Religion has become a dirty word. Pope vs. condoms, misogyny, Pat Robertson, homophobia, radical jihadists, Buddhists vs. Hindus vs. Muslims vs. Christians vs. Jews. I keep waiting for a Jerry Springer episode on religion: “On today’s show a paternity test on all the people who claim God as Father.”
Many have jettisoned the whole proposition. Some of us have opted for the uber-popular moniker “spiritual but not religious”. Sounds good. But how do we live that? Meditation? Energy work? Crystals? An ungrounded, isolated spirituality easily slides down the slippery slope into a woo-woo path that makes us feel better but does little to transform us or the world.
What if there is a choice other than anachronistic religion, woo-woo, or giving up on the matter altogether? What if we’ve missed the point of religion? According to Cicero, religion is derived from the Latin relegere, which means “to go through again, read again”. Others claim that it derives from the Latin religare, which means “to bind”, in the sense of binding together a people and a deity.
Is it possible to take a “new read” on how we can bond with each other and with that vast Soup of Existence in which we live, move and have our being? Can we redefine “religion” to mean the conscious choice to explore again and again without judgment or dogma what it means to be a human being in a universe far more vast, interconnected, mysterious and wonderful than we ever imagined?
What if that exploration done individually and in community yielded something other than demonized groups, guilt, or chakra-obsessed chai drinkers whom you can’t possibly relate to? What if religion could actually open minds, upgrade perceptions, laugh at itself, evolve us, transmute our foibles, energize our latent potential, and propel us into radically loving, creative responses to the challenges of our planet?
If so, we might finally have a religion for grown ups.
How would you describe a religion/spirituality for grown ups? What would it look like? What affect might it have?