The purpose of religion

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"The purpose of religion must be clarified."[1]

Religion is "a pathway to understand the Mystery and is not a replacement for the Mystery." [2]


"This is the purpose of all the world’s religions—feeding people, caring for people, forgiving people, uniting people." [3]

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To Bring the Mind Under the Direction of the Spirit

"The purpose of religion is to bring people to the great endowment, to the endowment of Knowledge, for this is how God will guide you and move you and restrain you—carrying you forward, holding you back, a greater force beyond words or expression."[1]

“For all the great religious traditions were fundamentally initiated by God to reunite the mind with the Spirit and to bring the mind under the direction of the Spirit. Here the mind is like the steward of the soul until the king can return or the queen can return, the true ruler of life can return.” [4]

"Fundamentally the purpose of all spiritual development and religious education in its truest sense is to build a connection between your thinking mind, which is a product of all the world’s influences, and the deeper mind within you that God has created within you."[5]

“Religion is not going to the church or the mosque or the temple or the holy site and going through the motions of what religious authorities have established as practice and custom. It is not forcing yourself to believe things that you hardly understand. That is not religion. Religion is the great engagement within you, between your thinking mind and the deeper mind of Knowledge within yourself. This engagement begins very slowly and can occur under any circumstances. You can go sit in a church or a mosque. You can go sit in your closet if necessary to gain the opportunity to be quiet and to listen.”[6]

To Build the Capacity for Experiencing God

“The purpose of all religious institutions fundamentally is to provide an environment where you can cultivate your desire and your capacity to experience God.” [7]

"So what is religion as an institution or a body of teachings? In essence, its purpose is to create an environment and an encouragement for people to experience the Presence, the Power and the Grace of God within themselves, their lives, within each other and within the world.

What does this mean? This means that the purpose of religion is to bring people to the great endowment, to the endowment of Knowledge, for this is how God will guide you and move you and restrain you—carrying you forward, holding you back, a greater force beyond words or expression. Beyond the realm and the reach of the intellect it is."[1]

God does not discriminate. God is not delighted with the religious and angry with the unreligious. God has placed the saving Grace within each person. The real purpose of religion is to bring people to this saving Grace. Religion in all of its forms is intended to do this. Even though religion has taken on other manifestations and assumed other purposes and in many cases has been adopted by political forces, this is its fundamental purpose—to bring you to Knowledge, to bring you to this deeper guiding intelligence that the Creator of all life has placed within you and within each person as a potential.” [8]

"The purpose of all religion is to bring you to Knowledge for Knowledge is here to guide you and to protect you and to lead you to a greater life in service to the world. You of any faith or tradition, this is the case. You may pray to God. You may fall down on your knees and prostrate yourself in the temple or the mosque or the church. But until you begin to carry out God’s work that is meant for you to carry out you will not understand the real nature of your spiritual reality."[9]

“Simply said, the purpose of religion is to cultivate the desire and the capacity to experience the Divine Presence in one’s life. All teachings and rituals, whether within large institutions or within the privacy of one’s home, are for this purpose. And the desire and capacity to experience the Divine Presence is to bring one to the power of Knowledge that the Creator of all life has placed within each human heart.”[10]

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“In essence, all religion is to teach The Way of Knowledge, to bring the individual into the direct experience of Knowledge, the deeper mind beyond the intellect, the mind that God has provided each person to guide them, to protect them and to lead them to a greater life and expression in the world.”[10]

“In these words, we speak to the human heart, not to the intellect that wants to have everything figured out and wants to adhere to its notions, its beliefs and its traditions. There is nothing wrong with a tradition if it fulfills the basic purpose of religion, which is to inspire and expand people’s desire and capacity to experience the presence of God and to connect them with the deeper intelligence that God has placed within them that will be essential for their success and their well-being in the world. This is much more important than the teachings of the founder of a religious tradition. It is much more important than the religion’s official declarations of belief or doctrinaire.”[10]

“You who seek to know your greater purpose in the world and the greater meaning of your life are a religious person. Whether you belong to a church or a mosque or a synagogue or any other religious organization, that is secondary. Promoting a religious ideology in the world does not represent supporting God’s will and purpose here. It is only if this ideology and system of belief can meet the basic requirements of religion that they have real and lasting value and produce real benefit for people.”[10]

“Religion is bringing you to God and to what God has placed within you to guide you, to protect you and to lead you to your great accomplishments in life. Anything beyond this is an invention, a human invention, an adaptation. People will have to figure out what this means in terms of the application of law and the running of society. God is not here to run society or to carry out the intricacies of jurisprudence or the administration of the law. God is pointing you to the Mystery, not to the manifestation. God is calling you to the Mystery, not prescribing the manifestation.”[10]

"The world is one reality. Your Ancient Home is another reality. You cannot unite them. However, you can bring something into the world from your Ancient Home. This has meaning here. This is appropriate. The real role of religion is to provide a context, a method, a structure and the direction to enable this to happen. This will give you the encouragement, the strength, the determination and the assistance you will need to find the Greater Reality which lives within your Knowledge and to be able to express it specifically according to your nature and purpose here in life." [11]

To Strengthen What Remains

"The purpose is to save human civilization from internal collapse and from external subjugation. Every religion must serve this purpose or everything here will be lost. It is the greatest change the human family has ever had to face, and it is just beginning." [12]

Metaphors

"Religion is what has been created to give spirituality an opportunity to be expressed and to be shared, to create an environment where spirituality can be experienced and applied. It is like a house within which spirituality can live: a structure, a pathway, a context, an orientation. That is the purpose of religion." [13]

"All the religions, though they compete with one another, though they demean one another, and though they may proclaim that they themselves are the one true faith, have in fact and in reality been initiated by God. God has given rise to them all. Like many rivers flowing into the sea, they are meant to nourish all the lands and all the peoples of the world. Only one who is truly mature in their own faith can see this. Otherwise, they feel they must defend their faith against other faiths, setting in motion competition, denial, criticism, hatred and mistrust. Certainly this has happened in all cases. But the truth remains that God created all the religions. And they are all meant to serve in bringing the Divine presence, will and purpose into the minds and the hearts of people everywhere—in different cultures, in different climates, to people with very different social patterns and behaviors in all the eras of history." [13]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Pure Religion, Chapter 1: The Pure Religion
  2. The New Message on Freedom (February 23, 2008)
  3. God’s New Message for the World’s Religions (January 23, 2015)
  4. The Power of Knowledge, Chapter 9: Knowledge and the Limits of Belief
  5. The Age of Women (November 14, 2007)
  6. The New Message for the Impoverished & Oppressed (April 18, 2008)
  7. Relationships & Higher Purpose, Chapter 1: Your Most Primary Relationship
  8. What Will Save Humanity (March 30, 2008)
  9. The One God, Chapter 3: The Origin
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 The New Message on Religion (July 20, 2009)
  11. Greater Community Spirituality, Chapter 19: What is religion?
  12. God's New Message for the Islamic World (December 30, 2014)
  13. 13.0 13.1 The New Message for the Religious Leaders of the World (May 27, 2006)

See also

Religion

The world's religions

Separation of Church and State

The Mystery