Here is another paradox.
Ideals such as : brotherhood, love, gentleness, etc. all of that are necessary for those whose consciousness is unaware of their continuous relationship with all that exists.
Those whose “I” is strong.
However, as the realization of the self becomes deeper; those ideals have no reason to be.
Because this “study” is not related with reading books, hearing “spiritual classes” or joining a religion. It is related with the dissolution of that strong “I.”
As this dissolution occurs, then a new consciousness will emerge.
Religions and philosophies have given different “methods” to accomplish that, however; there is no “method” needed when Life already offers a very specific “method” for every individual.
It is just a matter of being aware. Life is not different from us. The “method “ is there. Some may call that “method” something like: Disease, accidents, death, disappointments, etc. and yet others may label the “method” as the complete opposite: Health, wealth, fame, etc. Life does not offer the same “method” all of the time as religions do.
That is why, when a society is utterly unaware of the intimate relationship of every being with the Totality; then a certain “method” has emerged to give those individuals an ideal to strive for: Love, brotherhood, gentleness, etc.
In that case and for those individuals, “ideals” to live by are “good.”
However, observe that those artificial “methods” cannot make a change in consciousness. Those methods are merely behavioral changes.
When someone has changed his behavior to look “saintly,” the demon inside is still hidden. The demon will come out when the “performance of sainthood” is left aside.
That is the reason why “doing something many times” have been taught in devotion or worshipping. Repetition of a certain activity deemed “holy” gives the follower, the certainty that “he is improving;” while the inner demon is safely left aside in a dark room of our unconsciousness by the means of rejection.
“This is good, that is bad. This is sinful; that is Godly.”
It is obvious that when the “method” is completely forgotten, then the inner demon will come out. The “holy” method, whatever it is, will create dependency.
That is the religious “hook.”
Why is that?
Because a change of behavior does not mean a change of consciousness. Because rejection of something, makes that “something” even stronger.
To strive for an ideal does not mean that we ARE that ideal.
“Being” is not “Doing.”
When there is no “I” doing, then there is “being.”
When there is “I” doing, then that supports the consciousness of the “I.”
Things could get complicated when beliefs and expectations are thrown into this pot.
Fear, guilt and the ideal of forgiveness come like ants looking for sugar.
Are religions “bad”?
No. Those are necessary for a certain type of consciousness. To give an “ideal” to followers, something to “work for” is needed.
As our consciousness changes, we could appreciate more Life and how that difference between Life and “I” will be closing up.
Most everyone has an “I” inside. That is the “book” to study, the teacher , the Guru and the God to “know.”
Paraphrasing Yogananda’s Guru; Sri Yukteswar, “ Only an enlightened individual can know God. “ For the rest… it is just about beliefs and dogmas.
Do we know why?
Knowing is Being. Therefore, that “being” cannot be taught to another. It needs to be discovered through the experiences of Life.
Too much “I” does not allow us to be… but in contrast, that “I” insists that we “do” things for the aggrandizement of the holy “I.”
“I” need to help “others.” “I” need to be “better.” “I” need to go to “heaven.” “I” must be one with God. “I” must become enlightened.
All that religious/spiritual “I”-ness is located in the same consciousness as the “worldly” one: “I” must become rich. “I” must become powerful. “I” must be someone in Life.
People must remember “me.”
The slide of “I-ness” from too little to too much, will give us a certain state of consciousness.