So, you’ve done your research, you’ve visited a church, a mosque, and a temple (or not) and you’re still not satisfied with what you’ve experienced. Here’s a thought – organized religion may not be for you. First, let’s clarify what we mean by organized religion. When we say organized religion, specifically, we are talking about the religious sects: Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc.
Society is evolving and changing such ways in which the individual is asked to expand their horizons. We are constantly lobbied to include those who stray from the norm. By strongly encouraging society to incorporate and accept the atypical, our standard of inclusion and the need to keep an open mind to all the options and possibilities continues to increase. With this need to include constantly growing, we are indirectly, and maybe inadvertently, forcing the individual to ask taboo questions about the practices of a chosen religion.
Many studies show that the up and coming generations are growing less inclined to seek organized religion. Rather, millennials, generation Y’s, and those to come seem to be seeking spirituality. Studies have also indicated a cultural shift, specifically in the States, emphasizing the individual and encouraging Americans and America’s habitants to put themselves first. With this in mind, the individual may have a difficult time committing to and properly participating in a collective.
So, we’re back to this question of whether religion is for you or not? Consider this – the idea of religion, believing in a higher power, or the idea of how all actions are connected to their congruent positive and/or negative consequences is what you seek. Maybe you are seeking to deepen your relationship with that higher power, but are unsure how to nourish that bond. Since you’re not quite sure how to spark the growth and strength of your relationship with this higher power, does that mean you must turn to organized religion to assist? Short answer, you know you the best.
That “little voice inside you” that we usually only hear women talk about, well everyone has one. Choose what you feel is best for you, your sanity, and ultimately your mental health. When we put religion, in and of itself, into perspective, each and every member of the congregation, mosque, temple, etc. all have the same goal that they are working towards – live life by the rules given to me from a book written by God in order to make it to a place of bliss, ease, and peace.
You might be searching your entire life, but at least you will be searching for yourself.
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Having most religions date back thousands of years it is difficult to keep track of which ones have come and gone. As of the modern day age, the 5 main religious groups of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Folk Religion surprisingly account for 84% of the world’s population. Even though these are the main groups of religion in the world today, there are several more that people all over the world are involved in. Below we’ll discuss some of the more famous religions and a brief summary of what they are about.
Judaism is the oldest known Abrahamic originating in Israel. With Judaism, there are a variety of movements involved with the religion as a whole, but the main one stems from the story that god revealed himself to Moses and bestowed the ten commandments which govern the world. Historically speaking, this assertion was challenged by many other groups, resulting in a violent past for the Jews.
Christianity has many branches within its religion, the main branch stems from the belief and teachings of Jesus Christ and the new testament. Christians believe in trinity which is the unity of Father, Son and Holy spirit as three persons in one godhead. Christianity is by far the most populated religion and it has always preached values of love, peace, and giving.
Islam is mainly based on the Quran, one of the holy books considered by all Muslims to be revealed by God. It is also based on the teachings of an Islamic prophet named Muhammad. Islam is the most widely practiced religion in the areas of Southeast Asia, North Africa, Western Asia, and Central Asia. While some Muslim-majority countries also exist in parts of South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Europe. There are also several Islamic republics (or countries), including Iran, Pakistan, Mauritania, and Afghanistan. Interesting fact: while Christians observe their day of rest on Sundays, Jews observe theirs on Saturdays, and Muslims observe their day of rest on Fridays. This can potentially cause problems in the U.S. because the standard work week is Monday-Friday. A Muslim friend of ours used to work at a company that did fence installations and repairs in Grand Prairie, TX and was thankfully able to switch his schedule around to work on Saturdays instead of Fridays.
Hinduism is an Indian based faith and it describes the similar philosophies of Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and related groups practiced or founded in in India. Concepts that Hinduism is based around include karma, caste, reincarnation, mantras, yantras, and darśana. Hinduism is the most ancient of still-active religions with origins perhaps as far back as prehistoric times.
Those are just a couple of the world’s more popular religions and typically the ones which preach the common philosophies of love, faith, and peace. Attached are a couple more articles on how these religions interact with each other in the modern world.
As hard as we are trying to not stir the pot with too many radical political views, there is a lens we can look through while examining the U.S Muslim Ban of 2017 and that is a lens of worldwide religion. For a brief background of what took place, essentially U.S.A Border Customs and immigration blocked members from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States in order to “Protect the peace”. Without outright saying that this was a Muslim ban even made it more worse for the politicians in the U.S, they deem it as a necessary precaution to take when dealing with terrorists immigrating into the country. By refusing to admit it was a Muslim ban, it resulted in a backhand slap to the entire religion of Islam. From many other world religion’s perspectives, they can clearly see this as another attempt of one group dominating another group of people’s thoughts and philosophies and ultimately holding the entire group accountable for actions of religious extremists.
