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 relevant question is whether you are ‘one of us’ or ‘one of them’. The ‘them’ being alien, incomprehensible, one way or another to be shunned especially in-depth.
For instance, on even days being ‘one of us’ while on odd days being ‘one of them’ is deemed to be inappropriate or even impossible.
Let alone on the same days.
The essence of Open Religion: this should change.
Many people need a specific religion for the sake of deeper meaning of life.
There is of course much to say for this. Many who live ‘outside of any religion’ do not seem to live with any deeper meaning of life. This way, they are ‘trapped’ within superficiality. In a way, superficiality is their ‘closed religion’. This includes the idea that one should just take care of one’s own pleasure, profit, people. The latter being oneself and those who live mentally nearby. It can be one’s small family-circle, or a silo on social media, or whatever.
So, many non-religious people see religious people as ‘religiously trapped’, while many religious people see non-religious people as ‘superficiality trapped’.
Everybody trapped. Everybody closed-in. That’s it?
In any case, this should not be.
BUT: the walls that keep people in, are most frequently also defensive walls against ‘the enemy’. These walls are themselves fearfully protected. From either side, any attempt to break them down may be met with huge resistance.
The alternative: a gentle slope
Forget the ‘wall’ metaphor.
The ‘gentle slope’ metaphor starts from an attitude of strong gentleness [see: ‘Weak, Hard, Strong, Gentle’].
With hardness, one bumps into a wall, achieving little to nothing positive.
With weakness, one may enter the bulwark, achieving nothing.
No real dialogue, no ability to touch deep-to-deep, no empathic understanding…
Strongly and gently, one may indeed be heard. Without this combination, I also wouldn’t listen myself, and if you wouldn’t, dear reader, I would find that very natural and proper.
A gentle slope should not be a covert attempt to manipulate.
Manipulation = disrespect. That should never be! [see: ‘When Respect Ends, Manipulation Starts’]
Instead, in full respect, the main tool is deep listening: [see: ‘Deep Listening’]. This way, people can learn from each other. At the very least, they can learn how to deeply touch and be touched. Without this, I don’t see any kind of ‘motivating’ anyone towards anything as having really been attempted, even after 50 or 500 years of listening-while-carrying-earplugs.
Earplugs are disrespectful and lead to disrespectful behavior. Contrary to this:
A gentle slope is an invitation.
Continuously, in freedom and respect. Thus also much more effective.
The direction of the invitation is not even ‘out of religion’, as much as it is clearly ‘out of closedness’.
The result may even be ‘deeper into religion’. That’s a good thing! The deeper one goes, the more ‘meaning’ is important and the less ‘pure form’. [see: ‘Depth is Formless Meaning’]
This way, people may gently evolve – from within their religion, any which way it shows itself – towards what has always been religion’s true purpose:
connection at the deepest level
internally as well as in-between to the widest degree.