What Does it Mean to be “Religious”?

Truth is a Pathless Land

Truth is a Pathless Land

=== JKrishnamurti.org Daily Quote ===

The religious mind is something entirely different from the mind that believes in religion. You cannot be religious and yet be a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist. A religious mind does not seek at all, it cannot experiment with truth. Truth is not something dictated by your pleasure or pain, or by your conditioning as a Hindu or whatever religion you belong to. The religious mind is a state of mind in which there is no fear and therefore no belief whatsoever but only what is – what actually is.

– Freedom from the Known The Second Penguin Krishnamurti Reader

=== Thoughts ===

What is the difference between “a religious person” and “a person who belongs to an organized religion”?

Most people would probably answer with “absolutely nothing”.

After all – we’ve invented a new word for those types of people, right? Don’t we call them “spiritual”?

Well I reject that label!

I reject it because it has no meaning. Just like organized religion has absolutely no meaning.

And while I don’t mean to offend anybody’s “religious” sensibilities (or do I?) – I would argue that followers of any organized religion are essentially not religious at all!

Perhaps it’s because the word “religious” has been so watered down in ordinary parlance as to have lost all it’s meaning, just like the word “love” (a topic for another day).

Let’s turn to Dictionary.com and take a look at their definition of religious to find out if my assumption is correct.
What used to mean “strict faithfulness” or “devotion” (see the archaic usage) has since devolved into:

  • “A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhumanagency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.”

So many words, yet so little meaning. Truly “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing“.

Why don’t we do the Dictionary a favor right now and agree to change the definition to “Dogmatic acceptance of fantastical beliefs”, or even better yet- “Ideological slavery”? We’re likely only a few years from that revision anyway; in fact I’d argue it’s well past due!

I guess you could say that the ultimate cosmic joke- and the penultimate expression of irony- is that people attempt to “find God”, “know Truth”, or “reach Enlightenment” through blind devotion to the very barriers which block them from achieving their spiritual goals in the first place. Isn’t it a pity?

And what could possibly be more destructive to real Freedom than attachment to ideological thought, ritualistic behavior, and rigid beliefs?

It’s the obsessions with such systems, with such paths, and with what others have said before that’s holding you back from reaching your own enlightenment and experiencing your own awakening.

Lighting incense, chanting mantras, and prostrations to the Holy land will not get you Truth.

For Truth lies in the very negation of these things.

Let them go and reincarnate now!

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3 Responses to What Does it Mean to be “Religious”?

  1. Cory says:

    Interesting thoughts…what is truth?

  2. Blind but now I see says:

    The truth is that there is no truth

  3. Betrand Russel says:

    What is an argument?

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