Religious freedom requires freedom from religion. Life without religious beliefs is true freedom. All you need are the tools of consciousness to live and explore life to its fullest.
Happiness is Living Life To The Fullest
Our original state is happiness and joy. We begin life with a blank slate, innocent and curious. It’s the perspective that allows us to experience life with an open mind.
We begin life as explorers. It is our nature to seek answers for the unknown. This desire to investigate is what makes us excellent spiritual explorers. All we need is the proper tools and guidance. We are already perfect in all of our imperfections.
“I do not need to defend my path. I have no religious beliefs, just tools for exploring consciousness. These tools with all who are ready to receive them.” — Guru Tua
I wish everyone could find a teacher like Guru Tua. I hope you find a resource that provides tools for developing your path. You don’t need beliefs to bind you or blind you. You only need tools to enlighten. Happiness is living life with the tools to explore.
But there is a problem. Religion comes with ideologies and doctrines filled with harmful prejudice and bias. When we are young, we are trusting. So, we believe what people tell us is the truth. We accept prejudices as truth.
Religions By Population
Below is a chart listing religion by population (1). These estimates are from 2018. About half the population is involved in the Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. These systems have the most significant impact on the cultural narrative.
Concerns of Western Religion
The Abrahamic traditions dominate Western culture, so even if you aren’t a follower, you feel the effects of their influence because of their colossal social reach. They dictate can values and policies because they can integrate their doctrines into the cultures they dominate. It takes a lot of work to maintain this paradigm in the modern world.
Unbelief is necessary to protect the boundaries of their beliefs. They learn to reject all the facts that contradict their superstitions. The ongoing use of groupthink manipulation tactics makes the belief system their identity. Some people live in cultures immersed in mythology, making living life without religious beliefs nearly impossible.
They are all significant for the absence of any tools of consciousness development. These religions aren’t new. They are a combination of Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, and Assyrian mystery religions. Instead of methods to develop or explore consciousness, they offer mythology and superstition. What’s often most important to these systems is what they can get you to believe. These beliefs take the form of three primary concerns:
- Mandatory membership and allegiance to a Supreme Being (God or Gods)
- The justification for what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior and values
- Belief in the afterlife, or life after death with corresponding rewards and punishments
Living Life Without Religious Beliefs
At the beginning of this article, religious freedom starts with freedom from religion. You have the right to believe anything as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others.
One way to show religious freedom is to express humor in their absurdities and inconsistencies. Making fun of something does not prevent someone from believing. For example, if I assert that the God Oden is alive and well, you have the right to make jokes about how silly it is. You have the right to point out the errors of my thinking.
If your comments lead me to question my beliefs, so much the better. Maybe it will lead to my awakening?
The Path of Awakening
Everyone has their way of awakening. And each of us has spiritual gifts to aid in this quest. These gifts are sleeping in our DNA. So, waking these gifts is the key. It sets our spiritual walk into motion. It opens our minds to new potentials.
Accessing these gifts was the central goal of many ancient cultures. And so, we benefit from generations of research. The results are a robust set of tools anyone can use for developing or exploring awareness. We call these tools spiritual technologies. Living life without religious beliefs is not just possible. It is preferable. With fewer boundaries to get in the way, you are free to explore your spiritual truths. Happiness is living in the state of mind you enjoy by exploring your inner world.
These tools stand up to the test of science. They are repeatable experiential phenomena. And higher states of awareness also have unique, measurable physiological signatures. They differ from consciousness’s primary partitions of waking, sleeping, and dreaming. These processes do not require belief in a religion. All you need to do is follow the process. These tools come mostly from Eastern traditions, and this is probably because their focus is on developing human potential.
You will find this eclectic in other systems. For example, Gurdjieff’s approach was to adopt those techniques proven effective by years of practice. After all, human physiology hasn’t changed in thousands of years. So, the work of the ancient pioneers stands the test of time.
Tools For Exploring Consciousness
The catalog of methods for developing and exploring consciousness is what we call Spiritual Technologies. They are processes that can alter, change, or expand our awareness. Some of these methods open doorways to higher states of consciousness.
These processes come from eons of research by cultures around the world. We use the term spiritual exploration to describe these powerful methods.
We select the best of these ancient methods for our blended learning process. These processes are time-tested by generations of use, and they stand up to the rigorous tests of science. Several of these methods produce measurable changes in our physiology. These physiological markers differ from normal waking, sleeping, and dreaming states.
Spiritual exploration is not about faith or belief in a religion. They are processes that anyone can use. All you do is follow a process. We like to think of it just like baking a cake. When you want to bake a delicious cake, you follow a recipe. If you use the right ingredients and follow the directions, you get something delicious. The processes of spiritual exploration are formulas or ingredients for exploring consciousness.
There are many ways to list these methods. We divide these tools into four major categories:
- Analytical Tools
- Awareness Expansion Tools
- Modalities for Healing
The study of spiritual things seems like an odd place to find analytical tools, but these analytical processes are vital to our spiritual quest. Their use enhances our ability to use common sense and logic. These tools improve observational skills and help us identify the roadblocks that get in the way.
We recommend you incorporate emotional checks in all of these processes. Keeping your feeling in check helps us think more clearly.
