The Beauty of Religion…

I am a scholar of religious and spiritual philosophy, theology and ideology. I do not have to ‘believe’ or disbelieve’ in any religion to study the development, history and culture of religious thought. All religions, at one point or other in their development, have often given rise to immensely beautiful constructs. This can be in the form of buildings, social planning, enlightened politics, worship and communication, etc. The downside of religions is their exclusivity, narrow-mindedness, bigotry, prejudice, defensiveness, violence, destruction, murder, lack of free-thought and lack of free-movement. The problem is that all the beautiful constructs of religion have emerged from exactly the same spiritual milieu as all the worst aspects of religion! It is the same fertile soil deep in the human mind that generates religious thinking, religious action and religious creativity. This soil also generates the conditions for religious non-thinking, religious non-action and religious non-creativity. Furthermore, this soil – when interacting with the various conditions of the outer world – also generates wrong religious thought, wrong religious action and wrong religious creativity. The ancient Egyptian culture was premised upon the mummification of the body at physical death, and the construction of immense buildings (such as pyramids and temples, etc) which served as mechanism for the departed soul to traverse the physical universe (an early form of space travel) in-search of a good rebirth in a different star system! Even the secularising West tends to view religion as troublesome as its anti-greed tendencies interferes with capitalist endeavour, whilst Socialism views religion as representing an earlier (and outdated) way of viewing the world before the development of modern science. Both capitalism and Socialism remove religion from the political sphere and quite often away from direct contact with schools. Within Socialist ideology it is believed that as society eradicates all inequality and class distinctions, religion will die-out as it will have no purpose. Until that far-off day, religion becomes a private matter – more or less the same as what is happening within capitalist countries. Is it possible to retain the beauty of religion without preserving the corruption (and blatant class distinction) of religion? Can religion survive in a new way that is like a form of art? Can religious impulses be restructured to serve secular science whilst maintaining a non-threatening alternative view?  

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