The False Viewpoint of Religous and Spiritual Cultism


Chapter 2: We Have Outgrown the Cult of Childish

The False Viewpoint of Religious and Spiritual

I don’t believe there is stupidity, delusion, and casual
ill-will manifested anywhere more than in the domains of
religion and spiritual cultism. Those who would truly live
as a sacrifice in God must struggle every day to maintain a
level of wit and good humor in the face of ceaseless
disheartening confrontations with believers and aspirants in
the various traditions. There is a righteous kind of sheer
and pious madness that seems almost always to infect those
who should be the enlightened minds and friends of

The reason for this is that religious and spiritual
persuasions do not commonly require intelligence, freedom
from illusions, or a fundamentally moral relationship to the
world. Most often, just the opposite is true. Religious and
spiritual cults and institutions typically thrive on human
neurosis, fear, gullibility, childishness, amoral
self-possession, and the need for fascinating experiential
consolations of either a bodily or mental kind. The
conventional religious and spiritual point of view is
oriented toward the primitive egoic search for indefinite
independent or personal survival. It is the preservation and
glamorization of self that is commonly served by the
conventions of institutional and mystical grace. Wisdom
barely enters into the whole affair, and the moral
disposition of honor, manly trust, positive compassion,
humor, love, and service extended to all is casually
bypassed by most of those who pervade the world with
ultimate beliefs and salvation techniques.

Those who cling to one or another religious or spiritual
way must realize that the foundation of all such ways is the
disposition of sacrifice. Every way is, above all, a system
of self-sacrifice-not of self-preservation and of immunity
to life through internal or subjective fascinations.
Religious and spiritual activity is, above all, moral
activity. It must be expressed in a new, free, sober, and
truly compassionate disposition. Such a disposition freely
anoints the world with help and intelligent consideration.
It finds great pleasure in the intelligent and truly human
companionship of others, and welcomes wise and thoughtful
confrontation. And in the face of the persistent dullness of
the cults such a disposition often becomes fierce and aloud:
The whole Earth, the cosmos, and every separate being is a
great Sacrifice! Therefore, let us consent to fulfill the
Law! Let us give ourselves up, so that each temple-each
bodily and mental person-may become a temporary and
perishable altar of self-giving into the Mystery that
pervades us!


Proof – Table of Contents