is the role of the established religions in the arising
of the new consciousness?
people are already aware of the difference between spirituality
and religion. They realize that having a belief system—a
set of thoughts that you regard as the absolute truth—does
not make you spiritual no matter what the nature of those
beliefs is. In fact, the more you make your thoughts (beliefs)
into your identity, the more cut off you are from the
spiritual dimension within yourself.
"religious" people are stuck at that level.
They equate truth with thought, and as they are completely
identified with thought (their mind), they claim to be
in sole possession of the truth in an unconscious attempt
to protect their identity. They don't realize the limitations
of thought. Unless you believe (think) exactly as they
do, you are wrong in their eyes, and in the not-too-distant
past, they would have felt justified in killing you for
that. And some still do, even now.
new spirituality, the transformation of consciousness,
is arising to a large extent outside of the structures
of the existing institutionalized religions. There were
always pockets of spirituality even in mind-dominated
religions, although the institutionalized hierarchies
felt threatened by them and often tried to suppress them.
large-scale opening of spirituality outside of the religious
structures is an entirely new development.
the past, this would have been inconceivable, especially
in the West, the most mind-dominated of all cultures,
where the Christian church had a virtual franchise on
spirituality. You couldn’t just stand up and give
a spiritual talk or publish a spiritual book unless you
were sanctioned by the church, and if you were not, they
would quickly silence you. But now, even within certain
churches and religions, there are signs of change. It
is heartwarming, and one is grateful for even the slightest
signs of openness, such as Pope John Paul II visiting
a mosque as well as a synagogue.
as a result of the spiritual teachings that have arisen
outside the established religions—but also due
to an influx of followers of ancient Eastern wisdom teachings—a
growing number of followers of traditional religions are
able to let go of identification with form, dogma, and
rigid belief systems and discover the original depth that
is hidden within their own spiritual tradition, at the
same time as they discover the depth within themselves.
realize that how "spiritual" you are has nothing
to do with what you believe but everything to do with
your state of consciousness.This, in turn, determines
how you act in the world and interact with others.Those
unable to look beyond form become even more deeply entrenched
in their beliefs, that is to say, in their mind.
are witnessing not only an unprecedented influx of consciousness
at this time but also an entrenchment and intensification
of the ego. Some religious institutions will be open to
the new consciousness; others will harden their doctrinal
positions and become part of all those other man-made
structures through which the collective ego will defend
itself and "fight back."
churches, sects, cults, or religious movements are basically
collective egoic entities, as rigidly identified with
their mental positions as the followers of any political
ideology that is closed to any alternative interpretations
of reality. But the ego is destined to dissolve, and all
its ossified structures, whether they be religious or
other institutions, corporations, or governments, will
disintegrate from within, no matter how deeply entrenched
they appear to be.
most rigid structures, the most impervious to change,
will collapse first. This has already happened in the
case of Soviet Communism. How deeply entrenched, how solid
and monolithic it appeared, and yet within a few years,
it disintegrated from within. No one foresaw this. All
were taken by surprise.There are many more such surprises
in store for us.