Spirituality is an essential part of humanity. It is inseparable from human consciousness. There are mountains of evidence to suggest that our species have been spiritual for as long as we have been intelligent. Arguably, the earliest forms of art was developed to express our awe and gratitude for the divine and mysterious.
Throughout different times and regions of the world, religious organizations are the corner stones of communities. People rely on them for social interactions, emotional support and moral guidance.
But times have changed. Today, religions are on the decline in many developed nation. Many are jaded and suspicious of them because of their history of violence, corruption, and sexual repression.
Does turning away from traditional religions equate to turning away from our spirituality?
I don’t believe it does. Instead, I think that this religious exodus marks an evolution in our species’ collective spirituality. Rather than being less spiritual, we are actually in the process of expanding our understanding and connection with the divine. Like a snake shedding its skin so that it can grow, people are shedding beliefs and attitudes that no longer serve their spiritual needs in order to make way for new ideas and values.
Having that said, I don’t think religions will fade into oblivion.
I think, at their core, religions are about expressing our desire to connect with the divine. And because I think this desire will exist until the last human takes the last breath, I don’t think religions are going to just disappear. While we may be abandoning certain beliefs, we are also reinforcing and strengthening the beliefs we choose to keep. Each time our faith stand up to the test of doubt, we grow stronger and more confident in who we are.
Instead of dying, religions are transforming. I can’t predict what they will become but I can hope.
My hope that they will transform by combining the faith of old religions with the enlightened spirit of the new age to become a guiding force in humanity’s next leap in evolution.