If your faith sticks closely to the original words of these leaders and discards words of other less important prophets/teachers where they conflict with the teachings of the great teachers, then it is probable that you have a faith that permits you happiness. This is often not true today.
It remains popular today among the better educated to hold the Marxist belief that "religion is the opium of the people." That does seem true for some religions of the more strident variety. But the frequent lumping of all spiritual systems together with "religion" does not seem particularly intelligent to me.
With my therapy clients, I am often a sales agent for spirituality. For without some sense of or belief in one's spiritual nature, we miss much real satisfaction in life, and we retain much unhappiness in perpetuity. The presence of a potentially happy spiritual system significantly helps our progress toward individual happiness. In my therapy office, I often talk to clients about their unhappiness-causing religious and spiritual beliefs, particularly about those that preach hatred and condemnation of others. Condemnation of others seems to violate the words of all the great founders of religion (Jesus, Lao-Tse, Buddha and Krishna).
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Frequently, the first growth step is to acknowledge the conflict within, between the old unhappy (often unconscious) childhood belief and the conscious adult belief of today."|