Select a Religion Like Buying A Hat

Select a Religion Like Buying A Hat

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

Select a Religion Like Buying A Hat

How should you buy a good hat or a religion? Shop around.  Don’t buy the first hat or religion you find.  Try it on but always look in a mirror.  Then, always is get a second opinion.

Don’t pick a hat or religion because it feels good.  Look in the mirror and see if you look stupid.  Ask an unbiased friend if it looks stupid.  Don’t ask someone wearing the same hat or religion.  They will be biased.  They will tell you it looks fine.  Don’t believe it.  Get a second or third opinion.

Did You Have A Choice?

Hey, 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.  They buy their clothes and the spiritual hat. Sometimes they live in such repressive cultures they don’t have the option to choose another.  So, if you have the choice, do it in the same way you are shopping for an expense hat.

It’s only natural to seek guidance on our spiritual journey.  Where do you find a good hat or religion? Hat stores and religions have retail outlets.  Many people first look at the most popular religions.

Religion or No Religion?

Of the 8 billion people on Earth, over 4 billion have bought some kind of Abrahamic hat.  These are the religions of Semitic origin, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  Each of the Abrahamic religions has their own funny hat. These religions are not new.  They got their funny hats and beliefs from earlier traditions.  The Abrahamic religions are the rebranding of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions.  So, its an old hat with a new name.

But, no matter which hat or path you choose, constantly test your path.  This is the only way to make sure you are going in the right direction. Make sure the hat you put on still fits.  If it gets worn out, find another.   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.  Above all, don’t choose a hat or spiritual path because it is convenient or popular.

There is another and even better option.  Instead of choosing a religion just forge your own spiritual path.  Yes, you can do this.  Find the tools the open your awareness and doors to higher states of consciousness.  Make your own hat.  A lot of people do this.  That way you are sure it fits.

Test Your Religion Or Spiritual Path

No matter what path you take or what hat you wear, test to make sure it fits. There are four tests you can apply that can help you make sure that the hat you choose isn’t harmful to you or others.

These criteria are:

    • Consistency
    • Fairness, Equitability, and Responsibility
    • Tools for Development
    • Equality and Freedom

If the hat or religion you try on fails any of these tests, then it isn’t healthy for you or others.

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.

Tools for Development

A tradition only has merit to the extent that preserves and promotes independent self-development.  Just because they have a cool or unusual hat doesn’t mean the path they are on has tools to help you.  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, feel you need to join a religion, be sure it does 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.

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.

Remember, selecting a religion is like buying an expensive hat.  You are going to invest a lot of time with it so make sure it fits.  Don’t settle for the wrong fit.  Don’t settle for something that is harmful to you or others.

We recommend making your own hat.  Forge your own spiritual path.  Find tools that expand your awareness and open doors to higher states.  Become a freethinker.  Be an example for others.  Show them that it is possible.

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

We hope you found this article helpful, maybe even thought-provoking.  You will find more interesting posts on our blog page. Use the “search” option on the blog page to find articles by key terms, topics, or category.

Does spiritual exploration interest you?  If so, we offer both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions.  We use a blended learning process to get the best learning outcomes.  This blended approach aligns with what Joseph Campbell calls the Hero’s Journey.

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References

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

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