Religion and Religiousness, hindrances and mistakes
There are two forms of religion. There is the religion of rules and regulations, of sacrifices and rituals. But there is also a form of religion we call religiousness wherein we find ourselves free from rules and regulations, rituals and sacrifices with the only mission to approach the Supreme Person within oneself by virtue and devotion. Some say the former is better than the latter. Others say it is the other way around. In fact they are normal mind sets in one's behavioral repertoire. At times we engage in rituals, at other times we engage in free meditations and forms of self-realization typical for our own person. These fields of religion and religiousness can overlap thus. In that case we speak of gnosis, a state of realizatin in which we with the rules and regulations find our own way in relating to the Person of Example. So we have religion with gnosis and religion without. We also have religiousness with gnosis and without. In gnosis, the overlap, we remember the Person of Fulfillment. Religion without the person is pure theism, if not ritualism. Religiousness without the gnosis of a clear Person of Spiritual Integrity is impersonal spirituality. Filognosy is a special case of gnosis. In filognosy we find an innermost core of existence free from the dualities of gnosis and a-gnosis, spirituality and rationality and theism and atheism. In gnosis, theism and spirituality one may find shadow mentalities because of missing the balance of the inner core of the Person above the duality. There can be mysticism, spiritism, escapism, conventionalism, opportunism or impersonalism. But in filognosy finding liberation in the core existence of His integrity, these -isms of an off-center self-realization drop away like shadows before a rising sun. To reach that far one must overcome obstacles raised by oneself, by others and by nature. Thus one can be in illusion, make mistakes, suffer delusion and be misled. Not forgetting the remedy of the Inner Person of Stability, all these frustrations can be overcome in peace.
The question raised by religion is first of all: 'How can religion be accepted considering the adult option?' The answer in one word is: 'By religiousness.' But that is a simple presentation of a complex matter. Respecting the Ideal person in the form of time, we noted that the system of respecting time constitutes the backbone of our cultures and is the key for any concept of world order we have in mind. But such order is not enough, one can still be in hell with a neat time schedule. Time is the impersonal aspect, the opposite of the duality of which the person is the inescapable other aspect. But the other person can also mean hell. As for time we in the previous inspiration arrived at three different threefold divisions of time to get a grip on the subject. But in respect of the Supreme or Ideal Person who is present inside and outside of us, we run into another duality that, if not properly respected, leads to a hell of personalist confusion. There are in fact two types of religion. There is the system of organized respect for the Person in the form of rituals in a culture of worship instituted to keep the community together and organized with a proper set of values or basic rules of conduct as laid down in traditional lore, in scriptures that are considered sacred. And there is the religious attitude of living a constant remembrance of the Ideal Person of truth, consciousness and bliss with the purpose of finding enlightenment and freedom from misery by discipline and principle. The first notion covers a different field of societal action than the second notion. The former refers to the prayer club as part of the social, idealist civil virtue of what we call liberation. The latter refers to the private sphere of individual self-realization as part of the individual idealist civil virtue of what we actually called religion in inspiration 5.
One might infer from this that the social aspect of religion is in fact no religion at all. The social agreement of rituals and rules for finding religious association is at odds with the adult option of being independent and free individuals. Liberation is found in the protective community with it, that is true, but it remains a school of thought based upon the outside influence that people exert upon each other. There are priests, teachers of the lore and leaders of the organization who lead the way for followers who are subjected to preaching, strategies of social control and vertical pecking orders. The followers are the children and the leaders are the parents who are there to educate the ignorant children. This is only possible because there is a reference to an actual historical person who is identified as the Supreme Person in the flesh. That actual living (or usually deceased) person is the Lord, the Prophet or the Avatar of the religion. The social aspect of religion constitutes the material vision that factually conflicts with the spiritual ideal of being freed from the misery of one's material conditioning.
