BY SOFO ARCHON
The basic reason why many of us believe and blindly follow the dogmas of religion is fear.
What are we afraid of?
We fear many things, but all of our fears ultimately come down to one basic fear: the fear of death — that is, the fear of insubstantiality, temporarity, emptiness.
We all deep down sense our transience. The ego that we have worked on so hard to create is inevitably going to dissolve and disappear at some point in the future. Afraid to consciously accept this gut feeling, we desperately try to find something to cling on to, something that will give us hope and console us that we’ll keep on living forever, no matter what that “something” might be.
Some people are willing to believe in a virgin who can give birth, others are ready to accept that a god-like figure is floating somewhere above the clouds, and still others have no trouble worshiping idols.
Our fear of death has made us believe in anything, no matter how illogical and silly it is. And this fear is being exploited by those cunning, power-hungry ones who are willing to propound all sorts of religious ideologies so as to entrap us into them: priests, gurus, religious teachers of all kinds.
Fear has lead us to accept and blindly follow dogmatic religious beliefs. Yet, we have no empirical basis for those beliefs — that’s exactly why they are called beliefs in the first place. In fact, we never took a single moment to critically think about the beliefs that we hold in dear faith and question their validity — again, out of fear. We have been conditioned to think that to doubt religion means to sin and end up in hell, and who in his or her right mind would desire to be thrown into hellfire?
The problem with belief systems is that they prevent us from seeking truth. They offer an answer to all of our existential questions, so that we don’t have to worry over them them — we just sit back and pretend that we know everything.
The search for truth can be arduous and most people are not ready to endure the pain that one has to undergo in order to find it, so they choose to believe that they know all there is to know. Ignorance is bliss, and religious beliefs are only helping us to remain in ignorance by consoling us, singing us lullabies so that we can remain in a deep state of sleep.
But no matter how relaxed and peacefully we might seem to sleep, one day nightmares are going to abruptly wake us up to the worst of realities — and it will be a painful process.
When you’re actually living in hell, to pretend that you experience heaven isn’t going to do much to help you deal with your existential issues. Fear cannot be dealt with by avoiding fear nor by pretending that fear is not there. Fear can be dealt with only by consciously encountering it, realizing why it’s there in the first place and getting rid of its root causes.
If you have been following religious dogmas, it’s time to reconsider your beliefs and behavior. Regardless of how much fear religion has instilled in you, there is no viable reason why you should believe in anything that it teaches you, unless if that deeply resonates with you and has become your own experiential understanding.
It’s not that religions don’t have important spiritual lessons to offer — they do have, some — but to follow them on belief alone is nothing but stupid and can only result in making your life — and most likely the lives of those around you — worse. Attachment to ideologies — whether religious or otherwise — is what has caused immense harm to the world, and unless we let go of them, we are bound to face intense pain in the days to come, both on an individual and collective level.
Our fear has entrapped us, making us believe in things that fill our lives with suffering, and unless we break free from that fear we will always remain prisoners to our belief systems. If we sincerely want to escape from that prison and deal with our life’s problems, we need to dare to doubt what we’ve been taught from tradition and start our quest for truth from scratch.
Photo courteous of Mike_BW
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