Why You Should Choose a Religion Like Buying a Hat The Power of Choice

Why You Should Choose a Religion Like Buying a Hat — The Power of Choice

Spiritual beliefs are a deeply personal and profound aspect of our lives.  If you can choose a path, make an informed decision.   Learn why you should choose a religion, like buying a hat.  Consider all the relevant data so that your choice will be wise and your spiritual path will yield positive results for you and the world.

Many people don’t have the option of selecting a religion or spiritual path, so consider it a privilege if you can do it.  Choosing the right spiritual path is a lot like purchasing an expensive hat; it must fit and be durable.   Here are some reasons you should approach choosing a religion, like buying a hat.

The Real Power of Choice

There are several aspects to the ability to choose.  One of the most significant aspects is that it allows us to take ownership of our lives.  When we realize that we are in control of our destiny.   When we take action to achieve our goals rather than waiting for life to happen to us, we earn the fruits of our choices.  By taking responsibility for our choices, we can shape the direction of our lives and create the future we want.

We are sorry if you were born into a family that made you join a religion and wear a funny hat.  This happens to a lot of people.  It wasn’t your choice; it was a part of your cultural conditioning.  Now that you are an adult, you can make your own decisions.  You have the power of choice, and you can use it to affirm or change your spiritual path.  Don’t accept the religious beliefs you were forced to accept as a child.

Some live in such repressive cultures they don’t have the option to select another religion.  That happens a lot in cultures dominated by the Abrahamic religions.  (1) These are the religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  These religions claim membership of almost half of the world’s population.  Hat stores and religions have a lot of retail outlets.

The Abrahamic Religions Dominate Culture

If you are lucky enough to be able to choose, chances are you visit one of the Abrahamic religions in your search.  It’s important to know these systems are not new authentic creations; they are the rebranding of earlier religions.

We can trace the Abrahamic religions to the ancient mystery religions of the Mediterranean region circa 2000 BCE.  The Abrahamic religions are the newer versions of the myths and superstitions from Egypt, Babylon, Persia, and Assyria.

Remember, a lot of other stuff comes with the head covering.  The rest of the outfit includes bundles of doctrines and dogma.  There is a long-standing war between these tribal religions and the modern, inclusive worldview.  Some see it as science versus religion or facts versus mythology.

“It’s a curious thing in American life that the most abject nonsense will be excused if the utterer can claim the sanction of religion.  A country that forbids an established church by law is prey to any denomination.  The best that can be said is that this is pluralism of a kind.” ― Christopher Hitchens, Prepared for the Worst: Selected Essays and Minority Reports

Why You Should Choose a Religion Like Buying a Hat

different religions walking

The power of choice is a privilege and a responsibility in the arena of spirituality and religion.  It is a privilege because it is not available to all in the measure.  Some can make choices openly, while others must keep their choices confidential for several reasons.  “Choice” is a responsibility because it affects not just you but everyone in your circle of influence.  Your choices set an example.  You may not know the person whom you inspire.

1.  Find the One that Fits You

When picking out a hat, you want one that fits well and is comfortable.  Similarly, finding a religion that resonates with your beliefs and values is essential.  Choosing a religion that doesn’t align with your values and beliefs can be a source of stress and anxiety.  So just like hats, it’s important to find a religion that fits you well.

It also needs to fit the world.  Your hat is something that shows your style, your values.  So, your religion should fit the world, which means promoting positive, inclusive values.  Albert Einstein tells us what this looks like.  The first reason why you should choose a religion like a hat has to do with the global impact you have.

“The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology.” — Albert Einstein

2.  Choose a Style That Suits You

Whether you like a trendy snapback or a classic fedora, the style of hat you choose reflects your personality.  Similarly, the religion you choose is a reflection of who you are as a person.  If you prefer a highly ritualistic and organized religion, you might consider Catholicism.  On the other hand, if you prefer a more spiritual and intuitive approach to religion, you might choose New Age or Wiccan rituals.

