Why is Humanity Becoming Less Religious?
It’s probably not the reason you think. Societies across the globe have seen declines in recent decades in the number of people practicing traditional religions, but not because people are becoming more selfish, depraved, or evil than in other times. For those of us living through these past few years on planet Earth, it can seem like the world is turning into a hopeless disaster in many ways, that society is regressing and getting more violent and filled with hatred of the “other.” Losing religion can appear to be another consequence of the seeming devolution of society.
However, stop for a moment and ask yourself why you (and many of the rest of us) hold the view that humanity is going backwards. From where do you get information to inform your view? Many of us don’t have the ability to travel all over the world and witness events first-hand, so we rely on various organizations to find out from those who did experience something directly and to report their findings to us through some form of the media, perhaps including social media. Even though many of us understand that media outlets are motivated to showcase stories that trigger our sense of fear, anger, or disgust, we can still be affected subconsciously by frequency bias. The mind can be fooled into a false view of the relative safety or danger of the external environment if fed a particular view (of danger) more frequently than proportion would demand. In other words, all media (including advertising) is competing for your attention and relies on emotional manipulation tactics to achieve this. This is how they stay in business. But this means the public is fed is disproportionate amount of negative information about the society and world they live in, not being exposed to much of the positive things taking place. This constant agitation of negative emotions in media stories informs the viewer that the world is extremely dangerous and that they must be on high alert. The best thing we can do to stop this manipulation is to go on news-diets and check in just enough to keep informed without being swallowed up in the drama.
What’s actually happening is that over thousands of years humanity has evolved beyond the point of needing constant oversight and control of some type of authority, whether a king, queen, priest, or government, to grow or maintain a functional, prosperous society. Much evidence of humanity’s outgrowing of authority exists. Consider what happens in most natural disaster situations when members of communities help those in need by donating material goods or their time and service. Humans now have the ability to empathize and have compassion for others in pain or need; no authority figure must command us to treat each other with love.
Looking now at the origin of one religion in particular, Christianity, we can see why people are outgrowing it and turning to the principles of Metaphysics for a more authentic connection to the spiritual realm. In fact, Metaphysics incorporates the teachings of Jesus Christ without the dogma of Christianity in general. It wasn’t until the fourth century AD, when the Roman emporer Constantine made Christianity the religion of the land and the first version of the Bible was formed from a selection of spiritual writings from multiple sources, including Hermeticism, Gnosticism, and mysticism. Because the goal of Constantine was first to keep the masses under his control, special care was made to omit the parts that instructed a person how to reach enlightenment and become self-empowered. Portions of scrolls were eliminated and other parts were watered down to remove the real power from the words. Controlling factors were edited into the religious texts to establish the divinity of the patriarchal, warring empire of the time, writing in laws to preserve the societal norms of the day, which included objectifying women, slavery, and murder and war in the name of religion. How do we know of these edits? Some of the original mystical scrolls were unearthed in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945, and until recently were inaccessible for study.
Over the past few thousand years the souls of Earth have made progress and are now finding and accessing the true source of wisdom that resides at the center of each of us. As humans are growing up spiritually, more and more are seeing Christianity (and other religions) as a mix of partial truths blended with emotional manipulation tactics designed to keep the average person living in fear, believing the self to be unworthy, sinful, and in need of “saving” by another being. The problem with all this is that is doesn’t comport with the reality many of us have experienced through meditative practices. The truth is, humans need no ”middle man” to access our natural, in-built spiritual nature; we can tap into universal wisdom anytime we want by going inside. Humans tend to look for the answers to life in their external environment, when really all the answers are within.
So it’s not that humanity is devolving; all the craziness and turmoil is a sign of the old societal structures that no longer serve us are coming to end because they’re too restrictive for us now. New ways of being are coming into our reality, with food co-ops, community bartering, cryptocurrency, home-schooling, the internet, and more. As these new ways of operating in society take hold, we see the remnants of the old structures fighting back with vengeance in a last violent gasp.
With a broader perspective, we can more comfortably navigate these rapidly-changing times and learn to develop our spirituality by connection with the only stable source of wisdom and guidance: the universal consciousness within.