Is Western organized religion just spiritual junk food?
Before we jump into the analogy of religion as fast-food spirituality, let’s look at the concept of spirituality.
The Context of Spirituality
Spirituality can be confusing. The term spirit refers to the human Spirit or Soul. People use these words to make things sound “spiritual.” People use them to describe almost everything in the human condition. For example, some people say eating hot spicy food is a spiritual experience.
We overuse the term spirituality. So, it’s essential to pay attention to context. Spirituality is the realm of Mystics, Seers, and Shaman. Gifted Seers operate apart from organized religion of any kind. So religions adopt these gifted individuals when they can. If they can’t, then they burn them as heretics or Witches.
Nature is the basis of religion. The earliest forms of Paganism and Animism used analogies and metaphors to explain the universe. The creation stories are metaphors attempting to explain what they didn’t understand. Animals and nature became a part of the narrative where anthropomorphic entities became the gods. They also began exploring consciousness, developing Shamanism’s ancient processes exploring the spirit world.
Not all religions are junk food. Some are valuable assets to society. Some ancient traditions helped preserve and safeguard the processes for reaching higher consciousness states. Hinduism, Taoism, and Paganism contain examples of these processes. You can trace every form of meditation to indigenous cultures. These explorers developed what we know today as the scientific process. You can also trace modern medicine to these ancient pioneers.
Religion and Spirituality
Most people live in cultures dominated by Western organized religion’s cultural narrative. These are the Abrahamic religions (1) of Semitic origin, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They try hard to associate their religion with spirituality. However, they lack any processes for the development of human potential.
They work hard to sell the idea that their doctrines, superstitions, and ceremonies make their religion spiritual. In fact, they tell us everything spiritual must come from them. Otherwise, it is considered evil.
In these religions, cultural programming starts early in life. Children have no choice but to learn what their parents present. People in crisis also fall prey to their bait and switch tactics.
When people are going through an emotional crisis, they are vulnerable. This makes them susceptible to self-hypnosis and group hypnosis manipulation tactics. People in crisis need support and answers. Organized religion provides counterfeit solutions for a price. These religions make followers and paying customers. Ask them for money, and they will tell you to pray, but you better have something for the offering plate to keep in good standing.
Intelligence isn’t a barrier to the effects of this type of programming. The longer you expose yourself, the more likely the programming will affect you. Groupthink manipulation is a powerful tool of propaganda. These religions have three primary concerns:
1. Mandatory membership and allegiance to a Supreme Being
2. The justification for what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and values
3. Required belief in the afterlife, or life after death with either rewards or punishment
These concerns are the counterfeit substitutes for developing your path. They are fast-food spirituality sold to create a cash flow system.
What is Spiritual Junk Food?
Western organized religion is like fast-food in several ways. Just like fast food, there are many retail outlets available. There are many churches, mosques, and other religious structures. And, just like fast food, organized religion tastes good to the Ego.
But religion has no spiritual nutrition. It is absent processes for exploring consciousness. That’s why you must keep returning every week. Overall, you would need to admit these religions cannot show they have positively impacted the world. You’ll find Western religion at the heart of many wars and current ongoing conflicts. Faith is not a solution but a cause of human suffering. More people are starving, going without clean water or shelter, while these religions display their gold and priceless art.
Why do many people conclude Western religion is the fast food of spirituality? It seems like it is the root cause of many of the world’s inequities, persecutions, and conflicts. Religion divides. It does not bring people together. This leads many freethinkers to view Western Organized religion as spiritual junk food.
Like fast food, religion is habit-forming. It promises to fill the need it can never meet. This requires you to keep coming back. Plus, they demand your continued financial support to keep your afterlife pass from expiring. However, dogma and doctrine can not meet spiritual needs. Afterlife promises are not an adequate answer for fear of death. Religious doctrines justify everything from genocide to genital mutilation.
Many of the most influential teachers tell us not to follow organized religion. In the New Testament, Jesus was a Jewish scholar, not a Christian. He sought enlightenment alone in the wilderness, not in a Church. Muhammad was not a Muslim. Both of them taught that you need to leave organized religion and find your own path. Instead of inspiring freedom from religion, their followers created religions in their name. More and more sects are being created every day. It makes you wonder.
So, above all, learn to grow your own spiritual food. Learn to research ideas outside your current belief system. Learn how to grow your own nutritious spiritual food. Skip the fast-food spirituality of Western religion.
How Spirituality and Religion Differ
In contrast, for many others being spiritual means living life means exhibiting the higher virtues of the spirit. It’s not what you believe but what you do with your life that counts. It’s not about being part of an exclusive club.
Instead, it is about promoting equity and equality for all people. Spirituality relates to processes that expand awareness. It’s about becoming a better person. Its goal is consciousness and spiritual development, not adherence to dogma. This is the domain of spiritual exploration. This leads us to the analogy of why Western organized is fast-food spirituality.
It is incredible how so many people become addicted to fast-food spirituality. It does not satisfy the spiritual need to explore and develop their potential. If you dine on spiritual junk food, you must return repeatedly. Your spiritual hunger remains, but all they have is unnutritious dogma.
If this article resonates, there are more on our blog. To find out more about our organization, see our page FAQ. Register on our site to receive discounts on training and unadvertised material. We comply with all GDPR guidelines and never share or sell your contact data.
Are you 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 (2). Our learning options include both face-to-face and virtual learning sessions. Please consider donating and supporting our mission.
(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia