Autonomous Spirituality and the Art of Being Your Own God
Copyright © 2001 Michael Lewis
As we continue to develop in our religious thinking, we have begun to move away from the old mythological, doctrinal and heteronomous, externally controlling religions, and towards autonomous religion, totally relevant to the individual who develops himself according to his religion, and his religion according to himself. It must still be our purpose as individuals to develop our own autonomous spiritual lives to our fullest potentials. Each individual must see within themselves their own God, like them, but always greatly improved, a constantly encouraging objective, always one step ahead, that is always within reason but can never be finally reached. A 'better me' towards which an individual can constantly strive, continually improving upon themselves. This must be the purpose of modern religion and spirituality.
When religion is subjected to modern thinking and objective analysis, it is no longer relevant for a religion to be based on a set of doctrines, as intelligence so easily reveals these doctrines to be either false, or, as is often even more devastating to the faith, so simply true that their value is lost. For example, when a rational explanation is found for a miracle, the incident is explained, and is, therefore, no longer a miracle. For a religion to withstand the scrutiny of modern intelligence, it must be a product of the same. In other words, if modern man is to have a religion, then it must be a religion introduced by modern man.
Since the early beginnings of science, science has been seen as heresy by religion, and religion has been seen as folly by science. The modern man is innately scientific, approaching all things with open-minded cynicism and objective, rational inquiry. If a religion is to be presented to such a man in a way that will impress upon him, so that he may adopt that religion, then that religion must be intrinsically rational and logical, and it must be testable. It is no longer sufficient to say that 'Thou shalt not put your God to the test', for modern man knows the intrinsic error of such irrefutability, and to discard it accordingly. A modern religion must be open to such scrutiny, and invite analysis from all perspectives, scientific and theological, so that it may be credible. At all costs, modern man must not be left altogether without religion.
God may no longer be understood as an entity existing in an anthropomorphic sense, as in the old religions, and indeed no longer as an entity at all. God is a concept. There are multiple uses for such a concept, and there may be a 'god' thought-form for every human endeavour. As well as the polytheistic thought-forms, God may also be defined as the macrosm, the total of existence, or as the sentience of the same. Ultimately God is relative to the man, and is a projection of the most desirable elements of that mans personality, and of the greatest facets of his mind. In short, that man is God. It is for this reason that no man should be without God, for the man who has God is God, and casts a shadow over the men who have not God.