Since the founding of the country, religion of some type has always played an active role in the lives of a majority of Americans. Although religious faith is on a long-term downward trend while secularism is on the rise, about 70.6% of Americans still identified as Christian in 2014, while 5.9% had “Non-Christian faiths” such as Judaism or Islam, according to Pew Research Center. These numbers mean that over one in four Americans believe in some form of non-atheistic religion.
Much research has been done into the community impact of religion. Sometimes, religion is used as an excuse to engage in a number of terrible things such as violent extremism or child abuse. This is both historically as well as contemporarily true, however there is a great deal of good that religion is a catalyst for as well, such as volunteer work, greater civic engagement, and welfare. The authors of the study recognize this and understand that “while bad news makes news, both sides are important to understand clearly.” Continue reading U.S. Religious Groups Generate More Money than Microsoft and Apple Combined→
On Saturday, May 5th, I made a post on social media about religion. I’d like to expand upon it here. I wrote:
“Some of the worst people in the world are the religious ones who sh*t on everyone else’s beliefs/lifestyle. If you’re religious or spiritual, just be yourself and love your God in whatever way you prefer. Meditate, study Hinduism, and learn about chakras if you want. Or don’t. If you’re an atheist, shout your love for science from a mountaintop. I promise you won’t be possessed by the devil or fall into some mythical hell.
“The true ‘agents of satan’ are those who use their religion to justify a contrived sense of divinity and attack everyone who doesn’t think like them. They’re not doing the work of the Lord – they’re being a d*ck. The world would be much better if they went away and stopped bothering the rest of us who are just trying to live.
“If you cannot muster up love, compassion, acceptance, and understanding for all people regardless of race, religion, or how they feel about your God, you are not living religiously. You are a false prophet living for your idea of what God wants.
“Isn’t it interesting how your God reflects your beliefs and what you think is right/wrong? That’s because it’s not God, it’s your ego. It doesn’t matter how much you study scripture or how strictly you adhere to some belief system created to control you. Condemnation and conversion will never be reflective of a truly religious life.
“And yes, I know I’m being hypocritical by saying we should love everyone but calling out religious people who are judgmental. I’m imperfect, as we all are. I don’t claim to be some born-again Christian arbiter of what people should think or how they should behave.
“My advice is just to be yourself. Do no harm, but take no sh*t from religious bullies who try to make you think you’ll go to hell if you don’t let them tell you what to believe. Also, when you find out how much money these people make off of Jesus, you’ll understand why they’re so nutty about gaining followers.”
Buddhism is a religion predicated on detachment, renunciation, inner peace, and enlightenment. Buddhist teachers encourage their students to look within and become aware of what sustains the ego that keeps them focused on the outer world.
Through meditation and other practices that involve detachment, you can shine a light on your inner world and the fact that you are the driving force of your life. You’ll see that with a little discipline and understanding, you can create peace in yourself and in the world around you.
Buddhism encourages us to be content and open to the idea that we are all one. This is no different from most other religions, which share a common central message of peace, love, empathy, and unity. But in terms of its reputation and how its followers behave, Buddhism is far more peaceful. Continue reading The Buddha’s Life Story→
I wrote the following for the 285th issue of the Weekly Awareness Guide, a written document distributed weekly via email that I offer for $11.11 a month.
Income from the guide helps me get by and ensures I can continue to offer free content, and every subscription is appreciated. The option to subscribe is given at the bottom of this post (learn about subscribing with cash/check here).
I’m one of those people who will tell you they’re spiritual but not religious. This is because I have a problem with the way religious leaders portray and profit from God.
My problem is not with the idea of a creator or other states of consciousness we possibly depart into after death. My problem is that religious leaders use God to control people. They tell people our creator is a man in the sky who judges sinners, but despite his disdain for those who sin, he’s allowed countless corrupt leaders to speak for him. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
My problem with God is a problem with man, because man has muddied what God and spirituality used to represent. Don’t get me wrong; there have always been well-meaning people who try to show the way and don’t stray from their path the moment they’re tempted. But there are also a lot of scammers, snake-oil salesmen, and just plain selfish people. They manipulate the masses into supporting them by appearing enlightened or close to God. Continue reading My Problem with God→
Many of us were indoctrinated into organized religion before we were old enough to make our own choices or choose our own beliefs, and, consequently, by accepting what our parents, teachers and peers preached, their religious beliefs became ours.
