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Does religion hinder spiritual growth?

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posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:36 PM
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When I define the terms; it is not religion that fails; it's the person.


When I look around the church, I see a lot of people that are very susceptible to what their "leaders" tell them. I think that's true on a global scale as well. It would be easier to judge if all people were equally bright and well educated. But with many very simple minded, fearful and confused people, It's easy to see how religion can manipulate them in any direction. I get what you're saying, I just think religion has to take some responsibility.




posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:41 PM
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Originally posted by michaelbrux

Originally posted by Paschar0
Some really interesting responses, I see a practical attitude of personal responsibility and some confirmation.
Aside from sites like this, I've had trouble finding others knowledgeable and open minded enough to even discuss things with.


have you ever asked yourself...why is it that only on sites like this are people knowledgeable and open minded enough to discuss such topics?

my guess would be because religion has made it uncomfortable perhaps dangerous to have such conversations in a casual face to face setting.



That's absolutely true in my case. I have business interests involved as well, so I have to be very careful in just how much I want to challenge anything in the church I attend, it's frustrating because I genuinely would like to have that conversation with some of them.

Another reason is that almost all of them are happy in their current beliefs, they're not really interested in finding any "truths", for them this one works just fine.



posted on Mar, 16 2012 @ 11:44 PM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 


In my opinion yes.

We were meant to be spiritual beings not religious.



posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 01:35 AM
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From my experience of attending a catholic school and then going to other religious institutions,then going to spiritual awareness, I now see religion as a form of mind control.
First comes fear (should I ask anything?I'm just a nobody,actually just a member of their flock,sheep?) Then comes the 'your a bad person (sheep) for asking that,shame on you' (continue to believe what you are told,have blind faith)
So what do you do? If you don't believe in that,then what do you believe in? fear again,a sense of loss of identity and of not belonging to some organization.(lose yourself,so you can find yourself,know thyself?!)
Now you are at the crossroads (symbolism) do you continue(denial) go to another institution for another point of view(sense of identity and belonging again) or do you feel that fear,struggle with all the brainwashing and start searching for truths,seek spiritual,new/old age,etc theories,beliefs
(no offense to anyone,wherever you are at is probably where you are meant to be,at this time in your life, but don't get stuck in one mindset.mind-set! ATS is a great place to learn to stretch your mind)
In my case,religion did hinder me but then sent me searching spiritual ideas and truths.
great thread,s&f
One last thing,it amazes me how religion and politics are combined,especially all the god stuff the president says (more fear,mind control?)



posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 07:07 AM
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Any religion is a dumbing down of the way to the Absolute Truth which is the simple human ability to connect with the Source which has nothing to do with a God other than the term "God" being a simple-minded substitute for explaining the unexplainable.

The process of giving conventional prayer to some faceless, non-existent god is evidence of that falling short to reach the pinnacle of being One with All That Is. The power is given to something out there rather than as an integral part of the individual that can connect on his/her own with the Source.

The true essence of a mind is the attainment of Enlightenment. That technique is virtually missing from most mass religions except Buddhism where even there it has been perverted and mischaracterized beyond its simple, simple state. There needs be no visualization of any entity or process to reach enlightenment, merely the quieting of mind. Everything else is trash thrown into the process by the Ego to give some meaning to the process.

I apologize for capitalizing several words in order to show their extreme importance above their normal meanings in typical language. My attempts here, have been poor and I fear will be poorly understood by most readers. So be it. The returning traveler can only tell of the journey. Others must make their own path there...or not.


edit on 17-3-2012 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 08:40 AM
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When I look around today at Christians and Muslims alone, I see no other answer other than yes, of course religion hinders spiritual growth.



posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 08:44 AM
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Does religion hinder spiritual growth

I don't think someone can make a blanket statement that all religions hinder spiritual growth. Some religions do .. some don't. Some religions have good aspects but other aspects that are bad. Some religions are just out and out a menace to a persons spiritual and physical well being. Example - you said something about Catholicism. The writings of St. John of the Cross are wonderful and deeply spiritual .. but their belief in Onanism is silly. I guess it depends on which religion you are talking about ....



posted on Mar, 17 2012 @ 10:02 AM
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You are not alone in how you feel though, rest assured with that.


Funny, that's exactly how I do feel sitting in Church sometimes, overall I'm among good people, but they only seem interested in reinforcing what they already know and really examine your reaction to make sure you're on board. When I mentally disagree with what's being said, at that moment, I feel very alone. I've always considered myself a student of life, constantly looking to learn something new and dig a little deeper. As I get older, I'm more interested in the answer than the journey.



posted on Mar, 18 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 



That's absolutely true in my case. I have business interests involved as well, so I have to be very careful in just how much I want to challenge anything in the church I attend, it's frustrating because I genuinely would like to have that conversation with some of them.

Another reason is that almost all of them are happy in their current beliefs, they're not really interested in finding any "truths", for them this one works just fine.

Sounds to me like you're not getting much positive from "church."

So stop going there, and come here and have that conversation...there are plenty of us who enjoy discussing these things (not always with perfect manners, and not everyone, but that makes it spicier, ya know). And there are some who have LOTS of knowledge of LOTS of religions. It's fascinating, really.

I haven't found anywhere else to discuss these things either, with others face to face, except my mom, my kids, and husband. I generally don't discuss God at ALL in public or casual setting, and I'm not going to any church's "Bible study" or "Sunday school" or anywhere that is trying to "steer" me spiritually into someone else's direction.

