Religion begins with an experience of
the spiritual. Religion is practiced by following the ideals and
revelations that spirituality reveals. Religion is designed to bring us
closer to Heaven; and at the same time to bring Heaven down to earth.
Heaven and spirituality therefore are the focal points and purpose of
All spiritual revelations are practiced
within the subjective context of oneís present culture and lifestyle.
Revelation comes through the language the individual speaks and
observances are formatted based upon oneís present environmental
context. However, while a certain culture might be the birthplace of a
religion, nonetheless the initial culture in which the spiritual
revelation is practiced is merely a temporary vessel of convenience.
The religious message and purpose is not limited to the cultural
contexts that the people use to express it. Knowledge of Heaven can
never be limited by expression within a single culture.
Environments change, languages change,
dress styles change, cultures change; true spiritually based religion,
therefore, adapts to lifeís changes. Because the message of true
religion is eternal and immortal, it can be applied and practiced within
any environment, any language, any dress style and any culture.
Therefore, as times and cultures change,
so too must the religious revelation of Heaven find appropriate ways of
expression within each of these changes. Only in this way does the
eternal spiritual message remain clear and relevant in the eyes of the
people. One who knows the spiritual component recognizes the Heavenly
ways and is able to follow them anywhere, in any culture, at any time.
However, those who lose sight of
religionís spiritual component are only left with the shell of how the
revelation was practiced in a far off culture of a long ago time.
Without direct access to spiritual experience, such individuals mistake
the shell of religion for its true essence. Without true understanding
of the eternal spiritual message, those without direct spiritual insight
cling to the shells of culture instead of bonding with the true
spiritual component that transcends all cultures.
Those who lack personal spiritual
insight of the initial religious revelation embellish the shells of
religion and build them strong, thinking that these are the proper forms
of religion. Not being able to understand how to adapt the eternal Law
of Heaven to the present, they reinforce the ways of the past, totally
ignoring the changes in life that Heaven brings forth. They ignore the
ways of Heaven proclaiming that they are safeguarding the Laws of
Heaven. This is a clear contradiction that leads to negative
Many past associations with religion
were actually nothing more than cultural expressions of that time and
place, observed by both religious and non-religious alike. As living
places, languages and cultural norms change, so too do the vessels
change through which the Law of Heaven is practiced on earth. With
change comes new faces of revelation of the old true spiritual
component. New ways for new times.
Personal, direct spiritual experience of
religion is the Light of life. The cultural form in which it is
practiced is merely its shell. The Light is eternal and does not
change. Yet, the Light flows from one vessel to the next, from culture
to culture. As one vessel becomes old, a new one comes of age.
The cultural norms of the past belong to
the past, they have nothing to do with an immortal and eternal religion.
The Light of life belongs to us today and forever. Yet, in order for
the Light to shine today, it must be in the vessels that exists in the
here and now.
The light becomes dimmed all the while
it is left to rot inside an old cracked vessel. Individuals are
actually hindered from reaching the light because of the decrepit state
of old vessels. Light must shine in bright and clean new vessels; in
every culture under every circumstance. Light cannot shine in the past;
it can only shine in the present. Only in this way do we secure the
Light of Heaven to shine into the future.
Look not at the vessel, but rather what
is in it. Some old vessels need to be discarded. Not all new vessels
are ready to be filled. One who embraces the true spiritual component
within religion will be intuitively guided by Heaven to know where to
place the light in order to let it shine the brightest.
Naturally, the one guided by Heaven runs
into fierce opposition from those who cling to the old shells and
worn-out vessels. Being that they have not the light, but only its
receptacle, they cling to what they have, not knowing any better. Yet,
there is no life in an empty shell. There is only life in the light
The Laws of Heaven are eternal. We are
to live them in every place and in every time. Every culture, every
language, every dress code becomes a receptacle for the expression of
the spiritual fulfillment of the Divine revelation.
Those guided by Heaven therefore shine
light where it is needed, breaking old vessels when necessary and using
new vessels as they come of age. Only by removing the old can we make
place for the new. Only by removing the dying can we make room or the
living. This is often hard for those who cling to shells, but it is
what must be done. The future awaits us. We can march into it bold and
strong, if only we prepare ourselves today to do so.
One of my editors believes that I have not
been strong and direct enough with what I have written here. He wants
me to be more direct and clearly identify who I am speaking about. I,
on the other hand do not wish to outright offend any group.
Nonetheless, it should be clear that I am addressing a specific type of
religious observance by a specific group of people. We really do need
to wake up and see what is wrong with ourselves and make the necessary
corrections. Changing cultural norms may be hard but if we cannot do
this for Heaven, what then can we do?