Moreover, as a result of following religious doctrine, our sense of worth, identity, and purpose all became deeply entangled in religious roots, and with our closest friends and family forming our spiritual community, these roots formed the foundation of our lives. However, despite years of dedication, once we begin to wake-up and question this foundation, the journey out of religion begins.Continue reading The 8 Stages of Leaving Organized Religion→
Today, November 11th, I release my first ever ebook: Enlightened Afterlife (A Study of Spiritualist Philosophy on Life After Death) for $7.99.
I’ve never written an ebook before, and I found it to be a challenging yet rewarding experience.
As the name suggests, the book is a study of Spiritualist philosophy on the afterlife and the immortality of the soul. It’s written around passages from “spirit communicators” channeled through Spiritualist mediums in the late 1800s and early-to-mid 1900s.
The spirit communicators who speak in this book provide a fascinating description the afterlife that challenges conventional wisdom by discussing death in a whole new light.
Check out this description:
The fear of death lingers in the back of the mind of even the most religious man, but what if we had no reason to fear death? What if, when the body dies, consciousness continued as if nothing happened? What if that consciousness discovered an afterlife that surpassed its wildest expectations?
Spiritualist philosophy teaches that all of this, and more, is possible. Spiritualism, a nineteenth and twentieth-century religion centered on communication with spirits of the dead or “discarnate humans” to receive spiritual guidance and learn about the afterlife, isn’t extremely popular today but once had over 8 million followers.
Countless mediums who were devoted to this movement wrote and channeled prolifically, producing book after book of messages about the afterlife that provided a new perspective on one of mankind’s greatest fears: the death of the body.
As this new perspective was embraced in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Spiritualist afterlife began to replace the idea of a “heaven” and “hell” to which most people had been accustomed.
What made this movement and the channeled spirits its followers turned to so popular? Find out in this part 1 as we learn about an afterlife described directly by its inhabitants that challenges our conventional understanding of death and invites us to look forward to what waits beyond the grave.
If there’s enough interest in this part 1, I’ll put out a part 2 some time in the future. If not, I’ll probably focus my time and energy on other worthwhile writing projects.
I’ve put a lot of time and energy into this book, and I hope you enjoy it. It can be purchased below or by clicking on the cover photo above.
Much love 🙂
*The book is currently only available in PDF format but will soon be available through well-known ebook distributors such as Kindle. Shortly after purchase, you’ll receive an email with the ebook in PDF form. Check back here for updates on the book’s availability in other formats.
“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It will have to transcend a personal god and avoid dogma and theology. Encompassing both the natural and the spiritual, it will have to be based on a sense of intelligence arising from the spirit of all things, natural and spiritual, considered as a meaningful unity.” ~Albert Einstein
Man has become a spiritually neutered animal, a subtracted being disconnected from the whole – in mind, body, and soul. What has been cut from him is Nature itself, more specifically, and consequently, his own spiritual nature: his connection with his inner animal – awe and creature -astonishment that has the potential to transcend itself and achieve the numinous, the kind of overwhelming interconnected feeling that can be felt balls to bones, ovaries to marrow, and has the potential to make god-animals/animal-gods of us all. Continue reading Spirituality Vs. Dogmatic Religiosity: A Guide for the Spiritually Perplexed→
The cannabis culture has now hit the mainstream and while some are using it as a means of escape from reality, many are using it for its miraculous healing powers and to connect deeply with themselves. The uses for cannabis and cannabis related plants like hemp in its many forms are endless and include: Continue reading Did Cannabis Help Jesus Perform Miracles?→
Some people in the conscious community have turned their back on religion because of the ways it’s used to distort spirituality and control the masses, but others look to it for little bits of wisdom and insight.
Some have studied different religions in hopes of finding similarities between them all, and they’ve discovered that different religions are united under the common theme of enlightenment.
They’ve also discovered that the original purpose of religion was to help us understand that we are God and come closer to enlightenment as a result of this understanding, and they strive to share their knowledge with anyone who’s open to approaching religion in a less negative way. Continue reading Does Enlightenment Unite Each Religion?→