Beware of Those Who Criticize
but Do Not Practice Religion

Adi Da Samraj

October, 1980


Adi Da SamrajAvatar Adi Da Samraj is a fully Enlightened Spiritual Master, and the founder of the religion and spiritual Way of Adidam.

This essay is from Avatar Adi Da Samraj, Scientific Proof of the Existence of God Will Soon Be Announced by the White House!


ADI DA SAMRAJ: Members of departments of comparative religion in universities, along with other intellectual commentators on religion, have become the popularly acknowledged "authorities" in the field of religion. They seem to take a systematic and intellectual view of their "subject," and, because they have university degrees and may even be professors, they possess the glamor of the scientist, who is the model of the ultimate authority in our society. However, if we examine the point of view of these people (and there are many, as it is a common kind of scholarly profession) we can see that their view of Man's existence is different from that expressed by their own subject of study.

We would presume, because they study religion and new religious movements, and because they appear to be people who possess a thorough understanding of religion, that these individuals are congenial to the possibility of participation in a truly religious Way but, most typically, they are not! Like the scientific and university establishment in general, they tend to work against authentic religion and spiritual practice. Like most scientists and university intellectuals, they represent a left-brained, exclusively verbal mentality that is addicted to analysis and comparison and to the fixed disposition of one who analyzes and compares. Therefore, they do not represent the consciousness or the state of adaptation that may become truly religious, or committed to the practice of a spiritual Way such as Adidam.

These so-called authorities on religious life represent the adolescent mentality that pervades the scientific and intellectual establishment in general. In the mood of adolescence, people cannot commit themselves to the higher evolutionary activity of the whole body and to surrender to the Transcendental Reality. Indeed, such people are primarily interested in maintaining their position of strategic superiority to the childish (or dependent) mentality with which they are always struggling. The professional intellectual is, in most cases, not fundamentally devoted to higher Truth and evolutionary responsibility, but he is basically devoted to a struggle with his own primitive, preverbal mob-consciousness, the childish consciousness that always seeks a lie on which to depend, as on a parent.

In our society there are basically two characteristic mentalities: (1) the childish mob-consciousness of the uneducated (or merely "officially informed") mass of popular culture; (2) the adolescent mentality of those who comment on the childishness of popular culture, and who try to analyze that culture and awaken it to the independent mood of adolescence. The adolescent, by virtue of his acts of self-definition (or defensive separation from all outside forces), remains perpetually independent of childishness and psychological dependency, yet he never matures into higher or truly human development and, ultimately, to evolutionary spiritual responsibility.

The intellectual study of religion, which is the analysis and comparison of the religious movements and cults of the present day as well as of the past, has potential value. And it might even help humanity to outgrow its childish and adolescent consciousness about religion, were it not that, in general, those who make the analysis themselves represent the dogmatic and rigidly analytical state of mind of the adolescent (rather than the liberated understanding of the true practitioner and the true Adept). Thus, at best, scholars of "comparative religion" are critical of childish motivations in religious movements. Yet, even these analyses are relatively superficial, because the critics do not represent the disposition of the subject they study. They are not, in general, practitioners of a religious or higher spiritual Way, although some may attempt to be practitioners on the basis of merely intellectual presumptions about the various traditions. Because of their personal background or their "student" view of the world, they may harbor casually friendly feelings toward the most superficial aspects of a particular religious tradition, such as Christianity. But, for the most part, these professional critics are engaged in the eternal study of "comparative religion" in which basically no commitment to religious and spiritual practice is ever made, but, rather, religious and spiritual movements are forever contemplated and analyzed and compared.

The nonparticipatory, analytical disposition of scientific intellectualism has become so much the standard point of view that whenever a "reporter" within the mainstream of the popular communications media wants to learn what is happening in the world of religious movements, he consults the professional critics. Whenever young people consider seriously, perhaps for the first time, their doubts about religion, they enroll in the department of religion at a university, to study comparative religion and to meet the same critics. Whenever the ordinary man is engaged in considering the matters of religion, he buys the books of these same critics, whose works are published under the seal of major publishing houses. Thus, the charisma of authority in religion has been vested by our society in the intellectual establishment, and those who actually practice and Realize the Truth are regarded suspiciously, as if practice and Realization disqualified them from a true or "objective" understanding of their own most direct experience and intuition.

