The purpose of nearly all theology is not to liberate a person from the illusions of ignorance. Rather, it is console the human being thrust into a life of sacrifice, toil, and suffering. Thus, the real purpose of theology is to do exactly the opposite; it is to make bearable the trials and tribulations of this life by concocting absurd stories the seek to undermine direct experience and create hopeful fantasies of the world to come. And one of its “red” flags is it insistence on obedience by its followers. Any system that depends on obedience, with the threat of punishment (and even eternal damnation) to control its flock is just another manifestation of external authority and control on our lives. Religion is a source of profound personal disempowerment.
So much for what passes as spiritual philosophy and teaching is just wishful thinking created by an ego desperately clinging onto false beliefs. Even if such fools do not mention god, they imply a god who only loves and that love is all there is. Thus everything we experience as the absence of his love is just our error. Such philosophies loudly declare that all is perfect and all is love.
Nothing could be further from the truth. This is just mindless belief, no different from the mindlessness of any other orthodoxy. People love hearing about how loving and perfect the universe is, because, just like their mindless teachers, they are living from a place of underlying insufficiency and inadequacy. They need to believe in a loving and perfect universe in order to compensate for their own experience of pain and suffering, as well their feelings of self contempt.
Religious leaders have been spouting this kind of nonsense ever since the first people were divided into the singular ruler and the many who are ruled. The division of labor between master and slave began a time when “wishful” thinking became essential to quell the restless and oppressed soul. The agony of laboring through a life without meaning created the need to create an alternative universe governed by vastly different, but entirely imaginary rules.
This is exactly, the message and the truth that people would prefer not to hear. Rather, people, in pain, want to be consoled, they want to be soothed, they want to stay asleep. They need to have their fear-based feelings of insufficiency to be compensated through a psychological projection that is designed to keep them safe and at distance from the underlying connection with truth.
From the very start, we learn the very hard lesson that if we insist on being ourselves, we will pay the price of isolation and condemnation. In order to “earn” the love of our parents, we must do as we are told. We must tow the line. We cannot indulge in our own imagination, we cannot explore as we wish, we cannot express our true feelings, or if we are given some rope, that rope has very definite limits. If we are to “earn” the love of our parents we need to be as they wish and project us to be. Thus the false, fear-based life is given form. The same lessons are repeated in school. Do as you’re told and you will be rewarded. And then we finally enter the work force, where we must do as we are told or risk the terrible consequences.
Then religion steps in mirroring the same cruel blueprint. If you don’t tow the line, you will be punished and not just in the here and now, but for all of eternity! The capacity of civilization to punish, negate, and minimize knows no bounds.
All of these lessons are about obedience. We are deterred from every being ourselves through the threat of punishment and the removal of love and validation anytime we cross the line.
This is the very world of pain and suffering. So out of this crippled world of the Wound (see Liberation from the Lie) comes the theology of love and perfection. We cannot make any sense of this crazy world without such a theology. It comes in many forms. One of the popular ones with roots in India asserts that all of this complexity and madness is just illusion, that the suffering human being and her world is no different from a dream. Some religions promise that if you’re a very good boy or girl, then you will be rewarded by a life in heaven.
It’s always the same – if you believe, if you behave, then, and only then will you be rewarded. This world of pain and suffering must create this theology of goodness and false liberation. Without such a theology we can only resign ourselves to the unacceptable and cruel. Without this theology, we might even become revolutionaries of the truth. That would threaten all of the institutions (starting with the family) that negate the sacred, Authentic Being.
We are so indoctrinated, that we are blind to any alternative. We have lost touch with who and what we truly are. We don’t know where to turn. We don’t where to start. We don’t remember what it means to be ourselves.
So, when someone says, “just be yourself”, we have a very difficult time figuring out what that means.
Returning to our original theme, to truly see the false as the false, we must see the whole trajectory of the ideology designed to keep us obedient and orderly. We must see this wherever it can be seen, which is nearly everywhere. But that which sees, that which spreads its light onto this world, that very light is as pure as any light that exists in the universe. In fact, it is that very light. That which sees is the very return to the truth. Seeing the false as the false, and thus allowing the truth to arise effortlessly into this very light of being is liberation – freedom – awakening.
The slave finds freedom in first discovering his shackles. For if we are ever to break free of these shackles, the first step must be to see that they are real. Then, and only then, does the true pathway merge into consciousness in this very moment.