Are Religions Ready for Openness?
In the long term, religions seem to evolve toward Openness, be it with ups and downs. Possibly, we are standing before an era in which the gates will be thrown Open. Much readiness is needed to make this happen in a gentle way.
Fundamentalism is the reaction towards closedness.
We see fundamentalism growing stronger within several religions on a global scale ― unfortunately including political abuse of the same. This is a sign of non-readiness. Also, it is a sign of mounting tensions, thus of pending essential changes.
Fundamentalism is a defense, not an original striving. It can grow because, in-depth, people are afraid of the imminent changes. It is like the increasing tension on a dam that is bound to break. The sharper the increase, the more likely the break.
Meanwhile, the frightened people may be right in the feeling but mistaken in the premise.
Much of the reason lies in the striving to retain what is most valuable.
What is most valuable is the religious in-depth experience ― the child in the water tub. But valuing that child is precisely also the aim of Open Religion.
Fundamentalists see the water tub as the only means to preserve the child. Open Religion takes the challenge to go purely for the child. This doesn’t mean that the concrete circumstances are negligible. They are part of the symbolism. However, symbols are not signs, nor are they to be taken literally.
As far as I can see, many fundamentalists don’t understand this to the core. That makes them stick to surface characteristics. Since they regularly are the hardest shouters, they not seldomly form the religious landscape. Contrary to this, most people are not fundamentalists.
The title’s question
The question is whether many people in different religious bathwaters are ready to acknowledge the child also outside the tub. In such cases, they are ready for Open Religion. Also, if the religion can accomplish the feat, then it is ready for Open Religion. From the other side, Open Religion’s goal is to prepare the ground for even more Openness.
Thus: is there much readiness ― not therefore at this very moment, but once people start seeing the bigger picture?
Is there much readiness at the individual level?
Is there much readiness at the organizational level?
As with a pandemic coming and (hopefully) going pretty swiftly in recent years, things may evolve in unexpectedly quick ways. The gates are visible, and I’m sure I’m pointing toward the future in this respect.
I hope this future will be Compassionate.
I mean: Compassionate to the core of what religion is about, has always been about, and should forever keep being about.
This accords with Openness, of course. Religious leaders may be the last to follow in this. They might also be the first. In my view, they should be Open Leaders precisely for the sake of what they hold most dearly ― as do I.
There is no need for individual religions to disappear.
However, there is also no need for them to cling for life to the bathwater.
Thus, different bathwaters may be deeply appreciated. In their diverse forms of symbolism, they are not to be seen as ‘merely symbols.‘ As said, that would be a profound misunderstanding.
There is also no need to relinquish rationality. Even more, science is increasingly showing the way to more Openness— which is a good evolution while making the readiness for Openness more needed culturally.
In my view, people – and religions – are indeed ready to find the gate to Heaven on Earth.
It will then be obvious that they have always been close.