Dear Atreya. Do religions have a purpose? How come Christianity or any of the other religions do not lead to enlightenment? If they did, clearly the world would be a better place.

In the beginning of most spiritual journeys, “God” must be perceived in a concrete form as something separate from our self. This is so the devotee can pour himself into the symbol. “I am going to surrender my will to a higher will, etc.” If there is no symbol of a power greater than our self, than we will always continue to rely on “me,” which gives continuity to ego or a sense of exclusive individuality, hence building it up.

So, religion in this manner is helpful in creating this symbolic receptacle. For example, “claiming Jesus as lord and savior” helps relieve a tremendous burden of responsibility, and there are many testimonies from people who have felt a breaking down of ego through this proclamation. The Four Noble Truths of Buddhism also break down the “me” if one pours them self into it and practices diligently. AL Halaj, can show you the way through Islam to break down ego. The Bhagavad Gita points the way in Hinduism.

The purpose of the various religions is to create a receptacle or symbol to unload our conditioning that says “survive at all costs.” This establishes a trust in Reality that is experienced in the absence of thought. In truth, religion is a collection of beliefs. These beliefs were never intended to be taken as truth, but merely used as a sign post, or trash bag to empty ego.

In short, having this receptacle is necessary; but the most popular religions do not encourage to throw out the receptacle with the trash once and for all. Instead, it is encouraged to identify and create a new egoic character as a Christian, Muslim, Hindu, etc. This is why you say “religions do not lead to enlightenment;” because enlightenment is what you already are. Your True Enlightened Self is revealed when you pour your trash into the symbol, then once and for all throw the trash bag out with it.

In conclusion, religions do lead to enlightenment; but very few teachers encourage the process of throwing out the religion or symbolic receptacle in the end (bad for the spiritual ego). Although, if you look deep enough into the religious scriptures; this total abandonment is encouraged.

With great Joy,

Atreya Thomas

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14 thoughts on “Dear Atreya. Do religions have a purpose? How come Christianity or any of the other religions do not lead to enlightenment? If they did, clearly the world would be a better place.

  1. This helped me understand you better. I’m involved in a relationship which is a mirroring process. As I come to know God, I know myself as I truly am and become more the woman I am intended to be. I am nothing without Jesus. He is enlightenment, the Living Word of God. He is my joy.

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    1. Actually its a good thing that you can’t accommodate both.. That’s a fortunate thing, cause in regard, to say otherwise, means you wish to desire that. That is saying to bring yourself goodwill in accepting both constitutes forms of characteristics and be able to reside peacefully. That is not possible, yet would unstable spiritually. Salute.

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    2. Yes, conventional Christianity is designed to only accommodate it’s beliefs which is O.K. and works well for many people. However the more mystical aspects of Christianity’s ‘God’ is easily assimilated into many beliefs. I’ve been doing it for over 50 years without conflict, it actually ‘broadens the view.’

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  2. Buddha had said that his teachings are only tools, like a boat you use to take you across the river. When you reach the other side, your destination, you no longer need the tools/boat, so you abandon it.

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  3. I never heard religion described like this but it makes perfect sense! It fits too with the Bible verse, “When I was a child I spoke as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” I have been a Christian since my childhood. As I am older, I learn and can accept things I never dreamed of before. Life and wisdom are amazing!

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