I prefer simple religion
I think religion can be as simple as trying to dissolve ego, not exert one’s will on others or oneself in areas they are hesitant, and showing compassion for others. Within a certain perspective what I am saying here is not too much different than what it says in the KJV Bible when it says, “You shall love the Lord thy God with all your heart, strength, soul, and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” I say this because if a person is loving God, then they are trying to live within God’s will and do God’s bidding. In doing so, one’s own will is dissolved, one’s own ego is not intrusive or destructive. To me, a sign of loving God is that one’s ego may be sturdy but not impeding, nor destructive towards themselves or others.
And a sign of loving your neighbor is demonstrating compassion. The formula seems to be pretty simple. If a person is doing more for others than oneself, then they are compassionate. If on the other hand they are doing more for themselves than others, well then they are being selfish. Few people that I have ever met seem to demonstrate these signs and actions outside of their families. And while such religion might be practiced between, say for instance a mother and a son, isn’t the favor rarely returned?
In the Christian quote above, it is followed by this, “Upon this all the law and the prophets are written.” The message as I understand it means that loving God and loving your neighbor is the foundation of all religion, all the true laws of religion, and all the givers and explainers of such laws. I have also heard it said that real Christianity hasn’t ever been practiced. If my assertion is right, and that loving God means dissolving ego and living in the will of God, and showing more compassion for others instead of selfishness, then really I wonder how many times in my life I have I actually seen real Christianity, especially beyond close members of a family? And unfortunately, I can’t even say that I have ever even come close myself.
So what is real religion? I gather the explanation above is simple and good enough, and even fits on one paper. Even the quote from the Bible is small enough to be written on jewelry and carried with oneself at all times. Yet religions continue to grow, and change, in attempt to explain this message written above, or in many and maybe most cases to try to achieve some other goal. Religions often get multitudes of laws and customs, and modern day prophets have a multitude of teachings. Some of these get quite complex, and many of them for all their complexity might still be true and fair to the values of loving God and others. On the other hand, many might often drift or even purposely veer in their form into something that no longer practices a real and good religion.