Religion always seems to draw people in for debates and discussions, for good or for worse. A particular event had me reflect on whether religions have a future on our evolutionary path. I know the reason why religion was such a hot topic for the past hundreds of years…it was a matter of life or death – literally! But today the perspective has greatly changed and are paths are quickly shifting away from all organizations that deem to control and limit.
During this reflection, I began to ponder on what makes religion work or not work for people today, besides the obvious, and I came up with several answers that I wish to share with you in this essay.
Changing World & Changing Needs
So what do I mean? Well here it goes. In the past decade, anyone who has been following the “deeper” events of the world knows that a spiritual conscious awakening is taking place. And if we go back 20 – 30 years ago, I am sure any of us who are or were part of a religion or pay attention to its topic have heard that churches and other places of worship are losing attendance.
Many people debated and wondered why this is happening and blamed it on the new rebellious and carefree generation. Yes, some people were too busy to incorporate a weekly prayer service into their life while others just lost the “need” for it. As the world was becoming more and more technologically advanced and society kept putting pressures on people to achieve this and do that, people just lost time for churches.
But why? There is much more to it. Really – if you think about it, if the religions/places of worship really played an integral part, one without which most of us could not live without each day of our lives – this would not have happened. As busy as we get, or think we get, we still have time to socialize in various ways, in person, or online, we attend functions, play sports, watch hours of TV, etc…
So if you ever heard people say “well I just don’t have time to go to church” – you know that is not true, because we always make time for anything that is important to us.
Now some people can argue that the modern working hours do not coincide with prayer services and hence they cannot go because of their work schedule. But again that is not the true reason. Prayer services in many religions are offered on various days and at various times today and hey if you really cannot make it that “day”, you are always free to go on another day.
So the truth is people just stopped making their religion a priority. And I do say that boldly, because if you truly consider yourself “some religion” and it includes a weekly prayer service then that should be part of your routine too.
Now I am sure that at this point the younger generation understands more of what I am talking about than the older generation. So what is it, are the younger people of today worse in some way, are they evil, or so caught up with the materialistic world that they cannot even dedicate some time to God? Well that might be how some extremists will see it. But again the truth is not that at all.
My take on what has happened and how I have been piecing it myself over the past 2 decades and through my own personal example too, is such:
If you lived 30 years ago or more, throughout the past few hundreds of years, you incorporated weekly religious practices into your life because there really was no other way. (At least the way most people saw it) Just like you ate and drank and worked, you attended places of worship regularly. You didn’t question it – this was just how it was.
Well today things are different – very, very different. Since the past 30 years, heavy questioning has begun. Slowly at first and gaining momentum with each decade. It is not a matter of questioning if God exists, or what religion is the right one, but questioning of how does religion and its practices serve me?
Now at first glance, many might take that to be the most selfish statement ever, but it is not meant to be if you look deeper into it. People simply started to become AWARE of where they were and what they were doing and looking at the bigger picture. That is what the age of awareness is bringing with it today.
Think of yourself, if you ever have attended a religious place of worship on a weekly basis, how many times have you found yourself distracted by who is sitting around you, the crying babies, someone’s strong perfume, the up and down motions, the constantly repeated words, and so on. And worse yet, we started to become aware of how we felt when we walked out of there or better yet looked at others who went to these places religiously (no pun intended) and lived a life that was so opposite to what that institution was all about.
Some of these people finding themselves in these situations simply started to find that something did not make sense. There had to be or perhaps should have been something bigger to this and there wasn’t and so it quickly became unprioritized.
So to finish off on this note, whether you are religious or not do not take this as a negative thing. The world constantly changes and so do we, and this is simply one of those changes that in this case is fueled by the awakening of awareness.
Humans today simply need more – more depth and meaning to what is said and done. Does that go for everyone? Of course not. But for those who have started to or are on the journey of spiritual enlightenment that is the case.
Depth and Meaning
I will tie these points into my own personal journey. Although I was once tied to a religion and am no longer officially, does not mean that I dislike or think negatively of religions. Ever since my transformative journey began, the contrary has actually been true.
I understand God better than ever, I feel closer to God more than ever and I embrace all people and religions better than ever.
All I needed in my life was more depth that I found I could not get out of religion and hence I went beyond what any religion offers and entered more the world of spirituality. This is not the right step for everyone obviously because not everyone is looking for more depth and meaning. Many of us are satisfied exactly where we are, until we are not. This is not a good thing or a bad thing, it just is.
This is going to sound very common to anyone experiencing an awakening or spiritual shift within themselves into more conscious living. And on the other hand this is going to sound very foreign to people who are not.
The thought that I wish to leave you with, is that indeed the world is changing and moving in a new direction based on consciousness and higher spirituality. But at the same time, religions that have been around for hundreds and especially thousands of years are not just going to fold and give up that easily.
Many people think that religions will always be around, however despite what it may seem from my perspective the lifespan of our current cultural religions is on a timer. The more we expand in consciousness and reach spiritual maturity, the more we realize that everything we seek, the answers and the guidance is within. The more we become love, the more we begin to realize that we are not only always connected to the Universal Source of all that is, but we also are it!