I'm on a self-paced study course. I choose the curriculum, I choose the syllabus, and I choose when and for how long I stay on that topic. It's working just fine for me so far. I was brought up in the church, though (I left before my mom finally did, too), and I admit there's still a bit of baggage....but it's gotten much lighter. I wonder if it EVER really goes away altogether, but I'm thinking not. Any experience that a kid is subjected to regularly and with solemnity via parental doctrine (Yes, you "will" go to church! Get dressed! Sunday best!) will become hardwired to some degree.

That's why I didn't give my kids any "religion" they had to "stick to". I taught them ABOUT religions and different forms of "deity worship", but didn't force them into anything. I figured they'll find their own way and they don't need me pounding anything into their heads.

I've noticed since joining ATS and haunting this forum that I spend a LOT more time thinking about these things, and growing....every day, not just on Sunday. Sunday morning (USA time) is usually a quieter time, too, because the hard-core members are mostly at church and not interrupting perfectly good, civil, educated discussion.

Anyway, welcome to the religion forums! Buckle up and hang on tight!



posted on Mar, 18 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by wildtimes
 


I think one of the biggest problems I'm having in church is that I'm getting less and less from it. I try to have an open mind and just "take what I can use", but too often I find myself mentally rolling my eyes or completely disagreeing with the message.

I'm also feeling a little guilty about being somewhat of an impostor among them. I don't really think I'm ever going to get that "aha" moment I keep hoping for. I've had things happen in my life to know there is something more out there, I just don't think the church is interpreting what it believes it is successfully for me anymore.

I agree with you though, I enjoy this site too, I feel it's one of the few places I can have a diverse adult conversation or just talk about something silly all in the same place.



posted on Mar, 18 2012 @ 10:07 AM
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reply to post by Paschar0
 



I think one of the biggest problems I'm having in church is that I'm getting less and less from it. I try to have an open mind and just "take what I can use", but too often I find myself mentally rolling my eyes or completely disagreeing with the message.

I'm also feeling a little guilty about being somewhat of an impostor among them. I don't really think I'm ever going to get that "aha" moment I keep hoping for. I've had things happen in my life to know there is something more out there, I just don't think the church is interpreting what it believes it is successfully for me anymore.

You've clearly outgrown it.
Time to move on.
You might very well get to that "aha" moment, but not by staying there. Leave them in your dust. I hope your 'business interests' don't prevent you from walking away from them. There's so much out there to "take and use"....you've exhausted what that church can offer....but you're not done yet.

You're ready to join the Seekers legion now, and you're on the right track. Keep looking. Some folks are happy with an 8th grade education. Some stop after high school. Others become life-long learners, thirsting for more and more...and no amount of prepackaged dogma can satisfy that sort of person.

That I know that to the very quantum level of my being. Look forward to seeing you around more! Also check out the Off-topic Religion, Faith and Theology forum (on "Below" Top Secret, as in, not conspiracies so much as general discussion).




posted on Mar, 18 2012 @ 10:15 AM
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Originally posted by Paschar0
Does religion hinder spiritual growth?


No.

Religion is the pill, decision and speech that Morpheus gives Neo about showing the door.

For some people they progress past the decision.

Some people take the pill.

Some walk through.

Peace



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 12:34 AM
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Although it doesn't happen often enough now, there have been times where I have been meditating, and have mentally tried to ask questions about the definition of morality.

How are you feeling at the moment?

Completely calm.

In this state, do you feel motivated to engage in any form of violence, aggression, or deception towards anyone else?

No.

Then you have your answer.

At its' most positive, religious theology (scripture) is received by individuals who are able to obtain serene states, and are given for the benefit of individuals whose current lack of development prevents them from achieving the same states.

Negative behaviour only occurs as an external projection of unhappiness within an individual; if you can remove unhappiness within yourself to a sufficient degree, you won't be motivated to act violently or in any other kind of aberrant manner towards anyone else. The reason why people break said rules, however, is because they are still unhappy themselves.

This might sound very Buddhist, but I actually consider it entirely religiously neutral. It is also completely falsifiable, by practical experience.
edit on 30-3-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 30 2012 @ 01:11 AM
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I found God as a young teenager in an unlikely place. I had a very hard day at school and I wasn't getting too much sympathy at home. So, I left to go to a friend's house in the neighborhood. Well, as my bad luck would have it or how God had planned it, she wasn't home. I felt so alone. There was a field of tall weeds nearby, so I went into the field with my bike, found a nice clearing, and had a seat. I figured that way no one could see me crying.

As I was sitting there, a hush fell over the field and all I could hear was the gentle swaying of the weeds in the breeze. I felt a calmness ease over me and suddenly I was at peace inside and out. Then, I felt the overwhelming urge to go to the library.

I jumped up, picked up my bike, and rode across town to the library without stopping at home for permission even. Whenever I arrived at the library I went straight to the middle room where the nonfiction was kept. I walked to a shelf and pulled down a book. It was "The Power Of Positive Thinking" by Norman Vincent Peale. I just knew in my heart that was the book. I checked it out and rode home. I headed straight to my room and never mentioned my experience or the book to anyone. (These things weren't talked about at my house)

I read that book cover to cover mostly that night. Then I kept it to the due date and wrote the bible passages that stuck out to me on little cards that I could carry with me. I also found a bible that was laying around the house to read. That's how I met God and developed the relationship I still have today.

I don't think one needs a "church" to convene with Him. My husband was raised in the church and he laughed at me when I told him my story. He only goes to church to appease his parents. They all have the belief that only Lutheranism is correct. I get ridiculed quite often for my open mindedness about religion. Right now, I have some Mormon missionaries teaching me about their beliefs. You can bet that went over well with the family. My father-in-law asked my husband if I was going to "study" Satanism next.

I don't think there is one correct religion. Religion is of man. I know God can be found anywhere.



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