Religion and culture as art are beautiful. Religion and culture as truth are dangerous.

Both religion and culture rely heavily on our shared mythology, dramatic tales of heroic accomplishments, ancient teachers and powerful gods. These stories are an answer to a subconscious stirring within all humankind. They are a poetic representation of the dream and the hero’s journey within each one of us. The archetypes that we have created throughout history are representations of our internal process.

Mythology is not something to be played out or acted out in the real world. And today we live in a world where many people cling to their chosen mythology, as if it were the only true lens through which to understand reality. But a world run by beliefs cancels out logic and common sense. We are like children playing in a sandbox; everyone has their own story that they are playing out. Yahweh, Allah, Krishna, Buddha, Christ and so on are characters in stories that we have created and continually generate. They are comic books for adults, but we take them as literal truth. It is like worshipping characters from Shakespeare or praying to Santa Claus. This world should not be in the hands of anyone who feels that there is something or someone coming to save us, whether it’s a Messiah or a Mothership, or a new age.

We have made a mess of this planet because of this type of thinking and believing. It doesn’t work and it isn’t going to!

We have forced the world into an unreasonable mold that does not accommodate the needs of the individual nor the collective. If you don’t get what I’m saying, take a few pages from history. Someone decides that Christ is our Lord and different groups wage war on everyone who does not convert to this belief. Folks come over to the American continents to escape religious persecution and then kill most of everyone who lives here. Or, more recently, the U.S. pushes its weight around as a world power and other cultures react with (surprise, surprise…) religious fanaticism and violence.

Museums, libraries, theaters, churches, temples, homes – these are the spaces and places for religion and culture. They should be shared like food or appreciated like old wine, but not force fed. If you really look at religion and culture, they are much like entertainment. They are theatrics performed to enlist certain emotions. The older you get, the harder it is to continually turn a blind eye to the inconsistencies in the sets, characters, rhetoric and dogma.

We go to a movie and realize that the actors are playing roles. Yet, some people call them by their character names and fall in love with the characters. News Flash! Human beings love to fall in love. They are emotional junkies. Love is the biochemical drug that makes us feel alive…it’s ridiculous at times. It is something that needs to be refined and cultivated.

I hate to have to wake you up folks, but you simply can’t be effective or truthful when you try to convince yourself and others that this is all about love. The Universe is a complex mechanism, and we must realize that we simply make stuff up to make ourselves feel like we are safe and have some control.

When we step out of the movie theater, we usually separate the story we’ve just been immersed in from the reality we’re stepping into. What would happen if you walked away from mythology? In the real world, what do you need?  What is it that is within you that fulfills you? And yes, religious, cultural and spiritual entertainment is great, but how do you rate? What is it that you can nurture and cultivate about you that will make you great? Bottom line: Stop giving away your power to a myth. Your ability is inherent. It is within. There is nothing that can get you out of your own way except you!

To offer hope, as opposed to resources, is slavery. Period. This is a bountiful planet filled with resources, and it is an outright lie to tell people that the things they need are inaccessible and that a certain person or god decides if they are worthy or if it is, in fact, the right time for them to receive what they need. It is a crime to mislead people who are in a place of weakness or meekness. It is shameful to create fear of hell or punishment and then in the same breath offer “hope” through complete allegiance to a particular faith.

People need to be empowered, not subjugated. We need to be empowered if we are going to survive. There is no one or nothing out there that will save us.

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