The personal aspect of religion as an outer phenomenon in the form of this or that historical religious leader is in fact nothing but a gateway to find the personal path of religiousness that, free from such superego identification, is not at odds with the adult option. The social aspect leads to liberation in the sense of finding security, service, a function, meaning, identity and protection in the religious community, the individual aspect leads to enlightenment in self-realization by finding the teacher, the lord or the prophet inside of oneself, with the duty to take full responsibility for the consequence of taking a position of self-realization in the spiritual community.The latter position of religiousness is the purpose of the religion. It is the adult position of having internalized the teachers, the parents, the sages, the saints and religious leaders. But, that position inspires with fear, because the social, material control is lacking. And one cannot really become a lord or prophet or avatar. Those positions are taken and guarded carefully with sanctions against abuse by false prophets, jealous lords or fake avatars. One cannot realize the full quantity of the Person the idealized - or else really ideal - leader stands for. Religion in a social sense is thus often criticized for being paternalistic, materialistic, dogmatic and imposing or else, at the other, individual, hand as being escapist, heretical, mystical, illusioned and irresponsible.
So what to do now? The Person needs to be respected we are sure, for we are certainly a person ourselves, but either quantitative side of the religious coin of quality, on itself constitutes an unacceptable reality. In filognosy, our sixfold perspective of intelligence, we respect both ends of the duality usually playing the green field of its overlap, but missing this love for the knowledge of self-realization, many people - roughly half of the population, depending the culture - has decided that to be a member of a sports club or something alike, is better and that to guard one's intelligence with an atheistic, or else political, vision is the proper way to be an adult, mature person. The other half of mankind, or man for that matter, that is religious, at the same time suffers from an ego - a superego - of considering any other religion, political party or atheist association as demoniac or non-believing. Those other approaches should then, for being dangerous to one's concept of salvation and the salvation of the world, be destroyed, or at least be denied or even better, be converted. Such a one-sided religious option usually results in great social annoyance, disturbance, conflict and eventually (civil) war. Thus this world community, with these two basic positions of mutual denial, is a madhouse of mentally disturbed, half-witted people running into such conflicts and neglect of the rest of nature, that their survival on the planet is unquestionably at stake. Therefore, let us consider what the mistaken notions and hindrances consist of that we find on our way as sincere filognostics in respect of any person, however mad or divine. Love is the way after all, and we are always hoping for the cure of that collective madness. We also need to be safe and secure, that is our enlightened self-interest.
Having arrived at the preliminary conclusion that we live in a world of madness where theism (or religion without gnosis) is opposed by spirituality (which on its turn is religiousness in denial of the gnosis concerning the person) and those two are opposed by atheism (which is essentially the hopeless effort of living without oneself), - with all parties calling each other foolish, the question is how come? How could we arrive at this divisiveness in our local and world community? How can we respect the Supreme Person who seems to have fallen apart completely this way? What can we do about it? It cripples us to such a degree that not only our survival as a species is in danger, but also the paradise of our beautiful planet as a whole is threatened.
First of all, it seems evident that these positions of religious opposition result in an overlap where we find all of them balanced in harmony. That is the gnostic position of having attained the Supreme Integrity of Liberation and Enlightenment we would like to defend. In gnosis we balance religion against atheism, spirituality against rationalism and gnosis itself - not to forget - against agnosticism. The three countering -isms, these three dual mentalities, find their harmony in an evolved concept of gnosis we have called filognosy in inspiration 3, the love of knowledge concerning the realization of the complete and the Person. The truth is always in the middle, is the popular saying and so we seek the balance between the basic opposites and thus can find the integrity of the Person in being filognostic to the facts, the person and the principles. To the facts we choose the middle position in between knowing and not knowing the person. To the Person we choose the middle position in between theism and atheism and to the principles we choose the middle between the intuition of spirituality and the empirical interest of rationalism. In a schematic displayed, we san see how there are six more shadow mentalities of filognosy that represent an imbalance: they can be described as 1) escapism, a form of spirituality in denial of the person, 2) as impersonalism, a rationalized form of gnosis, you know the person but stay away from belief, 3) as mysticism, an atheistic form of gnosis; you know the person, enlightenment, bliss, perfections etc., but deny any formalized form of respect for the Person, 4) as opportunism, a rationalistic form of theism, you acknowledge the Person but do not believe in Him, 5) as conventionalism, a theistic form of agnosticism, you follow the routines of worship but do not know the Person, and 6) as spiritism, an atheistic form of spirituality; you do not believe in any organized form of respect for the Person but do believe in spirits and ghosts. These shadows may cover the sincere filognostic concern for the person and the complete of the Person and thus need to be countered actively. But to attain balance in filognosy without any shadow mentality is easier said than done, provided we get the mental image of it in the first place. In gnosis one is because of imperfections easily a shadow worker oneself and therefore these six twilight mentalities must not be condemned. That kind of negativity is also nonsensical. Shadows in nature are normal with a light source. These are declarations of order we have to learn to work with so as to stay away from imbalance and disharmony. We recognize ourselves in the shadows but cannot be fixed on them. First of all we find hindrances on that path and secondly we have an array of error that delivers us a psychology because of which we get entangled in the onesidedness of all the -isms that make our world a madhouse. So firstly the hindrances.
