Lying does not cease to be a lie from the fact that it is guided by millions of people.
– L. N. Tolstoy.
The modern state of mankind, which replaced the days of scepticism and atheism, was called the spiritual rebirth. Confirmation of the truth of such a judgment is considered an increased interest in religion and participation in religious life. Between religions, the struggle for the minds of people flares up again; many people have a desire for independent spiritual quest.
Behind these external quantitative indicators of growth, the de facto deep crisis of both individual religious teachings and religion as a whole as worldview remains unnoticed.
Religion and Society
There are objective reasons that cause a low level of religious consciousness in society, condemning the masses to ignorance and superstition. This condition is typical both for those who belong to religious communities, and for declaring themselves unbelievers. At the heart of it lies the deeply rooted, artificially created by the work of many generations of ideologists of modern civilization, the notion of a contradiction between faith and reason. Declaring the mind and faith incompatible, opposing each other, humanity made a logical mistake, which entailed further misunderstandings. The next step on this vicious path was the identification of religion – with faith, and science – with reason. This was the foundation of the alleged conflict – the conflict between science and religion, which gave rise not only to the crisis of religion, but also to the general crisis of the whole civilization.
Indeed, faith in religion plays an important role; first of all, this concerns the historical certainty of certain supernatural events that took place in the distant past. But in science, a number of speculative theories dominate, not confirmed either empirically or logically, and are the subject of faith of many scientists. Nevertheless, in their essence, both religious and scientific views are controlled by reason. Logic as an instrument of knowledge is of decisive importance both in true science and in true religion.
In ordinary consciousness, religion is presented as something irrational, not having and not requiring any evidence, and until this ignorant view of religion is overcome, it will remain a collection of fairy tales and superstitions for most people.
Man and Religion
The inner essence of man is such that at all times and epochs he cannot be satisfied with mere activity in the material world, and invariably turns to the spiritual world. This manifests the duality of man as the receptacle of the spiritual essence, otherwise called the immortal soul. It is she who aspires to her source in the process of knowing absolute truth, infinity and eternity, which are attributes of God. Obviously, in the material world around us where everything has a beginning and an end, whether it is your life, your career, family, goals or slots games without download, such categories as eternal soul simply do not exist, and the concept of them in this world could not be obtained with all the desire, for the psyche is a reflection of the really existing. And since man, despite the fact that he lives and acts in the final, material world, has a concept and strives to cognize the absolute categories of truth, infinity and eternity, all this cannot be explained by certain “peculiarities of the process of thinking”, but this indicates the reality of the spiritual peace, from where the absolute concepts of the human soul.
Therefore, whatever the life path of man, there are many reasons that lead him to religion. This can happen as a result of a deep knowledge of the world around us and of ourselves; and as a consequence of a mental crisis, a state of dissatisfaction and flight from everyday reality. In the last, most common case, the appeal to religion is conditioned by the pressure of external circumstances, which determines the qualitatively low level of religious consciousness, which in fact has nothing to do with the religious worldview. The mass of people, thus, as if “having gained faith”, in fact, can in no way be recognized as spiritually enlightened.
Another significant part of humanity prefers to keep away from spiritual problems, directly or indirectly, in words or in their way of life denying their existence. The existence of such an approach is due to external manifestations of the existing crisis of religion in the modern world.
Among them, one can say the almost complete absence of educational work by religious faiths in overcoming the materialistic worldview in society, which has firmly taken root in everyday consciousness. In addition, our civilization is built in such a way that most people are constantly involved in the process of production and money-making, and therefore do not have the free time necessary for serious spiritual work. Therefore, many people use other forms of satisfaction of spiritual needs that are unusually transformed under the influence of social ideologies, and often represent something very far from religion. Traditionalism and conservatism, which are important principles of religious life, especially in combination with the denial of freedom of thought by religious denominations and the right of every individual to seek and know God independently, also lead a significant part of humanity to reject religion.
These and other reasons determine the external signs of the crisis of religion, the manifestation of which is the indifferent or even negative attitude to religion among a significant number of people around the world.
