A religious person is someone who has built an ego.
His belief, the religion he represents, his behavior are representations of an ideal. That defined ideal is significative for the presence of ego.
It is the same scenario for a “mundane” employee of company “XYZ.” As long as there is identification with that company, there will be ego.
There is nothing wrong with defending something we believe in, but the keyword to note is IDENTIFIED with that which we believe in.
For instance, I could believe in Christian teachings, but if I am willing to fight and kill, to give my life for a belief, that is extreme identification, extreme ego. We may praise those as “saints,” but that is just extreme ego. “I am a Christian.” That is ego.
A “spiritual” person cannot define himself with a belief, a religion, a tradition. Otherwise, his views are narrowed down to HIS beliefs. That is ego.
Similarly, a seeker who wants to “find” God, is merely trying to fulfill his ego.
How is that?
Why would someone want to find God?
To be saved? To go to paradise? To become “special”? To get favors from him? To be taught by him, so this seeker can teach others?
All of those things are just ego trips… but nothing wrong with that. 🙂
A seeker wanting an “experience” with God, with cloud nine and its blissful purple golden light… so he can feel “special,” a “chosen one” is pampering his ego. That seeker will be happy with that experience, for he will feel “unique, special, a selected one.”
That is exactly what ego needs to survive, to become bigger.
A “true” seeker is not searching for “experiences” that he can talk about to others. A “true seeker” is only looking to find himself.
That is the search that a seeker cannot talk about. That search will not make him “special” under anyone’s eyes.
When a religion has a belief system which claims to be the “truth,” there will be another belief system with opposite beliefs which will claim to be the “truth” as well.
Paradoxically, because they are opposite, both are truth.
Because the Totality entails everything, the “yes and the no.”
That is why, a partial belief system wanting to embrace only one side of the duality, is not really teaching the “truth” but is merely a method for the follower to find his own truth.
How? When you identify yourself with one side of a duality, you will need to be aware of your rejection of the other side. That rejection creates ego. If you are not AWARE of that ego, you will not know what ego is. You will only have concepts, definitions; that is another way to distract your awareness.
That is why, at the end of the road, religions, philosophies, and gurus do not matter as source of “truth,” but as methods for inner search.
Some may think: “When the ego searches for God, that will be a failure, right?”
No. It will be a necessary experience for the ego to increase its size until is ready to blow up, to be torn apart through the experience of surrendering that ego.
Why do you write so much about ego?
Because happiness, love, compassion, surrendering, joy and gratitude are only pretty words used in some political/religious talk, without any meaning until ego is confronted.
Most are lost in beliefs, worship, rituals and traditions hoping to get “heaven” or some other “golden star in their chart” when they die. They are not aware of their ego minds, they are not aware that unless the “I” disappears, there cannot be that “divinity” that they are searching for.
In a nutshell, “God” is always there, but you cannot be in communion with Him, because “You” are there.
When we are empty and not full of ourselves, we may discover it.