Does Religion Need Evolution?
In reading a book by Osho the other day, I came across a passage I wanted to share. Osho is a revolutionary in the science of inner transformation; he’s also a man who has been called “the most dangerous man since Jesus Christ.” He’s big in Europe. Very big. In a country where religion isn’t embraced at all, it’s interesting what people seek out in terms of spirituality.
Since distancing myself the church, I’ve taken to reading more and varied philosophy books, modern and ancient. I like reading the ones that people in my community recommend. I feel it helps me understand my new home and the people around me. However, I do so skeptically. One thing that leaving church has taught me is that I will never fully put all my faith in any one person, even if he is called a Prophet or an Apostle. I probably won’t put into practice hymns about praising a man or following a prophet. Not that I can’t admire then greatly and learn from them, because I do. But knowing that I get to make the choices (and have double earrings without feeling guilty) has been liberating to me. It’s allowed me to find my own inner voice. Not the still small voice of the Spirit…of a member of the Godhead…but MY voice. And in finding that, I’ve learned how to trust myself and make my own decisions.
The following quote on parenting seems like it could spark an interesting discussion here:
“The first expression of love you should show to a child is to leave the first seven years of life absolutely innocent and unconditioned. The child should not be converted to Hinduism, to Mohammedanism, to Christianity. Anybody who is trying to convert a child to some religion is not compassionate, but rather cruel. They are contaminating the very soul of a new, fresh, arrival. Before the child has even asked questions he has been answered with ready-made-philosophies, dogmas, ideologies. This is a very strange situation. The child has not asked about God, and you go on teaching the child about God. Why so much impatience?
“When the child starts asking about God, put before the child all the ideas of God that have been presented to different people by different ages by different religions, cultures, civilizations. Put before the child all the ideas about God, and let the child choose what they like, or express what they don’t like.
“There should be no inner necessity that the son should agree with the father. In fact, it seems far better that children should not agree with the parents. That’s how evolution happens. If every child agrees with the father then there will be no evolution, because each new father will agree with his own father, and everybody will be where God left Adam and Eve—naked, outside the gate of the Garden of Eden. Everybody will be stuck there.
Because sons and daughters have disagreed with their fathers and mothers, with their whole tradition, human beings have evolved. This whole evolution is a tremendous disagreement with the past. And the more intelligent you are, the more you are going to disagree. But parents appreciate the child who agrees and they condemn the child who disagrees.”
What do you think: Does religion need this kind of evolution—the evolution of disagreeing with those who raised (or taught, or influenced) you? It seems like all great heroes have followed this path somehow, that they have needed to make a giant leap of going a different/new direction.
In fact, isn’t this what Joseph Smith did? Without evolution in religion, Mormonism wouldn’t exist. That’s begs the question…is there something better than Mormonism as we know…just waiting to evolve?