In the mature levels of human culture, adolescent analyzers are understood just as clearly as children, and they do not become acknowledged as "authorities." In such a mature culture, it is not the anti-religious or conventionally religious analyzer of religion who becomes the authority about religion, but it is the true mystic, the saint, the experienced yogi, the true prophet, the full Adept, and the Spiritual Master who become the resort of those who are seriously interested in the matters of religion. The work of bringing the insight of higher Wisdom to the childish and adolescent motivations and tendencies of the subhuman world belongs to those who have realized their true humanity and who have also transcended their mere humanity through self-sacrifice in the Living Truth.

However, in our modern scientific society it is the out-of-balance man, the adolescent, the one-sided man, the man who is yet to find wholeness, and who is yet to surrender to Truth, who represents the highest level of development that is popularly conceived. More highly evolved individuals, who have realized the maturity of the higher stages of human and super-human development, are generally relegated to the world of "kooks" and social outcasts, and they are identified with all the childish, antisocial qualities of dropouts from society.

The sophistry of the "pharisaical" commentators who are the conventionally acknowledged "authorities" on religion can be summarized as follows: "Religious movements are an answer to a need. People who become associated with such movements are motivated by a genuine need that is not satisfied by the buttoned-down, media-mad culture of our daily existence. They seek to fulfill this need through the experiential revelation of religious and spiritual phenomena. Since established religions are not generally oriented toward experiential realization, people may tend toward religious movements that involve experience." In this manner, the commentators on religion seem to support the religious search for Truth, and they seem to consider religion to be an "appropriate" human activity.

Ultimately, however, the intellectual critic of religion is likely to caution his audience against actually finding an ultimate "answer," a solution, or a commitment that ends their seeking. Thus, the master of comparative religion is as effective as a doctor who tells his patients they are sick, and even provides them with a detailed analysis of their disease, but at last recommends that cure be avoided at all costs! On the one hand, such caution is, to a degree, warranted. Many, and perhaps even most, religious sects thrive by stimulating the childish and irresponsible motivations of ordinary people. On the other hand, the point of view of the intellectual authority on religion ultimately would prevent serious inquirers from going beyond childish and adolescent conceptions of life and religion and becoming truly committed to higher religious and evolutionary spiritual practice. Yet, such higher or unconventional practice is indeed possible and available today.

The intellectual masters of comparative religion generally fail to differentiate between the negative manifestations of popular religious cultism and the positive manifestations of higher spiritual culture. The adolescent fear of being parented is a kind of disease that prevents mature commitment to the higher Way of Life communicated by Adepts, as well as commitment to the initiatory and guiding Company of Adepts themselves. Professional commentators seem to be possessed by a most profound and critical fear of Spiritual Masters, of full and complete spiritual Teachings, and of spiritually oriented communities. They are fundamentally and personally unable to yield to these three kinds of good company. They are rigidly fixed in the separative, adolescent, and analytical position, from which they strike out at superficial failings and secondary faults and engage in discriminating attacks on unconventional Adepts, true Teachings and practices, and communities of practice. In this sense, the commentators on religion belong to the same popular culture and mob-mind that they criticize, and that is perpetually struggling against the Living Reality by which Man may evolve and transcend himself.

But the critics almost never fail to offer themselves or their point of view as the ultimate resort of those who consider religion! They have become the new charismatic authorities! They are the small-minded gurus of the mob-culture of our TV world. The ultimate practice to which they lead those who would become like themselves is the relatively sophomoric educational program of an eternal course in comparative religion. The "curriculum" is the new Cult of religious intellectualism. And the curriculum requires the student only to make analytical comparisons between religious movements, while yet remaining eternally uncommitted to anything except the procedure of analysis and comparison. One who persists in this "yoga" ultimately becomes the enemy of his own subject, because he cannot commit himself to the process he is studying so obsessively. He is only committed to the obsessive study itself, which is motivated by the fear of commitment, the fear of becoming parented and losing the self-indulgent liberty of adolescence.

This discussion has been a very critical and even negative summation of the intellectual and scientific establishment and it is not made casually! In fact, it is made urgently. We have arrived at a time in the history of our technological society when the adolescent state of Man has become the model for human existence. The higher culture of Man, which is attainable only when both childhood and adolescence have been transcended, is more and more profoundly suppressed by the adolescent intellectualism and materialistic scientism that are now in league with the State everywhere in the world. If the criticism that Adepts bring to human acculturation is not heard more generally in the world, then the higher culture of Man will be more and more suppressed by the official Cults of worldly understanding, until the true Way becomes "secret" again, and disappears from the common world.

All excerpts from the works of Avatar Adi Da Samraj and and pictures of Avatar Adi Da Samraj 2017 The Avataric Samrajya of Adidam Pty Ltd, as trustee for The Da Love-Ananda Samrajya. All rights reserved. Perpetual copyright claimed.

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