Is religion a curse or a blessing?
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – September 10, 2011
Religion etymologically comes from two Latin words:
(1) "Relegare", meaning to join, tie, or bind, and
(2) " Religio", meaning conscientiousness, awe, respect, and sanctity.
Note that God is not in the definition. God is purely an insertion by the believers of God. How this came about can only be speculated here.
Conscious of its limitation and wickedness, Man, so to say, created somebody who is All-Powerful, All-Goodness, All-Loving, as well as somebody whom earthlings can put its trust and confidence.
Yes, if the Holy Scriptures are to be sourced here, our ancestors as well as the prophets believed in God. But they never established a religion, a nation, yes.
Buddha was not a Buddhist. Jesus was not a Christian. Muhammad was not a Muslim. So was Khrisna and Lao Tsu. They were messengers of God, plain teachers who taught about life after death, a place where there are no religions.
Of course, one may say that words and vocabularies grew and expand over time because conditions change and our definition and understanding of reality can also change with it.
This is how our dictionaries grew and expand. Yet, there can be as many interpretations as there are dictionaries. And there are meanings and definitions that are still to be recorded in the dictionaries.
This is true in the case of the term "religion" and I'm offering mine below.
Religion means, pure and simple, being one with Nature, with the trees, rivers, streams, rocks, animals, air, oceans, skies, stars, planets, galaxies. It means being in awe with our environment, our ecology, our surroundings, both visible and invisible.
Religion means respect, love, being conscientious and compassionate with Nature and with each other. It means giving honor and dignity to both the physical and spiritual, the secular and divine, the mythical and mystical. It means oneness with all of creation.
In any definition, religion is always a blessing. It becomes a curse when it's imposed on other's beliefs.
Anything Not Found in Heaven, We Make it Here
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. – December 18, 2020
They say that because in heaven there is no beer, we drink it here. There are no saints and demons in heaven that's why we manufacture and revere them here. There are no friends and enemies in heaven that's why we make them here. There are no killings in heaven so we do it here. And you still want me to relax? Goodness gracious! Sadly, each one of us is also producing something. What might this be?
Religion is a Human Invention, not God's
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - December 9, 2020
“And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church…” (Matthew 16:18).
Yes, very clearly, Jesus said I will build "my Church" , not "my religion". So with the other God's messengers and prophets like Krishna, Gautama Buddha, Anu, Horus, Zeus, Moses, Elijah, Jephthah, Noah, Adam, etc. Their intention was not to establish a religion.
It was their respective followers and disciples that established religion. And many of them manipulated and filtered God’s teachings to strengthen their power and wealth.
By their follies, they carved their own religion, filling it up with a potpourri of teachings that compete for global power and dominance. Religion has become not only a domain of God, but also of mammon.
God becomes inextricably entangled with power and money. There can be no God without money, no money without God. They are two sides of the same coin and the coin is religion. The blacksmith is Man, not God.
To say that God created religion is a cosmic joke. God must either be laughing or frowning up there. But I'm sure, the Lord understands our wickedness.
Who gave these men and women the authority to establish religion and to be the judge in discerning what is true or not, what is God's or not?
The Book of Judges in the Hebrew Bible mentions 11 leaders as judges: Othniel, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson. But they are to "judge" Israel only.
If ever there's such a judge, it can only be each one of us. It can only be me. Yet, whatever judgement I render, it can only apply to me. I cannot impose what I judge to be true or not on others. I cannot judge others. Worse, I cannot say: '"It's only me that possesses the truth. Others are wrong and misguided."
There's no reason for me to convert or convince others to what I believe, especially babes, children, and the youth. The most I can do is to provide them the opportunity to realize and discern what is right and what is wrong. It's a trial and error method until they learn their lessons. After all, what is one "sin" for a "sinner". What is one error for the chances and opportunities to become better.
We cannot live our children's lives. They have to live it themselves. In the West, children are in fact living on their own after they reach the age of 18. This is not true in many countries in the East. It's even their parents that decide when to be baptized, when and who to marry, when to go to school, what course to take.
Yes, you say: "But we have to guide them." By doing so, you are using your norms and standards which you have accepted from others, from society, from schools, from the media, and other institutional hierarchy. Your norms are nothing but external conditionings and impositions. Unconsciously, you swallow them hook, line and sinker.
The term religion is from the Latin word “legare”, meaning to connect or join. Over the millennia, this has been distorted to purely mean “to connect or join with God”. Not necessarily so.
It can also mean connecting and communing with Nature, animals, forests, trees, caves, lakes, oceans, air, water, fire, ground, atmosphere, planets, moons, stars, galaxies, as well as with our neighbors, society, institutions, etc.
It can also mean getting in touch with our atoms, electrons, neurons, protons, quarks, leptons, strings, photons, tachyons, neutrinos, and many other subatomic particles.
The term “legare” does not mean worship or adoration. It simply means “to connect, join, commune, or link”.
Religion is a human invention, not God’s creation. Either you follow Man or God. Either you commune with Man alone and make humanity god or with God
Religion: Never a Loser
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D. - December 8, 2020
Religion has been one of the most hotly discussed topic in my posts this year. People exhibit keen interests on where religion originated.
