Religion, in some form, is the universal link for almost all humans. We look to our myths to free us from the terrible knowing of what is not known. They all have that in common.
Religion is perhaps the single common denominator among all civilizations - past, present, or future.
The universal questions nearly all humans, of every walk of life, have are
And a close third is
These are the great unknowns that haunt all of us and cause us to look outward for answers that even the wisest and most enlightened among us fail to answer.
In the absence of answers to these and other questions, humans have created deities to whom have been given powers far beyond anything comprehensible by the human mind that created them.
Humans regard those deities or gods in the form of religion. It is how we show devotion to our gods.
Religion, defined literally, is "reverence for gods".
Somehow the human ego has overridden the innate knowing that within each of us is something greater than any mind-created god.
Ego has also successfully created a need in the human collection that there must be something out there that is more wise, more kind, more powerful, more intelligent, etc. than anything we as humans could ever hope to be.
We can never attain such levels and in ignorance of our divine natures, we create gods to whom we offer reverence and worship.
This is the heart of all religions - subjection to our gods and the various institutions and dogmas created around them.
What we cannot allow ourselves to be, they can be. And so we vie and pull those who can be convinced that our way is superior to another. In fact, for some religious groups, the attraction is so powerful we cannot get free from it to see any other possibilities.
Great cruelty and human suffering has resulted from this blind devotion to our mind-created gods.
Religion should never be confused with spirituality or spiritual knowing, although a religious individual may be very spiritual.
Ultimately, any search to find God that leads to an institution is a faulty search, because the search for God will always lead inward to an inner knowing that the divine we seek lies within.
We are gods, having come to earth to experience human form and our search for meaning lies in the discovery, better yet the remembering, that we are the divine we seek.
Any religious pursuits will only serve to strengthen our discovery of the spiritual being within. Outside of that, the discovery of God is the discovery of self.
Know that you are God!