Choosing a religion, like buying a hat, makes you consider the long-term implications of your beliefs and values.  Not only how this decision affects you, but what about the world?  Look in the mirror, and ask yourself some questions.

Do I look silly wearing this hat?  In other words, does having an imaginary friend make sense?  What does wearing this hat (religion) inspire me to do?  Does this hat inspire hate for people outside the region?  How did other customers end up wearing this religion?

3.  Consider the Material

The hat’s material can make a significant difference in comfort and durability.  Similarly, the beliefs and practices of religious faith can have a substantial impact on your life.  It’s important to consider the implications of choosing a specific religion and the values it provides.

Get a second opinion about your choice from an unbiased third party before you decide.  Don’t be pressured to make a decision.  Some religions proselytize using fear.  They will try to sell you the afterlife using the fear of hell.

Here the power of choice is not being hasty but taking the time to weigh the facts and opinions of those with the knowledge that can help you.  What are the views of sources outside the faith?  Don’t buy the first hat or religion you see.  When you choose a religion, like buying a hat, you’ll shop around to make sure the material it is made of is authentic and healthy.

4.  Don’t Follow the Trends

Just like fashion, religious trends change over time.  It’s important to stay informed, but we should not decide about joining a religion based on the latest trends.  Instead, make a choice based on its historical performance.  It’s not what they say they did or will do that is important.  It is what they have done that counts.

Have they demonstrated healthy values like equality, unity, sharing, and inclusion?  Or have they been responsible for wars and genocide?  If a religion speaks of others as less than human and has a track record of inspiring violence, then you know its true social trajectory.  If a particular religion wants to take away personal rights of autonomy, then you know they will also seek to erode other human rights.

5.  Don’t Be Afraid to be Without a Religion

It is far better to be devoid of harmful religious programming than to accept membership in a religion that promotes bias and prejudice.  No matter which hat or path you choose, test it regularly because testing ensures you are on the right path.

Religions change over time.  We see it today with the Abrahamic religions as they lean farther toward extremist points of view.  This is because they are losing membership and therefore control over society.  So, make sure the hat you choose still fits.  If it doesn’t fit or gets worn out, find another.

Hopefully, your goals are greater awareness and enlightenment.  If these latter qualities are more critical and doctrine and dogma run your life, you will choose a more spiritual path.  Above all, please don’t choose a hat or spiritual path because it is convenient or popular.

There is a better option.  Instead of selecting a religion, create your own spiritual path.  Yes, you can do this!  The right tools will open the doors to higher states of consciousness.  A lot more people do this.  That way, you will be sure your spiritual hat always fits.

Tests to Determine The Right Fit

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

These objective criteria are:

— Consistency
— Fairness, Equality, and Responsibility
— Tools for Personal and Social Development
Freedom of Thought and Action

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

Consistency is the First 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 belief system.  If you select a religion based on a sacred or divinely inspired text, make sure it is consistent from cover to cover.  Every religion seems to have a particular version of what they claim are divinely inspired books.  Remember, finding the right path is like buying a hat.  If it doesn’t fit right, try another.

Consistency is the first test for any belief system.   Its texts and teachings need to be consistent without contradictions.  It should not talk about love and peace while promoting genocide and slavery.  Love and hate, peace and violence are conflicting ideologies.  It is the mark of insanity.  Don’t follow insanity.  If someone tells you that the text doesn’t mean what it says, that’s another contradiction.  If a book says XYZ, that is what it says; it doesn’t mean ABC.  People use this ploy to cherry-pick what they want to make it mean anything they want.  This is why you should choose a religion, like buying a hat.

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.

Choosing the right spiritual path means deciding what is suitable for you.  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, the first thing to do is look for consistency in words and actions.  This test eliminates the Abrahamic hats.

The Second test is Fairness, Equality, and Socially Responsibility

Choose a path with a positive mission that promotes inclusive ideals.  Reject those sources which promote sectarian points of view.  It’s simple.  Fairness is the absence of favoritism.  Equality means everyone has the same rights.  Sectarianism promotes one set of religious beliefs above all others.

