I have now come to know an increased number of people who have moved into the smaller Christian churches and are active in these churches. Some transferred an active participation in the faith of their birth, while others, in effect, discovered God. Many others have discovered God in the various yoga groups in Australia – and, again, are active participants.
One man asked me, after an enthusiastic worker for a yoga group had described his joy as having risen, with a rush, from the soles of his feet after joining this group, whether this could be so. I pointed out that those who already believed in the Creator, but had no particular vehicle to convey their worship of the Creator, might not feel the same level of joy … The new arrival into yoga, on the other hand, had just discovered God, never having practised or believed in any faith before. Hence his joy.
I recently tested the waters in a yoga ashram in Australia. What I found was illuminating, both spiritually and societally. We were exposed to a disciplined way of life, focused upon the Creator. We were taught meditation practice, based on Hindu metaphysics, especially on the Hindu science or philosophy of consciousness. Yet there was no reference to Hinduism. … The teachers at the ashram were educated and relatively young (in the main), and committed to their non-materialistic life of poverty, service to the community and teaching (no mansions for these).
… … In New Zealand, I came across another form of yoga. It seemed to be as well supported there as in Australia – as I discovered when I attended a gathering of followers in Sydney recently. This form of yoga is claimed to have adherents in one hundred and eighty countries, including Russia (where the support sounds strongest). Again, the yoga practices were directed to, and suitable for, all kinds of faithful – and the faithless. The audience at the Sydney convention was given a demonstration of some of the psychic powers accessible to followers – a number of men seated on the ground cross-legged ‘jumped’ along the ground in that position, for fifteen feet or more, with no apparent effort.
Many Australians have also taken to Buddhism. There are now temples for them to attend. Many of the converts to that religion, however, simply prefer to apply the philosophy of Buddhism in their everyday life, which is surely what a religious life is all about. Recently, an Anglican Church leader claimed that that Buddhism is godless; he was therefore concerned … Hopefully, this concern will open up a dialogue. Some practising Christians (that is, they lead a life which they and I consider reflects the teaching of Christ) also accept reincarnation and the laws of karma as applying to them; some of these had gone further and joined those I refer to as the “New Agers”.
These are the empowerers, whose belief system is wide. Based on reincarnation and karma, they accept the ethical teachings of all the faiths but none of their doctrinal differences. Many of these, however, are hooked on a variable super-structure including numbers of lower and higher selves, all manner of spirits – good, neutral (but a little intrusive and adhesive), and bad (one needs protection from these) – and all manner of etheric and exotic influences.
It seems to me that the core of their belief is the core of Hinduism. I asked someone why they need the super-structure … Why not accept and live by the simpler core philosophy? … In fact, in my recent dialogues with supporters of the various Churches, and comfortable in my belief in a core Hinduistic metaphysics attached to a universal code of ethics, I have asked why we should not all return to the shared core teachings of our faiths.
… … Since Christ, Mohammed, the Buddha, and the Jewish and Hindu prophets and teachers preached the same core message to all, could we avoid claiming superiority over one another or that each has the only path to God?
(It is clear, as shown by the above extracts from ‘Destiny Will Out’ that, against falling support for the principal churches – at least, in terms of attendance – there is an ongoing search for a more suitable path to the Creator.
There also seems to be a significant gulf between church attendance (and financial support) and church affiliation as indicated in the Census; should not church hierarchies be reaching out to their stay-at-home adherents?
As well, does the younger generation seek a different form of religious institution (in both structure and operation) when it feels the need (for whatever reason) to reach out to the numinous? Would a non-dogmatic non-theological (therefore non-sectarian) humanistic approach based on the shared core teachings of the great religious leaders of mankind be the way to go?
Religious feelings arose in mankind from need; a progression from fear, to awe, to supplication for support, to faith, to spirituality, and ultimately to the search for union seems to have been our path. Control by imposed intermediaries, many bound in pomp and splendour, will not suit our youth.
Adapt or die is a law of nature.)