I like Your basic statement here, but I would change one thing. You say, "The fundamentals, devoid of ritual and dogma and cultural influences, are about love, justice, and inner healing (mysticism)." I propose that should read, "The fundamentals, devoid of ritual and dogma and cultural influences, are about love, justice, and inner growth (mysticism)." I don't presume All need healing, but I do presume All need growth.
As I believe religion is a personal choice, it would depend on the Individual and what that Individual gets out of it. I have no religious dogma, but am highly spiritual, Myself. I see Consciousness as "God," co-creating the Now, with everything composed of Consciousness at some level of development.
In this, religious dogma serves its purpose, but the end goal is for as much of Consciousness to be as comfortable as possible, with a Betterment Ethic as principle.
So... It religion worth Our time? Depends on the results it creates. Which one? Any and all that contribute to Betterment - of Self and/or surroundings.
Religion needs to be addressed, because religion and politics are and have been the cause of so much violence and conflict between people throughout the world since recorded history. I believe what is needed is to form a sort of United Nations of Religion, and begin to discuss what we all have in common, foremost, that if God, if truly Infinite, no matter whose religious definition, Infinite Power is the ALL, meaning human beings are not capable of conceiving what that might represent--our brains are just not that evolved. The concept of ALL, is sadly beyond the scope of human understanding or comprehension, and that with Infinite Power and Possibility, anything is possible with whatever may be God, no matter by what title or name It may be called; Which must include the agreement by all religions that what is truly Infinite may be beyond our understanding, comprehension or ability or right as individuals or groups to define, or label for the rest, especially since there have been so many differing characteristics,definitions and labels stuck upon God by different religious sects.
People have believed in numerous ideas of God, some see a masculine God in favor of war, some believe that's not true, that God is only in favor of peace and that killing is a sin. Some believe a Warrior God is making God in the image of male men, which is ludicrous since all life on earth begins as female zygotes. Since we cannot agree on the many different opinions held by so many old and new and emerging religions, we should at least agree that what ever power it is that's responsible for the creation of all life on this earth , as well as our viewed physical Universe seen through the senses of our physical bodies, that this might be far too large a concept for us to yet conceive, and that ANY human definition pinned upon God would be rather puny in comparison to what may actually be "Infinite "....We could start there.
The reason religion has caused so much strife has mostly to do with the power that ensnares the world. War profiteering gives strong motive to incite conflict - and any conflict that can be incited is looked upon as "good" by the small and evil men who control this power structure. Throughout history there are plenty of examples of belief systems coexisting. But They have built into many the idea that there is only ONE true spiritual perspective.
This was done quite deliberately so that it can be used.
This morning, a Sunday, I was thinking...how oppressive it must be to be herded around by religious fanaticism, with their strict rules, punishable by their forcable methods of, with guns, demanding people worship god..with bullets--that's a direct link for sure straight to god...killing brothers and sister to force them to God. Not just terrorists, but ancient religions, New versions of old religions, sects of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, ancient Rome when the new "book of the people", was forced on the population, the Bible hundreds of years after Christ, used to burn heretics, when he spoke of peace, love, healing. Finding one's way to God can't be done by force, by crazy men will try, when given power==and we do give them our power...We we will God, either eventually at death, which we all face alone, as we came into this world birthed as a creature, animal of earth. Or seek knowing creation, hoping to find that connection to that which watches over as observer that has everything jam packed inside it-- but it's also only yours, like the drops of ocean in the sea, and infinite universes in raindrops. This path to God isn't something you can or want to be forced into at gunpoint --but having a gut feeling that there may just really be a 'something' that isn't so mundane, so blahhhhhhh, rather perhaps a secure connection, like a placenta, to hold...and hand, a trustworthy rope connected to something beyond this illusion of reality, this dense, gravity slamming physical realm, to something that's US, beyond the heavens, that like an electron that can be everywhere at once, is also inside us...something, that if tested will give validation, if you ask, offer proof of it's existance. And it doesn't have to be all....suffering. Maybe some tears, awakenings, letting go, sorrows, apologies, but there isn't a whisper of FORCE or RULES associated with one seeker on their individual path to God...it's freedom and a choice, no matter what characteristics are displayed upon the path that one chooses to take, how can we judge?
