Are Religions Socially Useful?

D’oh! Are they supposed to be?? — St. John’s Jim

Spirituality is not inherently socially useful. The desire to connect with deeper meanings does not really equate to improving the here and now.

The two may often be related, but the spirituality of a nihilist is equally as spiritual as the Dalai Lama’s. Our opinion of the WORTH of that spirituality is likely going to steer us away from nihilism. Our opinion is based on our social expectations, and so we instinctively wrap a ‘socially useful’ attribute to the social equivalent of spirituality: Religion.

Saying this in different words, Religion is expected to provide social benefits for it followers. The truth is that Religion itself is a framework focussed on to how best to direct your thoughts, energies and resources to the supreme essence behind reality. The Religion may have tenets on “why,” “how,” “how not,” punishments, rewards, rituals, obligations for you to have a more God Approved life.

The rewards are sometimes pretty broken, though: “A lifetime of servitude, offered to God, will earn your salvation in an afterlife” may be offered to a slave… Or a Chela, or a Pope.

But the social benefit remains as our external measure of the worth of a Religion. Are your adherents better off? Do they live longer? Are they productive, responsible, accepting people? Or are they burning fire-brands of bullshit? We will know the truth of your prophets by the fruits you bring forth.

So, Religions, listen up. Make the society mo’ bettah. Make us help each other. Live better. Eat better. Have closer, more harmonious relations with all of the varieties of human that God put on this earth. Get your members up higher on Maslow’s scale. Help them get their values and emotions clean and clear. It’s a challenge, and so far, Religion, you need help.

Here is the offer of The Celarien: Live your Religion, keep it alive, grow with it. Your adherents will automatically become closer to the vision and the word of your faith if they have emotions and values of integrity. That’s what Celarien is all about: the nuts and bolts of emotional and value ecology.

The literature of spiritual alchemy is a recipe book for the how to on to gain the ability to discern the higher good. That’s Celarien. A meta-religion? We like to think of it as the “vise-grips, duct-tape and finish carpenter” in your spiritual toolbox.

Come and get it.