The wane of religions establishments in the West is clearly evident. Many are outgrowing religions than cannot keep up with modern living, changing ideologies, technology, science, spirituality and less free time. In the East where the grip of religion is firmly entrenched in culture, politics and everyday life religion is thriving, but not by choice, by birth (the family you were born into). The rhetoric that binds people to religion is falling away – the dark places these organisations created to keep attendance high over the centuries have lost their power over a free thinking populous. Modernity means education and education means thinking for yourself and dispelling anything unreasonable, uncomfortable or stagnant.
What draws people to religion is familiar faces, ceremony, routine, fear, safety and helping the community, but spiritual satisfaction seems harder to find – it appears that many are just going through the motions and people are not quite sure how they fit into the religious organisations that they regularly attend. In the last forty years there has been a surge into the spiritual. Many are taking what they have learned in religion, spiritual groups, culture heritage, philosophy, paganism and the natural world and combining them in home ceremonies. Is this the way of the modern world, are we no longer satisfied with offerings of the orthodox codes? Have we finally put heresy and blasphemy aside!
We love the idea of religion, but if it does not satisfy our spiritual core – it moves down the list of what we hold dear. The spiritual can be found anywhere and with a blending of culture and what we revere about religion we are in fact creating a new eclectic spiritual faith - a sort of ‘Soulism.’ The Soulist, no matter what religious background is free to create a spiritual and ceremonial world that suits each individual family in the sacred space of the home (or elsewhere) – where spiritual knowledge, wisdom, compassion and love are passed down through the family, or shared with others on a similar path. Then a sustainable foundation can support the daily needs of the soul. People are drawn to the unexplained mystical experiences of the spiritual; they desire the illuminated presence that gives life purpose and meaning – a euphoric love that permeates all in moments of joy and spiritual insights.
The future of mainstream religions depends on what we need on a soul level and what degree of modern alterations it can cope with. Otherwise the searching begins!