What is Open Religion?

Open Religion is a project by itself. Its aim is to be able to talk religiously and at the same time put religion itself – as a phenomenon – into sub-conceptual context. [see: ‘About ‘Subconceptual’] There are many religions. In the course of time, there have been many more, now forgotten or not practiced anymore. Read the full article…

Explosion of the Heart

Nothing changes, and nothing is the same anymore after such individual experience. An open landscape may emerge for all to be one. Peak experience Maslow called it a peak experience, but, indeed, it is an explosion of the heart. It can happen in very diverse circumstances. We’ll see three examples. An explosion of the heart Read the full article…

Importance of Symbolic Reality

In the West, most people live in a rather exclusively conceptual (view upon) reality. The negligence of the symbolic (view upon) reality leads to mental suffering and impoverishment. Soon

Religion and Compassion

Compassion = Open Religion? Please read first [see: “Essence of Compassion“] to get a feel of appropriate un-easiness. That is always a good start towards Compassion. Compassion, the road towards nonbelief A belief in a conceptual anything is not religious in my use of terminology. I foresee a gentle slope towards Open Religion [see: “What Read the full article…

In Search of Nonbelief

Taking Inner Strength as goal, nothing should stand between it and the person as an individual. Lending much-needed proper support to this is the Aurelian way. In this blog text, the concept of ‘belief’ denotes the result from a continual search for deeper meaning whereby this result doesn’t flow naturally from inside out. Such belief Read the full article…

Spirituality – Deep vs. Superficial

What shows itself as spirituality may be pretty superficial. Please read first: [see: “Spirituality“] Many people seem to be looking for the superficial kind. Many are not even looking for spirituality in spirituality, but rather any evasion ― providing the idea that “this is not all” while not carrying any threat. The ‘search for spirituality’ Read the full article…

Grace

In depth, nothing happens automatically. In organic growth, nothing happens automatically. During an AURELIS-session, nothing happens automatically. Yet it happens as-by-itself, gracefully. Etymology The term ‘grace’ is derived from the ancient Greek ‘Χάρις,’ denoting a favor or gift of kindness, beauty, nature, human creativity. Grace is gratifying, literally, figuratively, or spiritually. Charites were ancient goddesses Read the full article…

Each Belief Deserves Respect – In Freedom, Openness, and Depth

We are not going to get out of a big religious mess without respect and a huge exercise in ‘saying yes.’ Religion and belief A religious feeling is, well, a feeling. And It’s religious. So far, so good. It can be a wonderful, poetic feeling. To me, ‘religion’ is about this feeling. [see: “The Religious Read the full article…

Sacredness, Sacrilege, Openness

In matters of traditional religion, this turns everything inside out. The words one uses are unimportant. What lies behind is hugely important. ►►► WHY read this? To relieve suffering and enhance human growth through what is most important for many.◄◄◄ Enemies God-fearing people still frequently see atheists as their enemies. An atheist doesn’t say: “I Read the full article…

Open Religious Atheism

Open Religion is, in Openness, not tied to any exclusive image of God, nor even to the exclusivity of God. Openness is Open to what is not easily, or not at all conceptually graspable. Even talking about ‘God’ is at the edge of being able to do so. ►►► WHY read this? All religion is Read the full article…

Killing Babies? – Nobody Does

No sane person likes killing babies. ►►►WHY read this? Yes, why? It should be obvious.◄◄◄ I don’t like killing babies. I don’t like the killing of babies. I don’t like the idea of babies getting killed. Babies should be respected as human beings. But put one cell together with another cell, and there is no Read the full article…

Is Religion Poetry? – Is Poetry of Highest Value?

Poetry as a way of being, of being motivated, of giving attention is religion. ►►► WHY read this? Religion is frequently non-poetic. In a rational age, this leads to huge clashes and fundamentalism.◄◄◄ Religion, poetry. It is exactly the same. Good poetry is an orientation, as is religion. Good poetry is a metaphor, as is Read the full article…

The Religious Feeling – What Religion Has Always Been About

The religious feeling lives deeply inside and everywhere. It is ubiquitous and invisible. It can be supported and downplayed without anyone’s knowing. It is very much Open. What I dare say One can have full-blown religious feeling without believing anything conceptual. There is no need to lose anything of this feeling by ‘not believing.’ The Read the full article…

Symbolism: How-To

Symbolism is invitation, from a to z. Invited is deeper meaning. ‘How-to’ should be sought at this level, bringing the symbol ever closer to YOU. This text is about your experience. It is not about any superficial kind of better or worse. It’s your doing, your experience, your depth. Do something else and the experience Read the full article…