So, by definition, the Abraham religions fail this test.  They promote preferential treatment and deny equal rights.  Sectarianism negates the power of choice to the female gender and those who do not conform to heterosexual ideals.

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”  ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

It should also promote both ecological and humanitarian health and welfare.  It should not exclude people or places based on their backgrounds.  Everyone on the Earth and every site on the planet is sacred.  There isn’t a Planet B option.

Many Western religions talk about conquering the world, but this opposes living in harmony.

We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least it instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be meaner, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.” ― Christopher Hitchens

The Third Test, Does it Provide Tools for Development

A tradition has merit to the extent that it promotes processes for independent self-development.  Again, it’s like buying a hat; it needs to fit.  Just because some religion has a fancy or unusual hat doesn’t mean it will help develop your potential.

Look for those that provide processes.  Processes open the doors of awareness.  It makes the development of your own path a reality.  Instead of boundaries of belief to keep you in, it should promote tools to break down those barriers.

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

This criterion also rules out the Abrahamic hat systems.  They are absent the tools for exploring or developing consciousness.  Instead, they offer faith and belief in mythology.  Ick!

The Fourth Test is about Freedom of Thought and Action

The tradition you choose is only worthy if it does not promote sectarianism.  Sectarianism is any form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred.  So, likewise, feel you need to join a religion, be sure it does not promote bias or prejudice.  Nor should it attach importance to perceived differences.

Your path should not inspire hatred for people who have different spiritual beliefs.  It should not promote violence or seek to restrict the basic human rights of a group or gender.

“We still name our military helicopter gunships after victims of genocide. Nobody bats an eyelash about that: Blackhawk. Apache, and Comanche. If the Luftwaffe named its military helicopters Jew and Gypsy, I suppose people would notice.” ― Noam Chomsky, Propaganda and the Public Mind: Conversations with Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

“Nationalism of one kind or another was the cause of most of the genocide of the twentieth century. Flags are bits of colored cloth that governments use first to shrink-wrap people’s minds and then as ceremonial shrouds to bury the dead.” ― Arundhati Roy, War Talk

Select a religion or spiritual path which does not promote artificial divisions and boundaries.  It should not promote unhealthy ideologies.  Patriotism and nationalism are cover stories for fascism.  Beware of those who try to justify inhumane acts like gentile mutilation, torture, genocide, or persecution.  This is the main reason why you should choose a religion, like buy a hat.

“The scriptures present a God who delights in genocide, rape, slavery, and the execution of nonconformists, and for millennia those writings were used to rationalize the massacre of infidels, the ownership of women, the beating of children, dominion over animals, and the persecution of heretics and homosexuals.” ― Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

In Conclusion

A hat can make a statement about who we are and what we support.  We see logos on hats that promote everything from beer to harmful ideologies.  Similarly, our spiritual beliefs also make the same statement.

Choosing a spiritual path is not a decision that should be taken lightly.  Your religion should reflect who you are, connect with your values, and bring joy and fulfillment to your life.  So take your time, explore different religions, and choose a religion, like buying a hat.  Find one that fits you, suits you, and does right by you and the world.

So, if the religion you are researching doesn’t meet these guidelines, we suggest you keep looking.  Keep your options open.  Choosing the right spiritual path is an important decision.  If you can select your spiritual path or religion, please take your time.  Then, test it regularly to ensure you learn what you need to progress.  Finally, if you find you’ve chosen the wrong path, change it.

Please don’t choose a path based on the need to believe or “the need to belong.”  Don’t adopt religious beliefs because you are hurting or in need of help.  When you are in crisis, you are vulnerable to self-hypnosis and group hypnosis manipulation tactics.  If the religion or path cannot meet the above guidelines, keep looking or live without one.

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

If you need one, we recommend you design a funny religious hat of your own.  Forge a unique spiritual path.  Find tools that expand your awareness and open doors to higher states.  Become a freethinker and be an example for others.  Show them it is possible.

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(1) Abrahamic Religions, Wikipedia: 

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