Although I am a person who believes in Oneness, the Divine More in and through and around us, sometimes to further discussion, dividing in hypothetical categories can be helpful to understanding. I came across two categories this week that I want to explore a bit.
They are two functions of a religion and are named translation and transformation. I might call them skating the surface vs delving into the depths, or second hand vs experiencial.
In the first category we use Christian, or Buddhist or Islamic or _____ ideas to translate the experiences of our lives. We do our best to live ethically; we pray, usually actually to ask for some thing; we attend church, at least in special days; even though we are asked not to judge, we do judge who is Christian and who is not, who is in the in group and who is out. We translate life through the lens of beliefs so that life makes sense somehow. Our religious decoding ring seems to help us to get by in this thing called life. Some people, maybe most, settle for this.
It seems to me a stage of life, like adolescence, one through which we are supposed to move. But I also see a planet full of adolescent religious people, seeking solace in less than meaningful activities. It is definitely tiny amount of earthlings that continue on to transformation.
But, transformation is the point.
From a newborn trying to understand what is going on, to an adolescent who thinks they know everything, we must move into the mysterious More where no words suffice. The second birth, the knowing experiences of the Love and Light of the One is the transformation that lives as yearning in our core.
Our egos must go. We must break out of the old wineskins. We must take the uncomfortable journey that shatters our smugness and spiritual adolescence. We must walk through the dark night of the soul, setting aside pat answers and surface thinking. We must have the courage to walk out of the birth canal of our valley into what God has in mind in creating us, in to the fullness of life outside of the box.