Open up your minds!

I say, Open up your minds!

A closed mind is the most dangerous thing you can possess on this earth. It will make you hate your sibling, fight your neighbor, and kill a stranger who has wronged you not.

Religion. It is a human construct. Religion did not come from God. The only thing that we inherited from the almighty are our spirits, and in essence, spirituality. Thus, the chief purpose of religion is to connect us with our spirituality; to enhance our spirituality. Any other function of religion is superfluous, unnecessary.  And as Sunny Bindra said, although in relation to business, know your chief product and your primary function as an entity.

For example, the chief purpose and function of a restaurant is the food, and in extension, the quality of the food. All other functions such as ambience, customer service, location and such, are of a supporting nature, and only work to compliment the chief role of the restaurant. If you’re familiar with Michelin ratings, restaurants and eating joints are only awarded Michelin stars based on the quality of their food, nothing else. Hence, a roadside food stand has as much chance of gaining a Michelin star as a five-star restaurant.

Therefore, spirituality is the main purpose of religion. In the contemporary world however, religion is more about tradition and doctrine than it is about spirituality. The main features of modern day religions are the places of worship (church, mosque, temple), significant religious days, festivals and events (Christmas, Ramadhan, Day of Atonement) and relatively insignificant details like mode of dress, language, terminologies, practices, and the list goes on.

The problem is that people tend to identify with the aforementioned religious features so deeply and steeply that they constrict their worldviews, and practically become slaves to dogma and tradition that is of no practical use in their lives. Hence, we have a situation where Seventh day Adventists condescend Sunday worshippers; Christians shun Jews; and Muslims refers to non-Muslims as kafirs.

Yet the strange thing is that these religions have more in common than most. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all monotheistic, Abrahamic religions. Actually, if you asked me, Christians and Muslims are simply Jews in denial. I mean, so much of their religions have been borrowed and adapted from Judaism: for Muslims, facing Mecca is simply an adaptation of how then Jews faced Jerusalem when praying – the month of Ramadhan is simply an extended Day of Atonement. For Christians, they literally borrowed the entire Jewish history in terms of the old Testament – the only point of diversion with Jews is the Messiah, where the latter believe that the Messiah is yet to come.

Do not let a human creation control you. It is the same thing with the monetary system. We created money and now it literally rules our lives in the modern world. Yet money is but a tool to gain value, in form of experiences or material objects. At the heart of it, money is worthless and without value, especially in the modern banking age where our fiat monetary system is not backed by anything; not gold, not silver.

Open up your minds. As Africans, we had religions that predate any Abrahamic religion that currently dominates the world. I mean, Abraham was from the city of Ur, yes? Yet his call from Ur only dates to between 1900 and 1800 BCE, while the city itself was founded in 3800 BCE However, the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes had monuments and pyramids that were prehistoric ruins by that date. The city of Memphis was built in 3100 BCE,  Babylon only came into existence in 2100 BCE, Jerusalem 1400 BCE, Athens (city) 360 BCE, and Rome (city) 250 BCE.

Open up your minds. We were created as intelligent, questioning beings. Always question authority. Always question your inherent assumptions. It is vital to question authority and the accepted norms and ‘facts’ ascribed to religious, political, economic, cultural and societal authority. If we did not question authority, we would live in a world that still believes the earth as flat and that the sun revolves around the earth. These are all statements that we now know as false, but are statements that were so staunchly believed and propagated by the authority (church) that Galileo Galilei was imprisoned and murdered for stating what we now know as fact.

Open up your minds. Always inquire and be eager to learn. Kuuliza si ujinga [Asking is not stupidity].

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