Every Religion Is Open

Many existing religions are incompatible with each other. To me, these incompatibilities are – one way or another – as many signs of superficiality. Underlying this is Openness, as in: ‘Open direction to God.’ [see also: “Religion IS Openness”] Dare I speak of God? Dare you? God is a ‘concept’ that means something different to Read the full article…

Supernatural is Natural

If ‘everything that is’ is denoted as nature, then how can the supernatural be anything more than nature? Oops, did I already say – within this question – everything that needs to be said? Of course, it’s terminological. I just equalized ‘nature’ with something of my own choice. Indeed? But what is another option for Read the full article…

The Temporal Eye

In memory of a personal experience. Sitting at a bench looking over a field of grass and a pond. Trees in the distance. Sunshine. Late afternoon. Very relaxed. Becoming the trees. You may see this as a mystical experience. I do, if ever there is one. Being the trees. No difference between them there and Read the full article…

From Symbolism to Psychosis

I see a continuum between both. That should not be a reason to avoid symbols. Quite the contrary. Mainly: no blame to anyone! A continuum Working with symbols may in unfortunate circumstances lead to a darker progression. This needs to be managed. Actually, any symbolic experience [see: ‘Symbolism lost. Symbolism regained.’] can be seen as Read the full article…

Why Bother about Symbols?

Symbols bring another dimension to life. I would even say: they bring life to life. Without symbols, one way or another, we do not live a full life. [see also: “A Symbol Is Always YOU”] ‘Not fully living’: as if that would be possible. Of course, truth is: we need symbols. Without them, we are Read the full article…

Spontaneity: How-To

The main thing: not putting visible stuff in the way. Letting all ‘stuff in the way’ be invisible, transparent. Then, of course, it is the other way. [Please read first: “Spontaneity”] It doesn’t satisfy ‘one who wants.’ If this is you, then please try to make your wanting transparent. This is precisely the way to Read the full article…

Spontaneity

is the most important characteristic of life. It is very deeply falling within, then coming all the way out again and ‘meeting the world.’ Religion, Eastern enlightenment… Big words, emphasizing that, seemingly, very important stuff is going on. That is correct. It’s important stuff with huge consequences. Think of the misery that has been brought Read the full article…

Symbols and Signs

A sign is horizontal. A symbol is vertical. There is a lot of confusion about this. A traffic light is a sign. If the light is red, you know what that sign-ifies. A sign is always simple: A points to B. A à B In the mind, A is the mental concept that we can Read the full article…

Jesus = Compassion

This is an example of what can be found in any worthwhile religion. He – he – Him – him Since it transcends the conceptual, I can write He and Him as well as he and him. I know he wouldn’t mind either. I leave the capitals now mainly for the sake of those who Read the full article…

The Good Ritual

What constitutes the concrete appearance of a ‘good ritual’? According to me, the answer lies more in the deeper ‘why’ and in the deeper ‘how’ of the ‘what’ than in the ‘what’ itself. [please first read: ‘Rituals’] In religion(s), rituals mostly grow quite organically. What if one would want to ‘make’ a new ritual to Read the full article…

A Symbol Is Always YOU

Symbolism is always vertical, a communication between conceptual and subconceptual. In this sense, it is always about YOU. [see also: ‘Symbolism lost. Symbolism regained.’] ‘Vertical’? As in this drawing, showing the difference between an analogy (concept-to-concept) and a symbol: Eventually, it’s about you as a total person, body and mind, conceptual [see: ‘About Concepts’] and Read the full article…

No Rationality without Poetry

Rationality without poetry (‘depth’) is meaningless. Moreover: it’s not even rational. Thus, better call it ‘rationality’ (between brackets). [see: ‘AURELIS USP: ‘100% Rationality, 100% Depth’] Rationality is not only about concepts Of course, conceptual thinking is of huge importance. No doubt. However, through correct conceptual thinking, one can arrive at its own limits: 100% conceptual Read the full article…

Opening Religion

This is, as I see it, mainly to be done through opening related concepts. ‘Opening concepts’ One should see this rationally / conceptually AND, even mainly, sub-conceptually: meditatively. This brings a difference in methodology as well as in results. Both are to be seen much more as ‘creative’. As any of my writing, actually. A Read the full article…

The Gentle Slope between Closed and Open Religion

People tend to be trapped at either side of ‘closed religion’. Getting un-trapped may thus be hard and hurtful. Before reading this, [see: ‘Triangle of Religion’]. With ‘closed religion’, I mean: where within the core itself, the inside and the outside of a specific system of belief are mutually exclusive. To the adherents, the main Read the full article…

