Saturday, November 1, 2014

Reflections: Experiential Religion

For the members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the Lord speaks to every individual in the silence of their hearts.

Religion, when taken as fact, misses its entire purpose. 

The ancient Greeks for example knew that their gods were not really "real" in a sense. Philosophers quoted freely from the mythological poems of Hesiod and Homer because they displayed profound abstract truths that natural philosophy (ancient science) and logos (reason) simply could not convey.

Take it in this manner: When someone defines a painting for you, it loses its effect. It ceases to have the power to evoke your feelings and sense of the Profound. Imagine a man telling you what makes a beautiful song or how a beautiful song should sound like - your idea of a beautiful song is just wrong for it does not follow his criteria on what makes a beautiful song. 

So when religion dictates upon you what is its version of authentic truth, you will know that truth has left it, for the Truth manifests itself into the inner light of Christ within your soul. 

Our Lord said: "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."(Gospel According to St. Thomas 77)

Be your own light. The sacraments give you the ritual forms to set your consciousness to higher and more spiritual things . Remember, however, that it is you who give its meaning and profoundness within you. Listen to the Christ within your soul. Let that transform you in Love and Wisdom.

The nature of every soul is that of God and it is simply right for us to proclaim that the All must come back to its original splendor. Our existence is a refinement to prepare us for the glory of our own apotheosis, our Godhood within the Oneness of God.

- Bro. Gino Paradela, OSFM

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