Some of us agree that fundamental to our understanding of living well is an encounter with the “ineffable” that cannot be satisfactorily described. There is this “I’ that is separate and distinct, but also this “One” in which we participate.
Further, religion is an attempt to promote and protect that encounter, but since religion is a set of forms to follow it can become divisive, stale and even abusive. My Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist friends as well as an indigenous American shaman I know all say the same happens in their communities. Some people get it. Others miss the point and begin to treasure the exercises rather than encounter with the “One” the exercises point us to. They begin to reassure themselves because they know stuff and practice stuff and are different (better) than people who don’t. Because I hear this tension between “encounter” and “form” in so many places, I think this is universally human problem that cannot be resolved by picking better community, doctrine or ritual.
So how do we encourage the real thing?