0.5
August 8, 2017

This Spiritual Teacher’s Definition of Religion is for Everyone—Even Atheists.


The word “God” has lost almost all its meaning—and for good reason.

The rigid structure that religion has abided by for the past few thousand years has completely corroded the underlying truths it was meant to uphold.

I want to know how I can help reintroduce a new kind of religion to people who have become disillusioned with the falsehoods of “the old way,” because the philosophical underpinnings of all religion does contain some intrinsic value.

It’s really important to have a sense of spirituality—an understanding that life extends beyond the confines of our own ego. The world is far more than just what we think about it. Thought is a tool we use to survive—a measurement device to learn from our mistakes of the past and engender a better future—but it is not necessarily a guide toward truth. This is why we need a deeper gauge than the voice in our heads to determine the course of our existence .

To meet our fullest potential as human beings, we need to ground ourselves in something that aligns us with spirit.

Jiddu Krishnamurti is of the greatest influences in my life and work—specifically in the realm of religion and spirituality. He is one of few people who actually embodied their work completely, who used their own being as a vehicle for higher consciousness and an example of a truly religious life. This was his take on what religion really means:

“I think the word religion means gathering together all energy at all levels; physical, moral, spiritual, so on. Gathering all of this energy at all levels, which will bring about a great attention, and in that attention there is no frontier. Religion is the gathering of total energy to understand what thought cannot possibly capture.”

It is only in a state of total attention that we can be connected with that which is beyond the realm of thought, and this is what it means to truly be religious in the deepest sense. When we allow ourselves to abide in a pure state of awareness (which takes tremendous practice), we tap into something much larger than what our ideas and concepts could possibly grasp.

A religious life is one where there is a sustained effort toward evoking this quality of total energy and attention.

This practice can look a number of different ways. Perhaps it is a meditation style, some form of daily contemplation, or a visualization technique. The purpose of such practices would be to extend our perception beyond the narrow scope of the thinking mind, which is endlessly concerned with everything outside of what is happening in the present moment.

Spirituality is predicated upon having a direct relationship with the present moment. It is only when we allow ourselves to venture most deeply and thoroughly into the present moment that we can transcend our conditioning and all our psychologically-induced limitations. This is the experience that all religion points toward in some form or another.

“The gathering of all energy so that there is total attention, and in that quality of attention the immeasurable comes into being.”

What Krishnamurti is saying here is that when we are completely attentive—aligned with the immediacy of the present moment—dwelling in the space between stimulus and response, we move beyond the realm of thought and expand the domain of our own consciousness. It is only in cultivating such a state that we begin to bring about a fundamental change both in ourselves and in the world.

This is absolutely necessary, considering how both are so damaged and distraught.

The ideal religious life is characterized by the daily cultivation of one’s own consciousness.

We are all capable of doing this, regardless of where we come from or what our beliefs are.

Relephant:

~
~
~

Author: Samuel Kronen
Image: Aziz Acharki/Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Copy Editor: Travis May
Social Editor: Nicole Cameron

Leave a Thoughtful Comment