These tools help us think more clearly and make better decisions, which helps us avoid many of our path’s everyday obstacles. This group’s primary tools are Logical Reasoning, Comparative Analysis, and The Enneagram of Personality.
The study of logic is the first tool we use in our group practice, but these methods help anyone seeking the truth. We encourage our participants to create a reminder on their smartphones to review these tools every month. It’s essential to keep them fresh in our minds, and that’s when they become helpful in spotting ploys and deception.
We use a set of three related tools. The first tool is Logical reasoning, which summarizes the essential use of logic in language. It shows how people misuse language to sell us ideas and beliefs. Next is spotting logical fallacies. This module provides practical examples of the most common logical fallacies. The last module, the truth-seekers axioms, ties everything together by contrasting how science and mythology differ in their approaches to presenting the truth.
Comparative Analysis is a systematic approach to comparative religious study based on the scientific model. It is a method of comparing ideas and beliefs from different worldviews, and it is another tool we recommend for the new spiritual explorer.
Above all, the use of logical reasoning and comparative analysis will sharpen your ability to discern fact from fiction. So, these aren’t just for research. You’ll find a use for these tools every day. Besides their use in religion, politics, they are also helpful with TV and Radio newscasts.
The Enneagram of Personality
The Enneagram of Personality is a cognitive science tool that helps us understand the mechanisms of Ego, personality, and instinct. The best authors and researchers write in easily understandable language so the layperson can understand it, while it is deep enough for any clinician. It makes the Enneagram a powerful system available to almost everyone.
You will find modern psychology and the Enneagram share many of the same concepts and authors. Borrowing and then building on the work of others is a common practice. For instance, Jungian psychology parallels the structure of the Enneagram. It has nine processes of consciousness.
The core of the Enneagram Personality Profile is a series of questionnaires. If you provide honest answers, you will get an accurate personality profile. The scientific method of testing verifies the accuracy of this tool. The system goes beyond identification into deeper thought processes and beliefs. It integrates spiritual and psychological understanding. It will help you understand the source of our “personal power.”
When you say spiritual practice, many people think of meditation. Seated and moving forms of meditation are the centerpiece of spiritual exploration.
Meditation is a mind hack that often uses mantras, sutras, and affirmations as tools. These mental devices open doorways of consciousness. You could easily categorize them as awareness expansion tools, the same with Yoga since it contains a range of meditative processes.
Seated meditation is the heart of the spiritual practice for many people. Meditation is an essential tool for exploring consciousness. Seated meditation includes everything from a primary two-step method, Mindfulness Meditation and Japa or Transcendental Meditation (TM). This modality also has advanced practices like the Siddhis of Patanjali.
Moving meditation is an action with a heightened level of awareness. To perform an activity while simultaneously holding a meditative state involves a high level of mind-body coordination and skill. This modality improves mind and body connection. In turn, this has a positive effect on our health and wellness. This progression includes energy collection modalities like Qigong and Tai Chi. Grounding exercises focus on our connection with nature, such as Sun Gazing, Forest Bathing, and Tree Grounding.
Awareness Expansion Tools
This category has a diverse mix of tools dealing with awareness and perception. This group includes the Shamanic Journey or Guided Meditation, lucid dreaming, third-eye awakening exercises, and techniques to improve memory (learning how to learn).
Another essential tool is the spiritual journal or book of shadows; it’s your personal life coach. This modality also includes exercises like automatic writing and exploring memories. You could list these tools among some groups. However, we like to list them separately because of their importance to awareness.
The Shamanic Journey is probably man’s first technology for exploring consciousness. This traditional method is at the core of many indigenous cultures, and it serves as evidence of the historical importance of the inner quest.
There are many variations on this theme, but essentially the same formula. Rhythm is a crucial element that regulates heart rate and breathing. Then the mind projects an inner world providing the lucid journey.
A Shaman is a person who guides people through this journey in the spirit world. However, you can take this inward journey by yourself. This tool for changing awareness uses a range of seated and moving forms.
The Shamanic Journey has been renamed or rebranded in Western cultures. They do this to make it more marketable. You will see it marketed as “guided meditation” or “creative visualization.”
Modalities for Healing
The last group is healing practices. This group includes a diverse set of tools such as Pe Jet, which comes from Indonesia, and Reiki and Shiatsu come from Japan. We teach Vedic medicine, along with other traditional healing forms. Self-care is a vital part of this group. Because to help others, we must be in optimal health. Our overall health and wellness affect every aspect of life.
Using any healing method is a natural outlet for our positive energy. Many people come to the healing arts as a secondary interest. They find it an enjoyable way of giving back and helping others.
You can find practical tools of consciousness in many traditions around the world. Sometimes a religion will safeguard these tools, preserving them for future generations. The stories of all the great Sages tell us to seek our path. Living life without religious beliefs is the authentic path of spirituality. Without boundaries, you can go farther.
Happiness is living in a society that promotes religious choice. A healthy culture includes the freedom not to follow mythology or superstition.
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(1) List of religious populations by proportion, Wikipedia
(2) Joseph Campbell & Joseph Campbell’s book The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia