Table of Contents
- Brief History of Christianity
- The Scientific and the Traditional Conception of Religions
- The Atheist and the Traditional Conception of Religions
- Origins of the Spirituality
- Body and Soul
- Returning to the Roots of the Faith
- Definitions of Spirituality in the Twenty-first Century
- Living the Spirituality, the Covenant Aware
Spirituality is part of human needs, it is the pursuit of a higher purpose than the mere satisfaction of material needs. What is spirituality? This needs to be clarified, since much has been written about spirituality, but little with which we can all agree. That is why it is essential to develop this sensitive subject, in the most serious, profound and responsible way.
For thousands of years, for the masses, the theme of spirituality was mixed with all sorts of myths and legends, a product of the fantasies of the popular imagination. The masses were so busy in surviving the day that they did not have the development required to understand spirituality. Only a few humans had the development to can separate and discard the fantasies of reality.
That is why the spiritual reach remained hidden, in small circles. This has changed in our times, as we live in the sundown of the industrial age and the dawn of the age of knowledge. Therefore we have reached a level of development of the human being, where his scientific and technological knowledge, makes possible the separation of the spirituality of the popular fantasies.
To develop the theme of spirituality, we have an important obstacle that we must first resolve. This obstacle is the present educational system, since it is an indoctrinator, teaches to memorize and to repeat, instead of producing a sensitive human (to others) and analytical, that spirituality needs as a basis for its development.
The current educational system is a product of the past industrial era, which we have not changed for one designed for the current era of knowledge, in which we live. That is why in clarifying spirituality, we have to recognize this obstacle, and, if possible, fix that deficiency.
Since the young and adults are structured, by the doctrines in which they were taught, in the educational system of their childhood. This is the reason for this long introduction to the spiritual subject.
One of these erroneous structures, which the educational system, forms in the human being, is the idea, that human knowledge produced by the study of nature, science, is in opposition to spirituality, and both are separated by an abyss Infinite, constituted by the dogmas of faith.
In order to eliminate this separation and to demonstrate that spirituality is an integral part of the deep study of nature, we will make a brief historical summary of the religion that has most influenced the West and develop a little the main points of view of the scientist, the atheist, Common person and the religious, to create a unitary and sensitive vision of spirituality.
We write about this subject, with the intention of being the prelude to a workshop, in which the foundations of spirituality are developed in a more profound, experiential, direct and group way. Hoping that in the workshop, the experiences of a person will help the other participants, and thus be able to feel and analyze this subject so sensitive to the human heart.
It is entrusted to the reader, to do the research work using several encyclopedias, to confirm or to discard the written in this article.
A Brief History of Christianity.
The religion that has most influenced the culture and society of the American and European continents, is Christianity, influenced our mental model of what spirituality is. Therefore we will give a brief historical summary, which the reader must confirm with his favorite encyclopedia.
It is part of popular culture that Christianity was created by the character Jesus of Nazareth and his disciples, emphasizing Paul of Tarsus as his great preacher. But a rigorous study of history, proves that, that is not exactly true. Discovering the following:
In 325, the Roman Emperor Constantine convened a council in the city of the Roman Empire called Nicea, in which he conferred official control over the “bishops” over the church, assigning territories to each of the bishops.
This event gives rise to a homogeneous organization under the control of the Emperor of Rome and a group of men. Hence the phrase “holy apostolic and Roman church”. It was also discussed whether Jesus was God or not, finally deciding that yes, it is God.
They existed many other council, whose main purpose was to discuss theological issues that could divide the church, for example: the trinity, if Jesus was a man, if Mary was a virgin before and after giving birth to Jesus, and many more. These are rather philosophical matters, not based on real, verifiable, verifiable facts.
These philosophical divisions, imaginary, threatened homogeneity, and therefore, usually ended with the expulsion or death of the loser theologians, in order to ensure the control of peoples, with a homogeneous religion.
In the year 1440, with the invention of printing on the part of Johannes Gutenberg, begins the massive distribution of the Bible. Then popular research begins, on the origins of Christianity, giving rise to:
First Revolution in Christianity.
The Johannes Gutenberg printing press, puts the reading of the Bible within the reach of the people. Earlier, because of the high cost of a copy of the bible, only religious leaders and the rich people could have access to the bible.
The people had only access, to the comments in the preaching of the priests in the religious service. The printing press considerably reduced the cost of a bible, allowing popular research, on the origins of the Christian faith.
The great expositor of this first revolution was the Catholic fray Martin Luther, who in the year 1,517 presents his work: 95 Theses, where he pointed out 95 teachings of the Catholic Church that came into direct conflict with what was written in the Bible.
But this search for the origins of faith in Christianity still had a long way to go. For even these revolutionaries, over time, became the defenders of the status quo.
As recorded in history, when in 1553 the renowned physician Michael Servetus was burned alive by John Calvin for simple theological differences with regard to trinitarianism.
The heart of this revolution is the realization of the difference between what the priests taught, the church, and what is written in the Bible.
With the dissemination of the printed text, and the public recognition of the innumerable deaths of Christians in the hands of Christians, by any simple theological difference, united to the historical moment of the discovery of the American continent.
It led many Christians to found their own versions of what Christianity should be, seeing themselves as valid interpreters of the bible. Thus producing many private interpretations of the biblical text.
This second revolution, left us what would be called “evangelism.” Characterized by a charismatic leader, he leads a congregation and has a private interpretation of the bible. Each congregation being seen as part of Christianity, but not tied to a definite organization.
The heart of this revolution, is the individual interpretation of the bible and therefore the lack of a common organizational structure.
In the twentieth century, the product of a more detailed study of the bible, it was concluded that faced to impossibility to had of a homogenous historical source of the writings that compose the “new testament”, it is not a book with authority. That is, it is not a collection of writings with which a religious doctrine can be based.
Because they are a collection of anecdotal character writings, they tell the anecdotes of the life of Jesus of Nazareth, his disciples and other related people, such as Paul of Tarsus who never personally knew Jesus of Nazareth.
The New Testament therefore does not have the authority to be a book made by Jesus, or by his Disciples, as a study book for his students. Hence the innumerable differences in the Greek texts of the New Testament.
Let us clarify, this does not take away the historical value, nor discredit the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth that are described in the New Testament. Only they are written colloquially, anecdotally and without signature of its author, as must have a formal study book.
It was further revealed that the historical character of Jesus of Nazareth is totally different from the character of popular Christian religious culture. As historical records show, Jesus lived in an age where Jewish culture was in a marked confrontation with Greek culture.
It was therefore impossible for an Israeli leader of that time, to have a Greek name, or a Greek-style haircut, or to dress in the Greek style. His name must have been Yehoshua or Yeshua, not Jesus, did not wear long Greek hair or wear a Greek gown. But he had short hair, as Jewish culture commands for men, and wore typical Jewish clothes of the time.
We return to the past, to the origins:
Here, I recommend reading the book by Mario Saban El Judaismo de Jesus, where he will learn the historical setting in which he writes, the New Testament.
Near the fiftieth year of the first century, something very interesting happens, which is related in chapter 15 of the book of the Acts of the Apostles: After the death of Yeshua, his disciples gather to determine, if the Gentile believer in the Teachings of the Master Yeshua, it must be formally converted to Judaism (which implies being circumcised and following all the precepts of the Old Testament, the Torah).
This is of radical importance, since it shows that the movement led by Yehoshua, in regard to its original actors, to its direct disciples, never thought of themselves, as something external to the Jewish culture, accepted the validity of the rules and Rituals of Jewish culture, the question was whether to apply it immediately to newcomers who joined the movement. Much less, they saw themselves as a new religion.
The position agreed at that meeting was that the new members, in the beginning, should not “formally” observe the laws of the Old Testament, the Torah. Because beginning with congregational life, regularly attending Sabbaths to the synagogue and listening to all the Hebrew liturgy, it is natural for people to learn the rules, feasts, and rituals.
The real theme of this first meeting was to clarify the underlying issue of the teachings of Yeshua Himself (which was also the reason for Yeshua’s confrontations with the religious leaders of the day). The supremacy of “love of neighbor” over “formality.” This clarification was necessary and important, for the subsequent preaching of the disciples of Yeshua.
It should be noted that the disciples of Yeshua had no theological difference, nor did they care about philosophies. To the differences, they looked for the way to give it a centered position, that kept them united. They discussed their differences without giving it a supreme importance, that could lead to the death or expulsion of a member.
A total contrast with the way of proceeding in the subsequent councils of the so-called “Christian church”. Implying that the teachers who understood the teachings of Yeshua had disappeared from the movement, from which hundreds of years before, Christendom, the Christian church, theology and their dogmas of faith originated.
It is understood then that in the “church” only remained masters who did not understand Yeshua’s teachings, and who made their own particular interpretations, that led to the divisionism, the confrontations and the death.