There are so many theories raised, ranging from the mythical to sociological, psychosocial, philosophical, theological, and scientific.
Here is one theory which I just came to know not too long ago.
Religion was created by peaceful entities around two million years ago for the primary purpose of establishing peace and giving hope to the hearts of humanity.
According to this theory, during the primordial ages, divine entities or extraterrestrial beings introduced the concept of religion on Earth for the purpose of helping humans---who have always been considered a savage, violent, and warring species---become more tamed, civilized, and united with each other in peace and harmony.
As time goes by, however, our ancestors and
religious leaders have corrupted it’s teachings and meanings.
Gradually, religion turned out being used as the most powerful weapon to control their followers and the masses. Indeed, wars, violence, killings, injustices, and corruption in the name of religion characterized our historical past, even moreso today. One wonders why peace is still a mirage when all religions teach peace and harmony.
The theory further predicts that Aliens will return--a sort of Second Coming--to quarantine our world and stop us before we become a major cosmic threat. Their return signals years of peace, harmony, and unity.
This is quite different from other theories which preach otherwise, i.e., "Religion is an invention of humanity."
Does this mean that we dismiss religion? By no means! If religion is able to achieve its original purpose of establishing love, peace, and unity, then, by all means, let's embrace it.
Yet, others maintain that it is possible that love, peace, and unity can be achieved. When this happens, unity can be realized amidst diverse religious beliefs. And by that time, we don't even need any religion at all. Religion has successfully served its purpose to humanity.
Others, however, firmly believe that this can never happen, the reason why, instead of a long agonizing wait, they totally dismiss religion outright.
I only hope that before it's too late for us, these senseless, endless killings and manipulations can jolt us hard back to the immediate realization that we all came from the same Primal Energy which is manifested on Earth in diverse forms.
Science and Religion
Paul J. Dejillas, Ph.D.
February 5, 2019
As requested by VIdhya Patil, I am giving my comments on the video of Muhammad Zeeshan Haider, whose link appears below and sent to me on December 23, 2018.
1. The video highlights the basic difference between Science and Religion. Science deals with the physical, while Religion dwells on the metaphysical or spiritual. It's a daring presentation and is a good reference for further discussion.
2. In trying to highlight the differences between the two fields of discipline, it discusses several issues: God's existence, faith, science, religion, morality, duality, creation, evolution, mind, thought, etc.
3. Naturally, as presented in the video, the two fields of study can’t agree with each other. Science gives importance to informed knowledge that can be empirically tested through a series of experiments in laboratories across the globe.
4. Religion, on the other hand, based its knowledge on the holy scriptures and revelation accepting them through faith, its teachings and doctrines being a dogma which its believers are to follow, or face condemnation, excommunication, or be thrown to hell for eternal damnation.
5. I may add that developments in Quantum Physics (QP) and Religion give rise to the following emerging trends:
6. QP has already entered the realm of the metaphysical, the spiritual, and the divine. It acknowledges the existence of the metaphysical, contending that without it, the Cosmos would be bare bones and skeletons, without any life.
7. Mathematicians have been developing a different equation that connects the physical and the metaphysical, the secular and the spiritual.
8. QP accepts reality as facts and given. It does not give any moral judgment. Positive is positive, it is neither good nor bad. Neither is negative bad. QP believes there’s a reason behind this. It connects both positive and negative to produce electricity that turns on the wheels of progress in science, technology, industrialization, and globalization.
9. The same thing with day and night. Daytime is not better than nighttime, and vice versa. They’re facts that Science takes into account. Science sees an infinite number of opportunities and possibilities if the two can be harnessed for their productive uses.
10. As QP stumbled into the realm of the spiritual and the divine, it has come up with an alternative concept of who or what God is, that is distinct from the God of Religion. It refers to It as the Absolute and Pure, untainted by the dust of materiality and physicality.
11. It regards Its being as the Primal Force or Energy in the tradition of Einstein’s mathematical formulation E equals mc squared (m for mass and c stands for light speed). E is the Source and Creator of m (including us), which also is embedded in m. Thus, m has an innate and inherent E within it. The Source is the Lord of the Cosmos. Religion calls this the God or divinity within us.
12. In the meantime, Religion has already entered into the realm of physics, as initiated by Rev. Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, S.J., a French philosopher and theologian who graduated in physics and mathematics, and who also taught physics at the University of Cairo. He was best known as one of the distinguished archeologists who discovered skeletal remains tracing our origin and that of our civilization.
13. Many Catholic-inspired philosophers and theologians are now in the study of quantum physics. Meanwhile, several Nobel-Prize winners in science are members of the Vatican think-tank, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences like Ernest Rutherford, Guglielmo Marconi, Max von Laue, Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Paul Dirac, Erwin Schrodinger, and many others.
14. As a scientist, I am in favor of the scientific approach since it gives me more logical reasoning about reality and about what truth is. As I progress, I have arrived at, what to me, is a clear and simple idea of what and who God is, which complements that of Religion.
15. The video deserves more comments on the following issues, which I can’t give for lack of space and time, from the perspective of both Science and Religion: morality, duality, creation, evolution, mind, thought, etc.