Religions, to a large extent, became divisive rather than unifying forces. Instead of bringing about an ending of violence and hatred through a realization of the fundamental oneness of all life, they brought more violence and hatred, more divisions between people as well as between different religions and even within the same religion. They became ideologies, belief systems people could identify with and so use them to enhance their false sense of self. Through them, they could make themselves "right" and others "wrong" and thus define their identity through their enemies, the "others," the "nonbelievers" or "wrong believers" who not infrequently they saw themselves justified in killing.
- Eckhart Tolle
My thoughts exactly on this subject. [Speaker gets on his soapbox.] This Tolle quote is especially timely and relevent given the tragic events in Norway this weekend. A nightmare of hatred allegedly carried out by a religious fundamentalist. If fear, hate and killing are the results of any spiritual concept or idea, there is something fundamentally flawed with that concept or idea, and it should be discarded from the collective human consciousness. That's why I keep a safe distance from nearly all 'organized religions' and explore alternate ways to experience spirituality. I urge others to do the same.
Consider the dreadful track record of some religions thus far: the Inquisition, the Crusades, countless assassinations, rapes, massacres and wars, the eternal cauldron of hate that is the Middle East, the crimes of colonization, the crimes of slavery, Madrid 2004, 9/11, Oslo 2011, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Enough already! I look forward to a New Earth free of the insanity of these oppressive, hate-filled, farcical "I have the only answer" dogmas. There simply must be a better answer for humanity's spiritual needs than this absurd madness.
Time to wake up, folks. The emperor (religion) has no clothes. I know the collective change in consciousness needed seems monumental, but as Mahatma Gandhi wisely instructed us, "You must be the change you want to see in the world." If not YOU, who? If not NOW, when?