This revolution produced, and still produces, that many Christian congregations to embrace all kinds of practices of the Jewish religion. Coming to a total conversion to Judaism, which implies a denial of Jesus of Nazareth himself, his teachings and anecdotes. Being this, another step of the search of the roots of the Christian faith.
But the search for the roots of the Christian faith doesn´t end there yet.
The heart of this revolution is the realization that Christianity is an invention of the Roman Empire, aided by bishops, “teachers” who did not understand the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and therefore Christianity has nothing to do with, With the true teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
The encounter of Christians with Judaism leads them at first to marvel at the richness of Jewish culture, which is full of great characters and writings.
After this stage of admiration, they come to live the own problems in which the Jewish religion develops. Today the Jewish religion, like the Christian religion, is at a turning point, demonstrated by the increasingly empty spaces in which its religious centers are located.
Because science has proven the falsity of many religious teachings, it has forced religions to have to redefine themselves, to re-interpret themselves to try not to remain as liars before science.
The Jewish religion, Judaism, attempted to redefine in the twentieth century, through various movements, such as reformism, progressivism, re-constructionism, and others. As the latest polls show (pew 2012), these movements are increasingly weakened by the encounter of religion with the age of knowledge.
Thus, Christians converted to Judaism, and after living fully Judaism, come to the same problems they had in the Christian religion, their congregations are running out of relay generation, their children see religion as a set of cold rules, many without meaning and contrary to the experience in their careers.
And trying to redefine religions does not work. And so the new generations, experiment with other spiritual beliefs, to see if they get what they can’t find in their own. They experience Buddhism, Islam, Santeria and others.
The key to this fourth revolution is the re-discovery that “love” is the basis of service to God. It is the clarification that Yeshua lived within Jewish culture, but not within the Jewish religion.
It highlights the difference of the interpretation of the teacher Yeshua, of the interpretation of the religious, whether Christian or Jewish, regarding the fulfillment of the commandments. He lived and preached the importance of “love of neighbor,” above the formalities of the commandment, as the way of serving God.
The religious insisted, and still insist, that the formality of the commandments is the way to serve God.
All this way traveled by the West and the Christians, leads them to return to the importance of “Love to the neighbor”, as it was preached and lived by the Master, Jesus of Nazareth. But, what is this “Love”, which we still do not understand? The answer we will find, when we reach the roots of faith.
The Scientific and the Traditional Conception of Religion.
It is remarkable the confrontation that have had the scientists with the religious, being famous the case of Galileo Galilei in the year 1.663.
With the end of the Middle Ages and the advent of the Industrial Age, the power of religions was markedly diminished (at least in the West), allowing scientists to speak openly about their discoveries, which were in direct conflict with preaching Of religions and their beliefs, be they Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Shintoist, Greek, indigenous and others.
The theory of evolution, is one of the scientific discoveries, which best exemplifies this confrontation. Religions and beliefs, including the most rudimentary ones such as indigenous ones, have taught that the human being is a direct creation of the gods.
Which science has proved to be totally false. The human population in general, has received the undeniable benefits of technological development, therefore, the population is confused.
Not knowing whether to reject all or part of religion or discard science and its benefits. The era of knowledge brings the disappearance of religions, which we observe, are becoming cultural traditions, and this happens even in the East.
But scientists have also been resentful, and have clung dogmatically as religious, to not accept theories that present ideas similar to religion. An example of this is the opposition to the big bang theory, which was initially discarded by the scientific community, because of its resemblance to biblical creationism. Scientists reluctantly had to accept that the universe had a beginning.
The unselfish science, is reaching greater development, freeing man from slavery to have to live to work.
This process is not homogenous worldwide, the most advanced societies are going forward in this development, while the most backward societies still live in a mixture of middle age plus industrial era, where religions have great power, but do not escape from Global influence and the transition to the knowledge age.
An example of useless efforts against the knowledge age is the impediment that these backward societies have to women entering universities.
The Atheist and the Traditional Conception of Religion.
The atheist, is the person who seeks reason, an explanation to the incongruities of religions. Well, how can religions, called to produce peace, and supposedly based on love of neighbor, be the source of a great number of wars throughout history?
Not only the western side of the world, the eastern side is the same, the history of religions is written with blood, violence and intolerance, even the smallest detail has been sufficient cause for a killing, even within the same religion or belief.
Origins of the Spirituality.
Religions and other cults are crumbling and becoming cultural traditions. Even so, the feeling persists in the human being that there is something more, that there is spirituality, but what is spirituality? To answer this question, we will delve into the origins of this sensation.
