A conversation on my doorstep, this week:
JW: Can there be an end to suffering?
JW: And when will that be?
Me: When we know we are not separate from God.
The JW missionaries on my doorstep agreed, and then spent 10 minutes showing how their religion (and all religions) begin with an insight of truth, but are built of separation.
Religions or cults spring up fairly quickly. All it takes is one teacher to be held up as having greater access to truth than another. Followed by their words being simplified to the point of inaccuracy to get something—anything—across. The original teaching is lost, and a cult is formed.
The teacher only wants to share a universal truth. But through ego, friends who don’t both support and challenge, or sheer mistake, it becomes something else entirely. Teaching solidifies into bibles. Instruction replaces open sharing, and worldly outcomes take precedence over truth.
A true teacher will encourage your exploration. Will explore with you. Will drop a word or phrase mid-sentence if it no longer makes sense. Will answer the question at the level of the question, but not hold any answer as truth.
And most of all, the true teacher knows categorically that peace, joy, love and freedom are who we all are. Our essence, our substance, our source. That we and the world are nothing other than this essence. And the knowing of this is equally shared. Without needing to understand anything. With exploration simply a bringing to the foreground what is always there, and a shedding of acquired belief.
Here’s the thing: we might call someone a teacher. But a true teacher will always point us to self-reflection, to an inward inquiry. After a fairly short time, we will either fall away from the teaching; or we will go live life, the teacher becoming a friend. And if we stay in the teaching, our teacher welcomes us, knowing (as we now know) that there is no teacher and no student, but a shared exploration.
Engage. Explore. And turn inward. To that which religion obscures. That we are Aware, we are Awareness, and no intermediary is required.
Maybe now is the time to lose your religion?