Chapter 3: Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Not Be Announced by the White House
The Religious Necessity of Community
There is no such thing as true religion without community. The sacred community is the necessary theatre wherein true religious responsibilities and activities can take place.
Over time, religious understanding and responsibilities tend to become abstracted and dogmatized, so that religion is made to seem to be a merely personal or private endeavor. Thus, popular religion tends to be deficient as a true culture.
The State, or the broad plane of politics and economics, is a secular domain. When the people become tied exclusively to the secular environment of the State, they become fragmented into a mass of mere individuals, controlled by great political and economic forces. Therefore, religion must function not only as the Teaching of ultimate spiritual Realization. It must become the working foundation of right human relationships. The Teaching of religion must become the foundation of human acculturation. That is, religion must become the instrument whereby individuals create a cooperative order, a union of human communities.
Popular religion tends to create an institutional order, but it generally fails to create a free cooperative order or true culture. The institutions of popular religion tend to organize the attention and resources of people in much the same manner as the State. That is, merely “institutional” religion fragments the native community of Man into a superficial order of weakly associated individuals. It does not oblige people to create literal religious community, involving mutual cooperation, responsibility, and dependence.
Therefore, practitioners of true religion should orient themselves to the free creation of sacred community, and they should work with one another to create truly cooperative human environments. Truly, this obligation can only be fulfilled by those who are sufficiently mature to be religiously responsible in the moral and practical theatre of human relationships. Thus, all such practitioners should live in circumstances wherein there are constant opportunities to be tested and to be creative in relationships with others, but it is perhaps only among the most mature practitioners or esoteric initiates that the fullest agreements are possible, agreements which oblige each and all to accept the many daily and household conditions of a completely cooperative community of devotees of the Living God.