“We have, for the first time in history, easy access to all of the world’s great religions. Examine the many great traditions and you are struck by two items: there are an enormous number of differences between them, and a handful of striking similarities. When you find a few essential items that all, or virtually all, of the world’s great religions agree on, you have probably found something incredibly important about the human condition.” — KW
And this agreement rests in the nature of their religious experience–they were all the same, or virtually the same. Where people have become confused over the centuries is how the profits have communicated these similar realizations.
The religious experience occurs when the meditator is able to break down the conception of self that has governed there interactions with the world. When this habitually erroneous perception of reality is broken the self-symbol has the opportunity to expand.
Its something we observe every day. Whether its nationalism, ethnocentrism, a sense of family or community. When we see people willing to die for their country or their tribe, or torture and kill their rivals. It is the self-symbol expanding behind the confines of their body. A good way to point to the self-symbol is what you view as most important, what you are willing to die for.
When the self-symbol grows immensely the sensation can become even more dramatic, and the religious experience is born. It’s not uncommon either, especially when it comes to the natural world. When people speak of feeling one with nature, with the woods, the trees, or the mountains. The sense of oneness an unity of all things. The self-symbol expands to the natural world.
All of our worldly concerns collapse into the experience, the moment, the eternal present. Sometimes even time and space are no match, let alone petty concepts of good or bad, moral or immoral, happy or sad. There only is, and just being, just experiencing, is the profits realization.
But lifetimes of mediation are not required to experience a glimpse of the ultimate, a glimpse of god. It’s found the world over by those who can become one with the moment, whether it is through thought, movement or nature.