Since religious population has already grown to include the majority of the worlds’ total population today, we simply cannot ignore the significance of the role religions are playing in our lives as it already has great impact on how people around us think, believe & behave, which has been shaping a collective consciousness in which we are living. In truth, most religions were first founded on the basis of spreading the teachings of the popular sages emerged at a time in history. As a matter of fact, those sages were actually not the persons who built the religion systems, it was usually only after a couple of decades, even centuries some people, usually the followers of the sages began to set up an organization & system to attract more followers essentially for the sake of sharing the teachings with more people. Despite some loss of the essences due to quality of translation and perhaps passing down from many generations, the original teachings of the sage could still be kept relatively intact & original. It is simple logic that, without some truths being the cornerstone for a religion, no one single religion can last for thousands of years until today with multi-millions of followers. However, when leaders of these man-made religions found the meaning of the original teachings contradict with their vested interests, they altered the meaning of the teaching purposely over and over again to satisfy their self-serving agendas. After thousands of year of “updating” the teachings the way they wantedthem to be, the original teachings had been seriously distorted mainly for the sake of better manipulating their followers through planting fear into their minds.
Since most popular religions are organized in a way to unify how their followers think with fear-based preset beliefs and dogmas based on some extent of truths, powerful religions with a huge population of believers could easily gain a bigger say on everything, including politics in the countries their influence could possibly reach. The lust & greed for power and all kinds of worldly materials thus gave birth to even more new belief systems, which usually became sects from the original religion, each claiming to be the spokesman for the ultimate truth and god. Nowadays, religions have not changed too much on the top level, many are still gigantic mind-controlling machines driven by vested interests for those who own and lead them. Yet, on the medium & lower levels, they indeed have transformed themselves into some more civilized and social-oriented entities than the old days, today, mainstream religions are helping the needy in exchange of their loyalties to their Gods and obedience to all of the derivatives. It is observed that the biggest contribution of religions to humanity nowadays is that they provide people in deep suffering with some temporary relief and exit to mental statesof tranquility, consolation, hope and peace of mind which are not easily available otherwise. In this sense, religions deserve credits for making such contributions.It is due to fear that the religion followers found the messages of truth that they have ever heard of were too good to be true. It is due to fear that they have chosen to depend on religion for a sense of security as a mental antidote to suffering. Even though most religions are packaged with some extents of truth as a means to attract and sustain followers, it is however too indirect & misleading a path for people who’s original intention & passion was to seek the truth of life. As a truth seeker, what is the point of going through some sorts of confinements and rules to know the truth from only one angle and one version rather than simply allowing yourself to open to the sea of knowledge available from different sources of people & angles with no restriction at all.
In most mainstream religions, you are told to find God and go to heaven if you are faithful to a religion as an intermediary and have to follow strictly their rules & dogmas. For those who violate their rules will be punished for not doing so usually with threats of sending them to eternal hell. The image of a judging God is so deeply mired as a unchallengeable and deep-seated notion in the minds of their followers. The belief that we are all separate, there is original sin for everyone and only one life to live has been such a daunting belief insome mainstream religions.
The truth is, there is no such place as hell nor heaven. There is not such a thing as original sin. Everyone has unlimited number of lives which is simply a matter of choice made by each soul. God is not judgmental either, for god’s essence is unconditional love and we are an inseparable part of the whole with everything. There is no path to seek & worship outside of you as you are god per se. What you need to do to realize who you really are and the ultimate “path” (for lack of a more appropriate word) is simply to look within and just be.