim that anthropomorphism cannot be attribute to 'God'
(other than as a convenience for ease of *human* reference) then we can
perhaps begin to see that there is a constant state - and flow - of
cosmic *intelligence* at work in the universe.

It follows that the power and strength of such intelligence, sustaining
and inhabiting all of the visible and invisible creation, is of such an
order that the familiar terms used by religions - majesty, almighty, and
so on - might even be inadequate.

Yet we ourselves *share* in this awesome intelligence, and are ourselves
part of it, even in these crude animal frames to which we point and say
"I" when the truth of our own being is as eternal in its essence as that
of 'God,' the "Eternal Being-ness" rendered as 'Yahweh' or 'Jehovah' in
English bibles, an 'Eternal Life' that permeates the entire universe and
all that lives.

Only a *recognition* - not a blind belief in a doctrine or dogma - of
the essential need for true religion can bring humanity together as a
unity, a true "image of God" which is every bit as diverse as the
elements which make up the stars, galaxies, and inter-stellar spaces of
the visible universe, and yet which, while recognising the needs of the
individual, acknowledges that without each other, the individuals are as
nothing, and could not survive for a single iota of time.

As *true* religion has always said, we humans need to wake up to the
*reality* of 'God.'  Paying intellectual lip-service to an idea or
concept, or a 'god' made in a human image, leads only to conflict and

True religion is a genuine bonding of a real human family, a family
which is the human race itself.  Nothing less will do.

There is no religion higher than truth - and truth is a matter of
experience, not opinion.

Alan Bain, 1992.

THEOSOPHY INTERNATIONAL: Ancient Wisdom for a New Age
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