How to Select a Religion Choosing The Right Spiritual Path

How to Select a Religion ― Choosing The Right Spiritual Path

If you have the option to select your spiritual path, we have some criteria and questions that can help you in this process.  The right path is like the right hat.  It needs to fit.

How to Select a Religion

If you have the choice to select your spiritual path, you are lucky.  Choosing the right spiritual path is not available to everyone. Many people don’t get to select their religion, they are born into one.  Their families don’t give them a choice. But you have a choice here are some guidelines to help.

We are spiritual beings.  So, it’s only natural for us to seek spiritual clarity and select a religion or spiritual path.   Many people first look at the most popular and noticeable religions. Of the 8 billion people on Earth, over 4 billion are a part of the Abrahamic tree.  These are the religions of Semitic origin including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  They result from combining and rebranding Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions.

But, no matter which path you choose, make it a practice to test your path.  This is the only way to make sure you are going in the right direction.  Hopefully, your goals are greater awareness and enlightenment.  If these latter qualities are more important and doctrine and dogma to run your life, then you may choose a more spiritual path.

Choosing the Right Spiritual Path

Here are some simple questions and logical criteria in making this important decision.

choices different paths

Consistency is the Test

If God wrote a book, wouldn’t you want a copy?  Why sure?  But, be sure it’s not just a selling tool for a religion.  If you select a religion based on a sacred or divinely inspired text, make sure it is consistent from cover to cover.  Seems like every religion has their particular version of what they claim are divinely inspired texts.

Consistency is very important.  The texts should not have contradictory messages.  It should not contain messages of both love and hate, of peace and violence because inconsistency is the mark of insanity.  Don’t follow insanity.

If someone tells you that sure the text says that here, but that’s not what it means, don’t believe it.  The text says exactly what it says.  This is a ploy to cherry-pick what they want to make it into anything they want.

When in doubt, check the origins of the text.  Use sources from outside the religion you are researching.  That way, you are more likely to find the truth.  If something is hiding the origins of their texts, that’s a red flag.

Remember, choosing the right spiritual path means, choosing what is right for you.  But, if you need guiding principles you don’t need a religion for that.  There are plenty of sources for simplified and non-contradictory platforms.

When someone asks us how to select a religion this is the first criterion we point to.  Consistency in what they say and what their texts say is the first test.  This single criterion will eliminate the three most popular religions from your list.

Is Fair, Equitable, and Responsible in Action?

Look for a path that has a long-range mission with equity and equality as a fundamental basis.  The path or religion you select should show that it inspires decisions based on the long-term just and verdant treatment of all people.  Make sure it is inclusive and not a sect basing its membership on gender, ethnic or race.

It should also promote the ecological welfare of the planet.  Similarly, it should not exclude people or places based on their backgrounds.  Everyone on the planet and every place on the planet is sacred.  There isn’t a “B” planet.

Many Western religions talk about conquering the world.  This opposes living in harmony with it.

A Path with Tools, Not Belief

A tradition only has merit to the extent that preserves and promotes independent self-development.  The path you select should contain processes for developing and investigating consciousness. Hence, it should provide tools enabling people to develop their path for further enlightenment.  Instead of boundaries of belief to keep you in, it should promote tools to break down the barriers.

Living without barriers is the preferred state.  This is our original state of innocence.  People who live in this state use reason and common sense.  These are freethinkers or atheists.

When people ask about how to select a religion this one also rules out the top three most popular religions.  They are significant for the absence of any tools for developing consciousness.  Instead, they offer faith and belief.

Promotes Equality and Freedom

The tradition you select is only worthy if it does not promote sectarianism.  Sectarianism is any form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred.  Likewise, if you select a religion, it should not promote bias or discrimination. Nor should it attach importance to perceived differences.
For example, inspiring discrimination between people with different ethnic or religious beliefs.  So, it should not promote hatred toward those without belief in any imaginary friends or enemies (Atheists).
It should not promote artificial boundaries like patriotism or nationalism. It should give preferential treatment because of religious beliefs, economic class, regional, or other man-made divisions. Its policies should not justify inhuman acts.  For example, no justification for torture, genocide, or persecution of any kind. It should not include guidelines for treating people as slaves.  And, it should not promote gender superiority or practices.

In Conclusion

So, if the religion you are researching doesn’t meet these guidelines we suggest you keep looking.  Choosing the right spiritual path is an important decision.  If you have the option to choose, take your time.  Then, test it regularly to make sure you learn what you need to progress.  If you find you’ve selected the wrong path.  Chang it.

If you want to know how to select a religion, the best answer is don’t do it at all.  Become a freethinker and create your own path.

And most importantly, please don’t choose a path based on the need to believe or need to belong.  Don’t join because you are hurting or in need.  This is when you are most vulnerable to groupthink manipulation.  If the religion or path cannot meet the guidelines listed above.  Keep looking, or better yet, do without.

Thankfully, you don’t have to join a religion to conduct spiritual exploration.  There’s quite a difference between spiritual exploration and religion.

If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. To find out more about our organization, see our page FAQ.

Interested in spiritual exploration?  Check out the blended learning process at the core of our teaching process. It reflects what Joseph Campbell called the Hero’s Journey.  Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.  Please consider donating and supporting our mission. This helps others learn the knowledge for developing their path.


Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia

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