How to Use Symbols

Any symbol. Let’s say you are a religious person. Then symbols may ‘talk’ to you. How? [see also: ‘Symbolism lost. Symbolism regained’] Eventually, any symbol is… you. You are the crystal. Does light shine from you or through you? It depends on how you look at ‘you’. Does your mind only consist of conscious – Read the full article…

I Believe

I confess: I do indeed believe. I believe in Beauty because beauty brings motivation to believe in myself and live this life. No beauty, no me. I believe in beauty because I feel such. Firsthand. What else can I do? I mean: look at this world. I believe in Beauty, as I believe in beauty of Read the full article…

Religion IS Openness

In order to ‘make deepest connection’ (re-ligare), Openness as an invitation may be sufficient to let it happen in a natural flow. This is not about openness at a purely conceptual level. It is not about ‘talking the truth’. It is rather about ‘deeply being truthful’. Of course, this is not incompatible with talking the Read the full article…

Rituals

An action becomes a ritual when it is repeated and when it is deeply meaningful. For this, one needs to be open to it. ‘Open’ as in ‘Open Religion.’ A ritual is a repetitive action to which one attaches ‘deeper meaning’. Without ‘deeper meaning’, a ritual has no, well, meaning. It’s like an empty box, Read the full article…

Inter-Religious, Deep Down

… instead of an inter-religious ‘dialogue’ that conglomerates only at the surface, while depth is safely kept out of the picture. Because that is of course no dialogue in the first place. It’s rubbing-each-other in order to elicit good feelings and putting a nice image to outside. Hidden agendas remain unchanged. Sorry. No dialogue. Even Read the full article…

Why Religion?

Religion seems to be at least as old as humanity. Thus, is it innate and not to be ‘lost’ without losing something that is intrinsically human? Many ways Worldwide, although the number of ‘non-believers’ seems to be growing rapidly, most people are religious. They seem to desire religion as something of huge importance in their Read the full article…

Spiritual Leadership

Enthusiasm: theos = ‘god’. | Inspiration: spirit = ‘deeper mind’. ‘Spiritual leadership’ is what leadership has always been about. Consciousness unexplained Since ages, people have sought explanations for that what comes from their deeper self into consciousness – what one is consciously aware of – . No mental conscious content (thought, feeling, emotion…) originates in Read the full article…

Everyday Mysticism

This doesn’t downgrade mysticism to everyday. It upgrades everyday to mysticism. Every day, fleeting moments of mysticism For example, a sense of deep wonder or awe for a beautiful sunrise, in the train from Antwerp to Brussels. For example, a beautiful song that carries me (much) further than usual. For example, a shared insight during Read the full article…

Triangle of Religion

This triangle is a ‘landscape of religion’ at a conceptual level, showing ‘Open Religion’ as part of this landscape. This is all very conceptual Concrete religions or ‘ways to experience religion’ are situated somewhere within the triangle, not therefore at the corners or sides. Within the triangle, you see a circle. This is where, as Read the full article…

AURELIS and ‘Esotericism’

If it’s your intention to be open all the way, then you have to be open to all sides and not closed to some specific one. Unless it would be the of being-closed itself. This certainly is important when it’s not easy, when people tend to misunderstand, when people interpret their attachment to certain ideas Read the full article…

Eyes of Soul

People have been looking for ‘God’ everywhere outside themselves. Then also inside themselves. Contrary to both, ‘eyes of soul’ points to the looking itself. Something When people use the term ‘God’, all you can know for certain – well, more or less – is that they use the term ‘God’. Apparently, they use it to Read the full article…

Humanism with a Vengeance

Humanism: ‘man is the measure of all things.’ Vengeance: this is about the total human being – partly conscious, mostly nonconscious. Many faces of humanism, yesterday and today Among them, I see ‘humanism’ as what puts human being at the forefront, thus not – apart from human being – any organization: no religion, no politics, Read the full article…

Is AURELIS a Sect?

… in that case I would be a guru, with all its negative connotations… No, thank you, I would rather not. Originally ‘guru’ simply means ‘teacher’. Then I think: a good ‘teacher’ strives to educate his ‘students’ so that they become better than himself. In that case, there might be an element of truth in Read the full article…

Symbolism and Placebo

These two domains have lots in common. Rationality cuts through both, but in essentially different ways. Power to the people As a matter of fact, the ‘power’ of a symbol doesn’t lie in the physical symbol itself, just as the ‘power’ of a placebo doesn’t lie in the placebo itself. It lies in the person Read the full article…

Words Like ‘Soul’ Are Not the Exclusive Right of Religion

Not of any specific religion, nor of ‘religion’ in general. It is therefore high time for a kind of ‘science of the deeper self’ that distinguishes itself from ‘religion’ in the sense that it is not based on a dogma or a story. You can compare it with astronomy that has emancipated from astrology +/- Read the full article…

