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The word “religion” comes from the Latin word which also gives us “ligature.” It is something that binds people together. Christianity–at least the mysticism that Paul wrote about–was about the perfection of man from creature to christ. It was about the Christ in all of us and how to pull that out from the selfish animals we all are. Meister Eckhart saw that, so did Thomas Merton much later on.

Speaking of Paul, a lot of the writings credited to him were not his. The same man who wrote so kindly to the women of the church at the end of his letters would not also denigrate and devalue them. Should be pretty obvious from reading through them that they could not emanate from the same man, even without the extensive scholarship done over the years that proves the point.

The heaven and the hell of Paul’s writings are not physical locations. They are states of mind, states of being. Not some place you go to when you die. We’ve all been in Hell at some point or another, and in Heaven too. Scan your lives, I know you will find those instances in your memories.

There was no historic figure named Jesus, no miracles, no literal crucifixion or literal resurrection of the body. No original sin either. No good, no evil, no god, no devil. None of that makes any sense. As a series of metaphors however it all begins to fall into place and actually have value.

Christianity as practiced today is a perversion.

Religion at its best can be something to uplift the spirit and to make the world better NOW. Because that’s all we have. As I mentioned in this space before, we are all alone. All of us. And the only certain thing we have is that we will all die and return to dust. Religion can be one way of finding solace in this life if solace is what you need. That’s why it’s the opiate of the masses.

Knowing what I know of opiates, Marx was particularly on the mark when he said that.

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