Good tidings to you maestro! I have a question regarding religion and alchemy. Does one need to be a card carrying member of any sort of organized religion, I myself am a former Catholic (notice I didn’t say recovering), as I feel there certain belief’s or dogma rather, that has helped me to understand certain mindsets as they relate to alchemy, the holy Trinity for one is not such a hard concept for me to grasp, when you were talking about mentalism, it’s all mental didn’t seem so difficult to follow. Anyway, I think I may have gone on a tangent, but any who, do you feel those who come to alchemy with a belief in an organized religion (within reason) may have a better chance at grasping more of the existential properties involved and a better chance at incorporating the same thought processes only geared toward a different subject which may or may not be one and the same? Your thoughts on this will be greatly appreciated.
Here’s your answer!
It is my opinion that religion was created as a means of “Short-cutting” the finer details, meaning: rather than teach someone to elevate their Chakra Energy center so as to have “Heart” energy at the throat, you teach the parishioners that “The Lord” demands that you speak no evil, and communicate only love and kindness.
Over the long haul, it is believed by those who teach religion that this will (or can) result in the individual adopting and later becoming the ideal that was intended, perhaps raising the energy centers accordingly, but my experience is that this is merely an illusion. The person who is bedded in religion has created for themselves (or perpetuates the creation of) a facade, as those of us with practical experience in religion over a long term well know. Were this not the case, we would not be reading about priests, elders, or ministers exhibiting conduct that is anathema to the doctrines they espouse on Sunday.
So short answer: nope, I don’t believe that religion is necessary to anyone who is earnestly seeking a greater truth. Ultimately, religion is merely another level of control over the masses. I believe that we all should seek an internal locus of control, and by so doing, free ourselves of whatever binds us so that we can truly assume the mantle of our own personal greatness and by so doing, make everyone and all around us greater by our personal self-actualization.
There is something else about religion that is its greatest selling point, which I find deeply troublesome, that being: you are [morally/spiritually] broken and generally unfixable, requiring an external source for your moral/spiritual salvation. This is the selling point that makes religion something you “buy.” “Our guy will save your ass when the chips are down, but you have to serve this guy forever and ever and ever and ever …” and even when you do, it will never ever be enough; hence the doctrine of “Grace.”
This doctrine is a perversion of an astrotheological precept relative to our actual capture, breaking, and fixing (electromagnetically) of not just ourselves but the entire solar environment. The idea of “Forgiveness” means that it was built into the system to operate in this manner, and has little to do with our narcissistic appraisal of the universe and our being so very special or so hopelessly corrupt morally and spiritually; anyone who is selling this concept is trying to control you.
I advocate studying religion, because within it is great value, but not necessarily in the moral or philosophical precepts; to be moral one need only be a decent person who treats others as they would like to be treated (now where have I heard that before? ). In fact, the New Testament has a lovely verse which completely takes the wind out of ANYONE teaching religion as an institution …
Matt 22: 36-40 36
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Meaning, figure out who or what “The Lord your God” is — which as I have pointed out is an astrotheological reference to The Sun (not advocating solar worship, however I am with George Carlin on this point, it IS waaaay easier LOL,) — and perhaps develop appreciation of, if not dedication to, the Universal Concept of LOVE, it does make the world go round after all! Plenty of scriptural support for that one … and of course the second commandment requires no training, no special instruction, merely a heart capable of feeling. Be good to others, as you would be good to yourself. That seems like sound advice, and it fully dispenses with thousands of pages of commentary on how you should behave or what you should be doing to save your soul.
To me, the soul requires no salvation … and if you are tired of this merry-go-round ride, then do what is necessary to end Samsara … follow the path of the Buddha, the Christ, Krishna, or any other great figurative leader (they were ALL figurative in my opinion, designed to inspire by demonstrating the apex of what could be attained) and learn to find out who you are by letting go of who you think you are.
I have followed this path, and it has resulted in extraordinary happiness and peace.
Remember, knowledge is your salvation from the only true hell that exists, that of ignorance. As was once observed in scripture, we sin because we do not understand … we sin because we are ignorant (sin being a separation from that which is true or divine in favor of more ignorance).
It has been my experience that once people truly understand the harm they are causing they generally stop immediately (if possible), whether it be to themselves or others. I believe this is written upon our very being, because we as human being are built to express love and caring first and foremost, just like birds are built to fly and fish to swim. The sadness and anxiety we experience is largely a result of our being unable or unwilling to exercise this calling, to be caring, loving.
None of this requires religion … only self-awareness and a willingness to admit to yourself that you could be more, better, more amazing, stronger, powerful … if only you just let go of whatever is keeping you where you are now. Not knowing how is, for most, that’s an apt description of ignorance. This is because we either don’t know the question we should be asking, or how to ask it. Religion does nothing to remedy this ignorance, and instead replaces knowledge with meaningless ritual and prayer that is supposed to “Save’ the sinner. And this is why, for most, religion doesn’t meet the bill anymore. People want more than being told they are hopelessly flawed, broken, here’s your Savior, and don’t forget to pay your tithing. And if you are saying to yourself, “I’m already pretty great,” to you I would say, what does “Greater” feel like? If you are amazing, then be INCREDIBLE! No matter where you are, myself included, there is always a higher peak to pursue, a greater height to attain!
The reason we are told to shoot for the moon, is so if we miss, we’ll still be among the stars!
Hope that helps! ^_^