But I cannot tolerate injustice--that I have issues with. We are not cattle to be herded into churches, forced
to find God at gunpoint. That's not religion, that's monkeyminded power and control -- "see god through my intrepretation, dammit, or I'll shoot you". That's insanity. Not much God there. Maybe Earth God of death, returning us back to dirt so the trees get dinner.........but not much else.
Here I have to agree 100%. Personally, I see "God" as Consciousness co-creating the Now. And I believe each facet of Consciousness makes His/Her own path. For though two people may believe in the same set of teachings, the "God" Each sees will differ. If there was one truth...We would all know it easily upon hearing it.
I have been All and infinite; now, I am a piece, remembering only darkly that glory I AM. We are all one cocreating this now, experiencing LIFE and striving for bliss. Those that have not the experience in memory to draw in, look outside Themselves. I see inward and know that I AM God; Thou ART God.
Regardless of what 'Abdu'l-Bahá has to say on the matter.
Hmmm. It is through My heart I see this, and the experience of being All and infinite was several years ago. [shrug] How can You know that I cannot know?
[smile] What I learn is how to apply My awareness to My function. And to be honest... That experience has opened Me up to an astonishing array of input which before I could not see.
I do not say I have Your answer, but I know I have Mine.
Absolutely--how can we know ALL? INFINITE? We don't know what' it's like to be a creature who lives in a world on a plent of methane--nor even a whale, on our own planet. Until we take time out of our busy human lives to care--we won't even know what it's like to be something other than human. We now have the opportunity to see through the eyes of other intelligent creatures, that we would jump at trying to communicate with, if we found them on a water planet...........the cetaceans. I would really really like to know how they feel about living in an atmosphere of water--not air--and what it's like to have our weird garbage dumped into their atmosphere.........???
All religions are offshoots of someone who first had a spiritual experience--who others like...they liked this 'guy's' intrepretation, her miracles, his energy, whatever--and it grew, like a seed filled with infinite potential. The problem with people, is we create boundaries around our 'religions', and believe we are the best--and insist everyone fit into that boundary, then they begin fear mongering..."if you don't....______________________ will happen". It's a sales job, because people want more to join their flock--like birds, weeds, bugs, that turn away those who 'aren't like them'. Like I said, it's NATURE'S WAY OF PERPETUATING LIFE. If we realized this behavior is animalistic, perhaps we could reevaluate or recalculate our
behaviors and intentions...and instead of trying to sell our belief, just offer them, and let it go. The FORCE, DOMINATION, THREATS, RIGHT-WRONG DEBATE, is just part of the way we humans act more like animals than conscious beings. That's what I think...Jeez Louise, I mean, we could have non-physical life forms living right along side us, and we'd never know! We are SO YOUNG AS A SPECIES, and have such species-conceit, we are toddlers physically, and yet our consciousness is one with all------------my message is, if those of us who are certain they are 'already' superior to the rest, one with the cosmos....Well, being one with ALL , HELLLLOOO, does NOT exclude other life forms on this Earth!! Nor does it mean we have some special dispensation to the heavenly cosmos and the infinite... than other "un-intelligent, ancient" life on this earth does not have. Actually it makes us stupider for believing that. Nor does it mean millions of other ancient life on the planet, millions of years old, aren't perhaps more conscious , more able to communicate--if we weren't so insistent on keeping our ears shut, and believing that we are so much more superior, and smarter because of our high tech, sloth making, bomb making, overpopulating, resource sucking, falling on our face in confusion-and blunderings/species, called human. We shouldn't pin badges on ourselves until, as a group, we end our delusions.
Most religions are based on the truth that Humans were (and are) visited (and likely genetically engineered) by Beings from "heaven" - from space, that is.
Plenty of evidence of this if One is willing to look.
Behavior is only animalistic if it is not chosen with the mind, if it is reactionary and not considered.
And of course there are Others in this universe - or multiverse - and many ARE non-corporeal. And most cannot see Them. Some can. In truth, You hold a very negative view of Humanity. We are quite a beautiful species, but struggle under a yoke of money kept in place for purposes of control and sapping energy from Us by a very evil few.
Were We to be released from the bondage, pulled out of the soil (money) in which the root of all evil grows (the LOVE of money), We would shine. Most of Us would help Others if We Ourselves didn't heed help.
And to be sure, the controlling Entities are not Human.