Are Religion and Spirituality the Ultimate Placebos?
You fear death, we give you the afterlife and reincarnation and heaven. You fear life, we give you angels and light beings and prayer and meditation. You fear the future, we give you oracles and patterns to read. You fear pain and suffering, we blame it on your own choices, your karma, your past lives, and teach you techniques to heal the mind and overcome your own puny little self. You have a need for more, we teach you techniques to attract more. You fear loneliness, we give you soul mates, temples and community and group fold thinking with great songs and chants to make you high. You want to talk to God, we give you a telephone line directly through your local Guru, Priest, Rabbi, Saint, Mullah. Honestly, spirituality and religion really do answer every need!
But is this an evolutionary state of being? Does this really answer the big questions like "Who am I?", "What is the purpose of this existence", "What is consciousness?", "What is my role as a human being?", "Why does compassion make me feel better than anger?", "Am I connected with everything there is out there?", "Am I stardust acting out a human existence?" We need to Grow Up from our religions and spirituality cults and Wake Up to our real identities as conscious seekers of truth and we need to Clean Up the clutter of all the beliefs we preconceive and are stuck with and then we need to Show Up and be great human beings bringing peace and harmony to all and most importantly to ourselves. This is evolution. At least of human consciousness.
I am most drawn to the notion of a spiritual or mystical humanism, as Roddenberry and Adler imagined, as the great ideal for mankind where we follow the tenet that mankind can eventually, through enlightened self-interest and compassion, make the world better for all while still being able to turn inwards and expand its individual and collective consciousness. We are meant to live in unity amongst the stars and boldly go where no one has gone before - not fight over what names we call the one truth or the colours of our skins or our fake divisions of the Earth or how much money we have and want to have or even how enlightened we think we are. I am hopeful.