The most important role for religion in the postmodern world
is to act as a sacred conveyor belt
moving people from myth to reason to trans-reason
that is, to see the limits of reason and transcend it.
Today we need to transcend both reason and science.
Buddhism tells you from day one
to find out for yourself what is true –
it encourages constant seeking –
even the teachings of the Buddha
should be questioned and tested.
For fundamentalist Muslims there is no need to ask questions
for the Koran has all the answers already –
their Sacred Book in its 114 suras (chapters)
is considered by them to be the final revelation
of the final prophet Mohammed
of the final purpose and will of God for humanity.
But mystics/contemplatives/sages of all traditions see
that their viewpoint is just a view from a point –
they have the ability to observe
their own inner dramas and dilemmas
in an egoless way
which is the primary form of “dying to the self”
that Jesus and Buddha lived and taught experientially.
Today however, the self reigns supreme
individualism leads to anti-institutionalism
people think institutions like family and marriage
are too restrictive – no one should have a say in how I live
and so people rail against government taxation
meant for the common good
and church is seen as impeding my spiritual growth –
individuals want to create their own self-religion
and free autonomous individuals get infected
by the pandemic of loneliness
which scourges the postmodern world.
What the postmodern world needs now