One can be troubled in one's progress of attaining the complete of the Person of Supreme Interest by three types of hindrances. These hindrances are the cause of our depression, the cause of our darkness, despair and negative mind as also the cause of our eternal hunger, desire and greed. First of all, you can be the obstacle yourself. Suppose you have a crippling headache. You might have forgotten to ventilate the room, to put of your wireless connection or to find enough sleep. Or in one word: one might be oneself the cause of the stress for which one seeks an explanation. And explanations we need, for without knowledge of the cause a problem is difficult to solve. Second of all others can be the cause of one's headache. Someone else might be playing violin nearby for the first time, your neighbor might have purchased an extender to strengthen his wireless signal or a vendor may have served you some food that is bad for you. With someone else being the problem, you have an extra problem because to call others into action - or ask for a different action - is more difficult than to command oneself to tackle a problem. Thirdly there are natural causes: the headache can be there because it is too hot, because a storm at night keeps you awake, or because a flood has ruined you financially. Accusing nature is even more difficult, because who can command this big mamma, mother nature, having a period?
The famous dictum says change the world by changing yourself first. So be it. It is the easiest way after all. Maybe by becoming a saint the rest will be inspired and jealous enough about your happiness so that they all follow and the world will become a paradise again.... Surely, a nice perspective at the horizon, we all learn best by precept and example indeed. We can follow a yoga course, attend religious ceremonies and read pious books for that purpose. Laws can be made to regulate and limit what we do to each other and many movies are shown in the (home)cinema and on tv, to enlighten us with stories about this or that kind of heroism of an example we can (maybe) follow (or rather not). Nature can be accounted for with isolated and air conditioned houses, with earthquake resistant buildings, with water works to keep the flood away from the houses and lightning rods on buildings to protect your computer and other sensitive, even more personal circuitry. That is all fine, we do what we can, but still things go wrong.
We also, secondly, suffer from an array of error consisting of illusions, faults, deceit and misconceptions. Our minds can easily be lead astray by the deluding power of the material world. A rope can be taken for a snake: that is an illusion. Not paying attention you may forget the keys closing your door behind you: that is a fault. You may be in denial about a disease you feel and have symptoms of but have not yet gotten diagnosed by a doctor. You say you are healthy. But that is deception by self-deceit. And finally you might have made a mistake, like leaving your credit card in the ATM and accuse your partner for being the cause because he/she would have diverted you. That is a misconception of the cause one cannot accept to be oneself - but one certainly would have to if the card turned out to be misplaced elsewhere in your wallet. Many times we rather accuse others than seek the fault with ourselves and that may spoil a lot of good relations. For a little money or some false pride, you spoil your entire day, and the day of the other. Because of the four types of error and the three hindrances we have difficulty to acknowledge the purpose of the person, to really know the purpose of the person and to attain the purpose of the Person itself.
Therefore the solution is found in training our consciousness for the filognostic position of the Integral Person, with a proper order of time to attain stability. Meditation - the way one trains one's consciousness - ships with a time schedule, or else the psychiatrist will have to lock you up because of having lost all structure some moment. Ask any monastery, the first thing they consider themselves is an order. Not really advocating that type of social control here that seems to be at odds with the adult option for attaining and maintaining enlightenment, it must be said that any decent meditator has to accept regulations for his daily practices. Usually one first learns this somewhere else and later in life integrates that into a personalized practice at home. Meditating on the Person in balance between the popular oppositions of theism, spirituality and gnosis, results in a consciousness freed from material concerns that is not so decided about all that duality. First of all we have to find stability as an adult person who has his life under control. Then we may consider specific strategies to prevent the personal and collective drama of conflicts and wars because of hindrances and because of the false notions of causality we ran into for psychological reasons.
Source for this Inspiration:
S.B. Canto 1, Chapter 8