Religion is a Conversation between God and Me

In the course of time, many have been killed for daring to say so. Many who have been killed for it, have found it worthwhile nevertheless. God and me We can take, for the sake of this text at least, a very broad view on the notion of ‘God’. It can be the one (or Read the full article…

Secular Society

Secularism = the individual’s right to be free from the imposition of any religion by government,  in a state declared to be neutral on matters of belief. [This text goes further upon ‘Freedom of Religion’.] Sustainability from the start ‘Secular society’ is about ‘freedom of religion.’ But not only that. In order to be sustainable, Read the full article…

Freedom of Religion

It seems a nice endeavor, the ‘best thing to do’. But is it even possible at an individual level? Is anyone ‘free to believe’? Let’s agree that you don’t believe in the existence of unicorns. Are you then ‘free to believe’ in them? Can you take a conscious decision to believe in such? I cannot Read the full article…

Is ‘Open Religion’ the Future?

In a world replete with separate religions, that what overlaps-in-depth may show a way towards Open Religion. Being an adherent of one specific religion at the principled exclusion of others, is definitely not open. ‘Inter-religious dialogue’ is in many cases just a kindly disguised way to (non-)accept each other for some specific common goal. We Read the full article…

Islamic Veil

This is an example of a broader issue. There is nothing intrinsically particular to Islam nor to the veil, besides being a kind-of-religion and a kind-of-piece of cloth. Open Religion I see a huge difference between nonconceptual re-ligion (‘Open Religion’) and any conceptual ‘god-view’ called religion where openness, depth… are barely understood. For more about Read the full article…

Science = Re-ligion

Science is frequently seen as partly or even completely opposite to religion. In the sense of re-ligion however, things get reversed. Science is the quest to know the universe as it is and not as someone of a few centuries or even millennia ago has imagined it. Back then, almost nothing was known on many Read the full article…

Spirituality

In all times, spirituality has been about how people consciously deal with their own non-conscious mind. Has the endeavor been worthwhile and may it lead to a new dawn? Spirit = internal: the way of using one’s mind without immediate crystallizations of ‘thinking’ into ‘thoughts’ – thus: what happens in the mind before conceptualization. Scientifically, Read the full article…

75. Religion with no object

What’s in a name? Nothing. In some cases, even much less than nothing. ◊◊◊ In this world, many things are called ‘religion’ that clearly have nothing to do with what it can mean. Obvious: religion is not about believing that it will rain tomorrow (Is there a 20% chance? 60%?). Likewise, religion is not about Read the full article…

74. What’s in a book?

Believing in the bible, is not the same as believing in God. It’s believing in the ones who say the bible comes directly from God. Then the question is: why should anyone believe those guys? Because they have good marketing support? Because they have pointed ears? Because they believe in other guys who believe in Read the full article…

Open Religion = Poetry

Respect is due to all people, but not to anything just because it’s called ‘religion.’ Open religion = poetry. Let’s just say: religion = poetry. I’m not talking about words, rhythm and rhyme, although poetry of course can also be cast as such. It’s also much wider: the poetry of any art, the poetry of Read the full article…

51. Jesus! What do you think of all these stigmata?

“I have it in the palm of my hand… I used to have not the least sign of a wound. Then the lord Jesus came to me and blessed me with these signs of His own passion. Now I have the same signs as He had after being nailed on the cross.” ◊◊◊ What should Read the full article…

Is God Conscious?

If God, then: it would be unimaginable for him to not be conscious. However, it would also be unimaginable for him to be conscious. What with a nonconscious God? We humans generally associate ‘free will’ with the presence of consciousness. A person without any consciousness at all would be in deep sleep or in a Read the full article…

37. Religion explained

Scientists keep looking for God in the minds of people. In this endeavor, experiments have been done whereby certain centers of the brain are stimulated by an electromagnetic field. Especially in conditions of sensory deprivation, people can thereby start having hallucinations with a very religious undertone. Something like ‘seeing the light and this light is Read the full article…

28. Do miracle cures happen?

What is certain to me, is that miracle cures do not happen in a mechanical way. You cannot simply ‘ask’ something from ‘Above’ and expect to receive it. ◊◊◊ Something very special is needed. You have to transcend mechanical thinking. This can only be done by transcending your conscious thinking, since this is trapped as Read the full article…

Symbolism lost. Symbolism regained.

If an analogy is horizontal, a symbol is vertical. An analogy is ‘played out’ at one plane. A symbol transcends all planes. An analogy can elucidate something. It cannot deeply touch someone. X analogically represents Y, whereby Y is equally conceptual as X. An analogy has no depth. It is played out at only one Read the full article…

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