The religious hierarchy is accustomed to blame in this people themselves, reproaching them for unbelief and threatening with posthumous punishment “for their sins.” In fact, this is primarily due to the deep internal crisis of religion, the main elements of which are the problem of evidence of the Divine inspiration of religious teachings and the crisis of the messianic idea.
The question of whether or not a source of divine origin is at the heart of a particular doctrine, and not the fabrications of an individual or a priestly caste, is quite legitimate and even vitally necessary in the era of rapid development and the diversity of all kinds of religious teachings.
Modern man has the right not to believe in references to prophecies, miracles or other divine manifestations allegedly taking place in ancient times and fixed in religious sources, just as we do not accept the myths of Ancient Greece, the folk epic as a truth. Until the ruins of Troy were found, no one was obliged to believe in its existence, just as Atlantis would also remain an invention of the ancients, unless traces of its real existence were found.
Of course, those who are endowed with Divine wisdom are able to distinguish truth from error, find and separate sparks of Divine knowledge from fictions of human origin, but for most people the basic proof of the truth of religion was and is the presence of direct connection with the Divine source, direct manifestations of Divine action in the world. The requirements of such an “experimental” confirmation of the existence of God have accompanied humanity throughout its history, numerous examples of this have been described in the same religious literature, and the absence of divine manifestation in the modern world is an objective cause of the existing crisis of religion, the absence of a truly religious outlook among the bulk of people.
The idea of the coming of the God-sent saviour of mankind – the Messiah – took shape in Judaism, from which it was borrowed by some other religions, and in one form or another firmly established as an important religious dogma. However, for a number of reasons, messianism in the modern world is experiencing a deep essential crisis, being unable to adequately reflect the future destiny of mankind, an era that is called the “last time” prophets.
First of all, the contradictoriness and ambiguity of the idea of the Messiah stems from its source – the prophetic visions that took place in the deep antiquity / the era of the First Jerusalem Temple, and the Babylonian Exile of the Ancient Jews. By its very nature, the prophecy was a figurative reflection of what actually has no image or likeness, and therefore much of what is said in the books of the prophets is secret and inaccessible to human understanding by the will of the Almighty / Prophet Daniel, chapter 12: “But you, Daniel, hide these words and seal this book until recently. ” Only a few prophecies are explained in the books of the prophets themselves and are thus derived from the realm of secret knowledge.
But the Messianic idea was formed based on the most mysterious sayings left by the Divine source unexplained and hidden from mortals. The latter had the courage to interpret these places from the books of the prophets at their own discretion, and each religion seeks to adapt the same prophetic statements under its sometimes diametrically opposed religious doctrines. Because of this, religious wars took place, and the inter-religious “cold war” has been and continues to this day.
So, the messianic idea is not a direct divine revelation, but was born as an attempt to adapt knowledge that is inaccessible to the human mind for the purposes of religious ideology. This goal was primarily to save a person from fear of the finiteness of their existence, and to give him the promise of eternal life. Since the birth of the idea of the coming of the Messiah, thousands of years have passed, past all conceivable and unimaginable terms of his arrival, which were interpreted by interpreters based on the allegorical texts of the books of the prophets.
One of the great number of those who, at different times up to our days, claimed the role of the appearing saviour of the human race, could not carry out the actions described by the prophets: the transformation of this world and the disappearance of evil in it, the resurrection of all the dead and the return of the immediate Divine presence to our peace. Despite this, the theorists of leading religions do not intend to surrender their positions, and are forced to invent all sorts of nonsensical theories that “explain”, in their opinion, the delay with the advent of the Messiah. However, most people intuitively understand the inconsistency of these explanations, and this only aggravates the crisis of religion in the modern world.
To overcome this spiritual crisis, it would not be enough to invent yet another, new theory of “the salvation of mankind.” You need inner desire, spiritual desire for knowledge, to deeply study and comprehend all that is available to modern man, using together the religious and scientific ways of knowing the world around him – the Book of Nature written by the Creator. On this path of knowledge, there is truth, the pursuit of which is an inalienable essence of the human soul.