Life Without Religion

“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.” ― Eric Hoffer,

Many people, especially North Americans, pride themselves in their non-religious beliefs. Too many of us believe that religion has caused more social damage than good, therefore it cannot have had, is having, or will have a positive influence on human relationships.

Nothing could be farther from the truth!

A superficial glance at religion, both present-day and ancient, they appear superstitious and practices that defy reason … that is until we apply the initial purpose of ritual to many religious practices.

Since I profess to be a practicing Christian, I’ll use Biblical and Christian-oriented examples in my reasoning. However, they can equally be used in any religious practice to understand the reason behind the ritual.

The ritual of Christian baptism is one example. Without going into the deeper meaning behind the ritual of baptism, there is no magic in the ritual itself, other than it denotes the person being baptized is now a member of that specific religious belief, and is expected to follow its rules, and appreciate its many benefits like receiving guidance from the Holy Spirit, special study groups to help one become more spiritual, strength in group prayer, and more.

Liken it unto a person joining a co-op grocery store. The initial fee could represent the baptism: becoming a member, and the ‘baptism’ would include a briefing, or explaining—and involve the member’s acceptance — the rules governing his new membership. Upon accepting the regulations governing The Co-op, the recent member would now have access to the benefits of special bargains, unique products, and other savings. Like discounts on travel or hotel lodgings.

Another advantage of belonging to a religious group is the power in numbers that it can influence on our society at large. However, this power is a two-edged sword: it can literally benefit the community at large, or it can be a detriment, and this is where the great debate comes in—and probably the biggest reason so many people renounce any belief in God—and sadly, are missing out on wonderful opportunities that conscientious religious organizations can offer a person.

The history of religion is old, its roots forming some time when we, Homo sapiens, first established their superiority over the rest of the Homo crowd. And, yes, many wars and much cruelty has been committed in the name of religion. But, one reason we even rose to the top of the food chain is, that “Tolerance is not a Sapiens trademark.”[i] In short, most times, we fought our way to the top, so violence is in our basic nature—and this is where religion comes in: it can help us become more spiritual, more compassionate, and more loving to each other. Here are a few examples. But, remember, it’s your choice. We can accept the spiritual aspects of religious benefit into our lives, or we can revert to our ancestral ways of getting what we want through violence. Don’t blame religion. Blame our genes!

One last point before deciding about accepting religion. Don’t pay any attention to all the negative stories you hear about religion. Think of any institute in our society: the police, our school system, our legal system. Do any of them have a hundred percent flawless record? No person is perfect—and even then, what is the definition of perfect? Criticism isn’t a positive way to view society. It’s actually a copout, an excuse for some to do nothing. Here are a few positive points to help you get started.

  • Helps in spiritual growth. You’ve heard the expression, “I’m a spiritual person, not a religious person.” Well, here’s your chance to become both spiritual and religious.
  • Accepting good morals can improve honesty.
  • Strengthens family ties.
  • Faith reduces fear and promotes mental health.
  • Improves creative skills. Art has its roots in religion.
  • Helps you become more compassionate.

A great article in Philosophy Talk, titled “How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?[ii] written by Kenneth Taylor can be an excellent start to becoming a more religious person and put meaning into your life. You’ll be glad you read it!

[i] Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari, p.19

[ii] How Can Smart People Still Believe in God?”  https://www.philosophytalk.org/blog/how-can-smart-people-still-believe-god

Amazing Intelligence in Animals—Humans as Animals, that is!

The healing power in one’s hands  has been used by mystics and healers for centuries.

Earlier today I bumped my left elbow, and immediately, in an unconscious act, covered the painful spot with my right hand, massaging it gently. It was such an automatic move that got me thinking.  This is a common action for most people: when we hurt ourselves we instinctively over the area with our hand, or hands, and begin a gentle massage. Is this just a habit, or is there some healing comfort in our hands most of us don’t immediately recognize? Other animals don’t seem to have this ability—oh, they have healing and comforting abilities, but not in their hands, paws, fins, or whatever, as we have.

Sacred Science says, “Our hands are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. Whether you are a Siberian shaman, Reiki Healer, or QiGong master, awareness in your palms and fingertips is an unspoken job requirement.” From my observation, unconscious acts of using our hands for soothing and healing must work to a degree, otherwise it wouldn’t be such a universal common reaction that, whenever I hurt myself, I cover the area with my hand.

I have an eye exercise that I do that has demonstrated the power in my fingertips to me. When my eyes get tired from sitting too long in front of the computer, or if I’m reading for too long a time without taking a break, I bring the tips of my first three fingers together and gently rub them in a circular manner.

The placebo principle plays a role here. Remember, the body has the ability to heal itself, and denial or belief plays a big part in whether an attempted “self-cure” works or not.

I do this for about 30 seconds, then place the tips of my fingers on my closed eyelids and gently hold them there for a few seconds, imagining the energy from my fingertips flowing into, and soothing my tired eyes. How I feel, in general, at the time also has an effect on the outcome of this exercise. If I’m tired and really out-of-sorts,  I often end up with poor results. On the other hand, if I feel “energetic,” I only need repeat this fingertip exercise three or four times to get excellent results.

Our bodies are electrical, that behaves much like a large magnet. Energy flows in through our feet, and out through our fingertips and head. Therefore, from a scientific view, there is no reason why we can’t harness the energy flow out of the tips of our fingers to benefit tired eyes, mild hearing loss, or even give a little extra “spark” to our thinking capacity.

All created species, including plants and insects, have been granted unique intelligence, advantages or abilities according to their needs by our Creator. Humans, also, have been given a unique ability: to love and to heal.