In almost every city in the world there is a building dedicated to a religion or philosophy that promises to free the human soul from the gates of hell. Hell can be considered anything from miserable way of living, to purgatory where the soul is tried, or to a place where souls go to burn forever after death. All of these religions and philosophies have one thing in common; they keep the “secret teachings,” the ones that connect us with God and give us freedom on earth now, for the insiders. One has to be truly dedicated to learn the mystical teachings of many of these religions and philosophies. One must prove that they are diligent and loyal to the hierarchy of the institution. Only then do they receive what I call the pure light. (This is neither right or wrong it just is, in many cases.) The pure light is the part of a religion that leads one beyond all of the readings, actions, and rituals to union with God and clarity about one´s life in the world.

Most religions and philosophies begin as mystical religions. They start with one person who has found a path that leads to life. This person begins to teach others. After the person is gone for one or two generations their disciples continue to teach the authentic way to connect with God. Something happens after that: it becomes an institution. The institution has to sustain itself. It has to fit in in the larger society and be respected. The teachings are watered down as the religion degenerates aligning itself with a corrupt, innate, power over system. It becomes useless; its teachings become defuse light instead of the real pure light. Adhering to such religions make the seeker feel that there is nothing more than empty ritual, and a good feeling that happens every so often for a few moments and then dissipates, or that there is nothing. People give up on the idea of connecting with God.

Some people feel that they are connected with God. They feel that their ego driven actions are sanctioned by God, since they consider God their best friend. They manipulate themselves and trick themselves into committing atrocities. This time it is done in the name of God, instead of in the name of themselves and personal gain. A war in the name of God or in the name of gold has the same effect. People being tortured, shot, stabbed and raped feel the same way if they are being abused for God or gold. People who drop their humanity to torture, shoot, stab and rape others are also just as vile and will never recover there innocence whether it is for God or Gold. Easy prayers for forgiveness don´t work. It is love that the universe is seeking. It is love that that which we call God is seeking—a loving kind heart not a bended knee, prayer, or sorrow. For it is said that the only thing that will burn in the fires of hell is greed, anger, and fear.

All of this occurs because our religious leaders don´t know what they are doing. Many of them have never had a mystical experience and don´t even believe that it is possible. This is the problem. They speak forth and shine the light for us but it is dim. It is useless. We cannot see by it. The only way, therefor, that we can enter into the heart of a religion and learn how to be one with God is by exploring religions ourselves. We can become whole by exploring the teachings of the mystics and by looking at the holy texts in various religions at a deeper level. When we see these texts as metaphors about the behavior of humanity and the inner workings of ourselves and our minds, we will have life. If not we will be religious dutifully.

The first step to this journey into the heart of God is to know that your religion has most likely been corrupted. All religions have not, but many have. Any religion that has demanded others to take up the sword more than once—all of the time, in fact, is not a religion that necessarily believes in love as its central teaching. It is not necessary to believe in love as a central teaching. Many people live great moral lives as a result of following religions, but they never attain the Kingdom of Heaven, the Divine mind, Satcittananda, or whatever we may call the power to live in peace and victory in this world and the world to come. The first step, therefor, is to realize that something is wrong if people representing your religion are speaking out to advocate for war and not to advocate for relieving poverty and bringing about justice. There is a problem.

The second step is to realize that your religion may not be the only one that is right. It is to realize that there are many ways, many faces, and names for God. It is the human heart, the kind heart, plus the call of the Divine that leads us to unity, not one´s religion. If the religion that you follow has ever killed people who questioned or perceived things a different way, it is likely that the power people, the one´s who already ran society, are the ones who established your religion to stay in power. Still, at the center of the religion, there is a path to truth. It is only the mystic path.

One walks on the mystic path through contemplative prayer and meditation. One must empty his or her self in order to be filled with the divine presence. This is done by sitting before the Divine and being still. This is Sat Yoga, the yoga of being. If one cannot come to a place where he is just being, he cannot commune with God. He cannot return back from the source from which he came. That source is the Divine by many names. If your religion does not teach you about this type of meditation or prayer, it is because the leaders don´t know about it. It is up to you to seek out such meditation and prayer wherever you can find it if this is the case, or to delve deeply into the mystical tradition of your own religion until you become one with God. In almost every religion there is a mystic path. Unfortunately, in this troubled world, you cannot wait for anyone to show you the way any longer. You have to find it with yourself, or find a small group of serious seekers who will find it with you. Seek and you shall find, my friends, for as the Sufi Mystic Hafiz once said, “It is our destiny to turned into light.” You don´t have to wait for this to happen. Find a true spiritual community and you can do it now.


Author's Bio: 

Dr. John W. Gilmore is a writer, Nationally Certified Massage Therapist and Body Worker, A Reiki Master Teacher and a Teacher of Free Flow Tai-Chi, and the Infinite Nine. He is a student and teacher at Sat Yoga Institute. ou can read more articles like this at this e-zine, or in his Journal of Practical Spirituality on his web page at There you will find a link to his Cyber Circle of Creation Spirituality which is a school and a religious service with meditations, messages, music and inspiring opening and closing words. Please join us at The Circle. All are welcome