What Does It All Mean?
So the question that is obviously on everyone’s mind is that will this tradition continue and spill over into other religions as well? The answer is only time will be able to tell. The most likely way problems such as these will ever get solved is through world religions uniting in a common stand against differences. By banning Muslims from entering the U.S, they have openly admitted that they are barring a “different” group of people then they are, out of nothing but paranoia. This differences will continue to cause nothing but war as no good will come out of treating different groups of people like they are different. Another problem will be created if many immigrant-based companies that our economy heavily relies on such as roofing, carpet cleaning, floor refinishing, etc. are no longer able to operate at the type of service level that they have recently been providing.
So now that a very large chunk of a significant religion is being outlawed, many don’t know what the next steps will be. We can only hope that this gets noticed by some serious authorities in the world such as the U.N or the Supreme Court in order to return peace and dignity to an innocent group of people. What they must do is restore order, freedom, and peace to the world so that all religions can continue on in their faiths without fears of persecution. It is this fear that will ultimately lead to more paranoia and more wars and the cycle will simply continue. What the world can only hope for, is that all religions big and small take this time to fight the ban and realize that as different as we are, we are all human and we all just want peace.
Not only is religion something that we as humans can turn to in times of distress or confusion as it has served for thousands of year, but many believe it to be the medium for which we can further evolve as a species. Scientists predict that by dedicating ourselves to lives lived based on spirit and well-being, we become less focused on our animalistic impulses. In order to prove this theory, many have looked at the way that we have evolved from gorillas (obviously contrary to what most religion tells us but let’s look at it from a scientific perspective). Gorillas have few things that they worry about as they lead simplistic lives, going from finding food, to mating to establishing dominance/ or protecting territory. From that to where we have become we can see differences in conscience as we are able to tell right from wrong, develop empathetic relationships and possess the ability to reason, all distinguishing characteristics of a developed brain. What the theory of religion can now do to us is slowly begin to put less pressure on our “basic” needs and focus more on other needs.
So What Will It Lead To?
It has been predicted that by placing less effort on our basic needs and more on other needs such as feeding our spirit, focusing on happiness and less on materialistic things, we are able to evolve an almost brand new kind of brain. This will almost completely transform us into different modern day humans than the ones that lived before our time. This will be a revolutionary change in the evolutionary tree and it will have all come about as a result of believing in something greater than ourselves.
Ultimately this is the kind of power that can take place when we either believe in something greater or devote ourselves to a greater cause. Simply by doing these things you can even be able to evolve your own being as you go through life. You will be following in the footsteps of many others before you who have already chosen this path. It will be able to open doors that you never thought possible before once you believe in something greater than yourself, and lead you to live a life of happiness and peace rather than stress and anxiety.
When we talk about world religion from a modern perspective, we must start at the beginning. Since the earliest records of man, there have always been beliefs regarding a greater power than ourselves amongst humans. Scientists believe that in the early days, such beliefs were stemmed from unexplainable occurrences and outcomes in the world. By looking at the wonders of the world and how they operate, whether it is the food chain working in perfect harmony or it’s the seasons changing, it is easy to see how most of us have believed something else was doing this for us. What many don’t realize about religion is that no matter which one anyone comes from, they were all brought about for the same purpose. They all came into existence by explaining the unexplainable and giving ourselves a higher set of values to live by. Where everything starts to fall apart is when we become arrogant about our beliefs so it can appear as though other’s opinions or beliefs appear threatening to our own. This is the same philosophy that has started many wars all throughout history, as groups and religions constantly battle over each other’s philosophies. Below we elaborate a little bit on just how easily a trigger such as religion can start war after war.
People Don’t Like Change
Sometimes it seems as though there seems to be no other way around our differences than to fight over them. Time and time again, two different religions encounter one another on the same territory, each being threatened by the other’s philosophies. These types of situations almost always end up in war. Most of the times the causes for this boil down to one trigger, st is all too common for most people to look at another person who is different and frown upon them, treat them differently and despise them because of it. In fact, it is almost ironic just how many wars are started over religion, seeing as all religions preach similar values of peace and love.
What Can We Do To Put An End To It?
So given how many wars are started just from hatred between groups, is there anything we as humans can do to stop it? If there is an answer it lies in diving deeper into each and every one of the religions. Almost all of them as mentioned before, preach the same values so as opposed to fighting each other over fear of being different, we need to celebrate what we have in common. Religion ultimately teaches us a way to raise ourselves as mind body and spirit, not drag them into the depths of hatred and war.
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