Spirituality originates from two basic perceptions, and these are experienced at different times by every human being throughout his life.
A perception is the existence of life, whether observing the complexity and meticulousness, with which all living things develop in nature. Or when we participate in the process of giving birth to a human being. We realize that life is order, and this order implies the existence of “something”, which drives that order to take place.
Thus, when we observe an ordered quarter, we know that there is someone who is in charge of ordering it. Given that if no one adds work, to order the room continuously, it would tend to disorganize. To this “force” behind life, they have been given many names, The Creator, God, The Higher Mind, The Universal Energy, The Great Architect, etc.
There is another perception opposite to the previous one, it´s the observation about to the good ones happen bad things, and to the bad ones good things happen to them. And we can summarize it in the human realm as: “there are people who build their success, with the ruin of others”, this leads us to declare, that there is no such “force” called God. For if it existed, it would not allow these injustices to happen in the world.
The human being, throughout the development of his history, has formulated a series of methods, with the purpose to give an answer, and to unify these two perceptions perpendicular to each other:
There is an intelligent God, but is not sensitive. That is why there is suffering. The failure of this method: How can a “being” insensitive, create something sensible?
And another method emerged.
2- Two gods:
There is a good God who creates life, and there is an evil God who creates suffering and death. This method is widely used by many religions and beliefs, where rituals and bribes are required to approach the Good God, and rituals and bribes to get away from the Evil God.
The failure of this method: The observation of nature, shows that the death of some living beings, is required for the birth of other living beings. That is, if life, which is so complex and interconnected, how do these two Gods negotiate their field of influence? How far does one rule and start to govern the other?
This method survives in a disguised way, in religions of monotheistic appearance, where the good god calls him God, and the evil god calls him Satan, Devil, etc.
And another method emerged.
3- Many gods:
There is a great variety of Gods, a God for everything, a God for fertility, a God for love, a God for war, a God for luck, and many more, as many as the imagination It allows.
But he presented the same flaw of the previous method: If life is so complex and interdependent, where even the composition of the air affects all forms of life on the planet how do they negotiate the limits of the government of each God? Do Assemblies?
These latter two methods are widely used in various religions and beliefs, even today. And they have a great acceptance in the society, since the superheroes and supervillains, are the expression of the Good God and the Bad God. Superman has Lex Luther, batman has the joker, and so everyone.
Superheroes are an expression of the method of the Many Gods, they constitute the mythical modern form, of the pantheon of gods, which was common of Greeks and Romans.
And another method emerged.
4- He Abandoned the work:
There is a single God who is sensible, but he left the creation. This God is so immense and powerful, that the whole universe is like dust in our shoes. Leaving the human being to drift in a universe without supervision.
The failure of this method: If the observation of life, it demonstrates an impressive level of meticulousness, beyond the understanding of the human mind, where, even the smallest needs are foreseen, each stage of the development of each living being . How can such a meticulous and powerful being be so careless?
Many oriental beliefs, such as traditional Buddhism, are supported by this method. Where there is no definition of a “God”, but, the image of a master “Buddha”. Which teaches, alone, how to escape the implacable suffering of life. Preaching a life of abstentionism and diminishing desire, of the ego, in order to diminish the suffering by not filling the desire.
As we see these 4 methods, they have not only failed to give a unified answer to the two basic perceptions, but have widened the gap between the two.
And another method emerged.
5- (We’ll be developed in the workshop)
Body and Soul.
Of the body and the soul, there are also a great variety of conceptions, these are basically two:
1- Body and soul are two separate substances, where the body is material and the soul is spiritual. The soul being what gives life to the body. According to this conception, death is when the soul leaves the body, and life is when the soul enters the body.
The body being dead matter alone. An example of this concept, is the mythical belief that when death occurs, comes out the breath of life, which weighs 21 grams. It has been amply demonstrated that this belief is false, that it is only a myth, we invite the reader to investigate it.
2- The body is a complete machine, with all the functionalities required to function by itself without the need of a soul. This interpretation is very modern and we have almost verified that any part of the body can be replaced, knees, bones, kidneys, even have transplanted blood and heart and even placed artificial hearts, something that religions and many beliefs considered impossible according to their Dogmas of faith.
Mother cells therapies imply that we continue to expand this ability, until to replace parts of the brain. This is a proven concept, but is despised by all, since it presents the human being as a replaceable machine without a soul.
Between the first and second conception of body and soul, there is an intermediate version. That while it accepts that the body works by itself, it defines the soul as the “I” of the person. Thus, the hardware of a computer would be like the body and software the soul.
