Is the Internet Creating a New Religion?
The internet has become the number one source for sharing information. One of the most researched and discussed topics online is religion. Wherever you look you can find people sharing their faith, trying to recruit other people, or answering questions about all the different religions they belong to. Unfortunately traditional religions seem to be suffering from an image crisis of late. Online and in the news we are seeing numerous scandals, endless wars, and countless acts of terrorism on a daily basis, all in the name of religion. Because of that many people are choosing to explore other less known forms of religion. Some are even trying to come up with concepts of their own. Judging by the number of people using social media to question the logic and ineffectiveness of traditional beliefs it leaves one to ask; is the Internet creating a new religion?
To some it may seem as though the internet is in the process of creating a new religion but I don’t believe that is truly what is taking place. What I believe is taking place is a return to true Spirituality. In humanities’ beginning people respected nature, animals, and other people. In those ancient times humans lived in accord with nature. We respected nature because we knew it sustained us and although we did not understand how it worked as much as we do today we did not claim dominion over it. All that changed however but that change did not come about through increased knowledge; it came about through a co-opting of Spirituality by a system of mind control called religion.
Spirituality provided a refuge for the human mind. The feeling that we hold a place in a higher unseen order gave purpose to early humans. It helped to eliminate the instinct of fear. It also helped to manage pain and hardship while at the same time build determination and courage. Our problems began when out of a lack of understanding of the true source of our Spirituality we began to worship things in our reality. We created idol Gods which we praised in return for favor and protection against our enemies. Spiritual leaders became the most powerful people in society next to Kings but soon we discovered that all could be destroyed alike. It was the Hebrews who out of many hardships returned to Man’s Spiritual past and came up with a God concept that did not take physical form, a mystery God.
The Arabs soon followed when a well revered leader went off into the desert and came back with his own version of a mystery god. The Romans followed after that after not being able to subdue the Hebrews who they had conquered and made slaves. Pretty soon every King and Emperor in the known world adopted the concept and kept religious people close because they knew that the only thing that regular people truly feared was being excluded from a paradise promised in Heaven when they died.
How did organized religion begin?
Organized religion was started by philosophers who saw the power that religious leaders had over regular people. Those philosophers along with other important men in society often gathered to exchange ideas on how to protect their property, build wealth, as well as how to control the poor. They knew that people had natural desires. The poor always wants to be rich so their lives will be easier. The rich always wants to protect what they have and acquire more at the expense of the poor. These men harnessed the power of religion and developed mechanisms to conquer entire countries and continents. They kept important knowledge to themselves while allowing religion to instill faith in people that a better life awaits them in death.
Over time knowledge increased but not in certain fields. Knowledge of human nature and behavior is still reserved for higher institutes of learning. The only sources that inform the youth about human nature are the home and religion. In the home life experience in the form of wisdom is past from parent to child. In religious institutions what they referred to as scripture is actually the work of philosophers who have condensed their knowledge into words of wisdom. There is a lack of wisdom in the world today because many people have become disconnected from religious institutions which used to falsely comfort our spirit. The religious disconnection is not a bad thing though because it allowed us to also break away from tradition which was also an indoctrinating force.
Today people are forced to explore and find answers for themselves. The internet is a place where the paradox of individuality is redefined in a way that allows us to connect with others while protecting our own individuality. It is a place where people are freely communicating and exchanging diverse ideas. New thoughts and new ways of thinking are opening up and a real exchange of ideas is taking place so rapidly that it is affecting the whole of mankind in a very remarkable way. With all the collective knowledge that humanity has gained most still experience a disconnection from their true selves but soon everyone will discover that Spirituality is not an ideology that needs to be followed. Spirituality is the intelligence of the universe itself. No need to create idols and relive the mistakes of the past, just live and gain knowledge to assist the progression of life.