This intermediate conception is deficient, because, psychology and sociology have demonstrated through experiments, such as the “Stanford Prison”. That the human mind, the “I” is totally manipulable by external forces. In the same way you can change the software of a computer.
There is another conception little known, and totally different from the previous ones, that defines well, the body and the soul. And it explains very well the human behavior: the body, is the desire to receive pleasure for itself. And the soul, it is the desire to bestow without receiving absolutely nothing in return.
Thus, we see how all people are born without soul, therefore: if in the course of their life, they do the spiritual work, they obtain a soul, but if in their life they did not develop the soul, then they die without soul, of the same Way that dies all life on the planet. This will be explained and developed in the Workshop.
Returning to the Roots of Faith.
There is a history, and the time for being known has arrived, the history of the origin of the sacred texts, and the explanation of why they are called sacred. (Much regretting this part of this article, can´t be easily checked).
5775 years ago, a man in the ancient region of Mesopotamia, in the great city of Babel, discovered spirituality. This man was named Adam, and wrote a book entitled Angel Raziel, Malach Raziel. This man passed his knowledge of spirituality, in a chain of teachers to disciples.
After Adam, there followed other teachers who attained spirituality and continued their development, and some 3800 years ago a man named Abraham, also in ancient Mesopotamia, attained spirituality, and wrote a book entitled Sefer Yetzirah. This man also passed his spiritual knowledge, to a chain of teachers to disciples.
After Abraham, continued other teachers who attained spirituality, and some 3200 years ago, a man named Moses, in ancient Egypt, reached spirituality, and wrote a book known as the Torah, the pentateuch. This man also passed his spiritual knowledge, to a chain of teachers to disciples.
After Moses, continued other teachers who achieved spirituality, and about 2010 years ago, a man named Yeshua (Jesus), born in Nazareth, ancient city of Israel, and reached spirituality completely.
Although we have his anecdotes with some of his teachings, he did not write a book but left one of his disciples Shimón bar Yona (Simon Pedro Jonas son), with the keys so that he or a subsequent disciple wrote the encyclopaedic compendium of the Teachings, for the attainment of spirituality. Of which we have only a small part known as “the zohar”, the book of splendor.
All these books or sacred texts are sacred, since they only refer to the spiritual world, how to develop the soul (defined above as the quality of bestowal). Not a word refers to things of this world, although they are written using the language of this world. They are spiritual maps of the states that live every human being that reaches the spiritual world.
All these books speak about the same, each with a special language, and written for a specific audience of an era of history. The more recent the book, the more discoveries added by the long chain of teacher-disciples.
All these books, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of unprepared disciples, were written in encrypted form, encrypted as tales and stories, so that only a worthy disciple who receives the keys of an authentic master could understand them.
Thus an unprepared person, by an authentic master, will only be able to read a series of tales and histories of the past. That in his particular imagination, interprets as foundations for his religion and theology, without any verifiable or repeatable basis, only his imagination without limits.
That is why there are thousands of religions based on reading the stories and stories of the Bible, each with its own imagery and its private interpretation of what God is.
Hence arise the great number of contradictions that atheists observe in the bible. Not because the bible is a fake book, but they have a false picture of the bible and god to which it refers, for studying a codified text and not having a master to decode them.
Only the one who receives the decryption keys of the bible can grasp what it truly refers to, and the god to whom it truly refers.
Definitions of Spirituality in the XXI Century.
The Creator, is the absolute delivery force without receiving anything in return. It is the giving force from which everything receives and sustains itself. In other words it is true love, which gives without receiving anything in return, neither honor nor money nor its well-being, and obviously does not receive sacrifices or bribes of any kind, since it lacks nothing.
Clearly, it is not something we see in our world, since the Creator is hidden. In this world, if someone does something, he does it to receive something in return, be it honor, prestige, or simply because that makes him feel good.
Living the Spirituality. The Conscious Covenant.
Spirituality begins, with a conscious covenant made by the individual, to adhere to a collective. Where one practices the change of oneself, as a means to achieve the change in the neighbor and in the collective. Moving from personal egoism to collective egoism, and then from collective egoism to pure altruism.
This change, can only be produced, through the support of that common unit of individuals, of a collective committed to the glorious work of serving the Creator (absolute bestowal). The individuals of this group, are called “my neighbor”, since they are bound by a spiritual covenant.
This covenant of love, is the initial step of the purpose of life, is to pass from the human animal to the complete human being.