Articles/Essays From Pagans
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Banishments, Conjurings, and Hexes for a Modern World
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
The Fear of Witchcraft
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Religious Form: Internal and External Reality
Article ID: 14462
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,972
Times Read: 2,753
RSS Views: 13,157
Author: Stewart Bitkoff
Posted: March 6th. 2011
Times Viewed: 2,753
Traveler: Speak to me of the great religions, and why each states their Path is the only Way. In the past, religious difference has led to wars, killing, and fighting. Why is this?
Master: On an inner level, your religion is One Religion. Each religion is an aspect of the Divine. Just as clear light filters through a prism, changing, twisting to fit the demands of time and place; the colors of the prism are beautiful and varied; yet on inner level the light is without color.
The Inner Teaching is that the great religions are One springing from the same Higher Source. Mankind has forgotten to sip of this ancient river, and through the Light experience God’s Love and Mercy.
The original teachers, who brought the great religions, came here to instruct travelers about the ultimate nature of reality and offer a ladder to climb higher. At the time of each revelation, and for that specific culture, this was intended to be the Way; often with the injunction, spread the news. In time the followers who wished to offer these wonderful teachings to a wider audience; created a structure or religion to do this.
Over time, and through the influence of specific travelers, some with personal motive, individual teachings were stressed, omitted or even changed; in some systems: what currently exists regarding specific teachings, is only a manipulative form. At a specific time and place, teachings were offered to a social community; hence, teachings take into account cultural difference and frame of reference. Not all teachings automatically fit all travelers. That is why teachings are updated. Teachings are kept vibrant by living teachers, and are specific to their present audience.
For many travelers, the great religions provide a structure from which spiritual learning grows. Through a specific presentation, the traveler is taught about their soul and spirit and how to become a better person. This learning provides a basis for life and a starting point for deeper study. However, many travelers cannot see beyond their own individual learning structure, and are slow to accept, other structures work for other travelers.
A point not stressed or intentionally omitted: is that there is an internal and external reality to religious form. Externally a teaching is subject to individuality with limitations of time, place and even decay; yet, internally the spiritual reality is vibrant and One with the Absolute. Across time and space the great religions are transcendent.
Often the emphasis has been on external difference and some religions have not stressed deep, inner worship. In our western culture, that is the reason for the ground swell in exotic and experiential paths. Here, in our culture, there is a hunger for inner experience.
Since the beginning, religious difference has been used as a way to exert one group’s will against another. Usually, this is a manipulation, dressed in religious clothing to achieve power and property. All the great religions are Holy. Does not the Father love all his children and provide a way for each?
Religion and Spiritual Learning
Through spiritual learning, turn back to the religion of your youth; become a better Christian, Jew or Moslem. Through your renewed Faith, seek the inner core of religious experience and do not be satisfied with external teaching of others. Find your own inner Truth. Become a spiritual traveler. Each of the great religions provides a structure or framework from which to begin the inner journey of exploration of self and higher knowledge.
If for some reason, your journey is restricted by the religion of your birth, seek Truth and higher consciousness through another spiritual path. Pray and ask for a Way to open to you. Seek a guide or teacher who will show you- your own inner potential and teach awareness of your growing spirituality. Find a teacher who is aligned with Truth, and within their specific framework, offers the tools to uncover personal excellence and so helping you to proceed joyfully- as a child of the universe.
In our culture, religion is a structure through which many begin spiritual learning. As the traveler advances, this learning takes place more and more on an inner level; which may or may not be within traditional religious form. Personal, spiritual experience is the natural extension of religious inquiry; the great religions are grand highways for travelers to learn about self and their relationship with Truth. Often, after extended training, spiritual learning goes beyond this simpler worldly form.
The followers of a great teacher or Prophet, in order to help spread their teaching, created an organized system to do this. Many times, after the Prophet’s death, individual teachings were added to help travelers proceed. At the time of revelation, the Prophet presented the current system to perceive and align with Truth. Over time, all spiritual teachings, on a worldly level have a tendency to loose their vibrancy; like other terrestrial forms they are subject to decay.
Another tendency of the earth phase is repetition; repetition is a helpful tool in early forms of learning. To reach large numbers, organized religious teaching makes good use of this technique; however, repetition has a tendency to result in hardening of ideas and concepts. Many times, this hardening or fossilization, slowly, replaces the living or vibrant element. In recent years, this lack of vibrancy in specific systems has caused some to turn away from organized religion and seek their spiritual experience elsewhere.
While it is possible to gain advanced spiritual training and experience within the context of organized religion, often, this form of learning is not emphasized or generally understood to be available. Due to this lack of emphasis, travelers seek deep, inner experience in systems where this is offered; many eastern systems provide this aspect.
To make clear how deep spiritual training works, let us use the example of becoming a carpenter. When the apprentice carpenter is first learning their trade, often, they are given the most basic of tasks; often, tasks are repetitious, and through simple actions learn to recognize different types of wood and how to make them useful. After a period, working on a variety of wood projects and interacting with other trades people, this apprentice acquires skill necessary to become a journeyman carpenter; graduates and is independently free to apply skill working on a variety of projects.
As years pass, the carpenter seeks to increase learning about woods; studying how trees grow and the effect environmental conditions have upon grade, elasticity and durability. In time, he becomes adept at knowing how wood weathers, and if it will last, just by its feel and smell.
As he reaches later years, the carpenter continues learning and works on projects both in the country and city. In his region, he has worked with wood, in every conceivable fashion. Compared to the basic, repetitious education of the young apprentice, long ago our carpenter became a Master.
Thoughts to Ponder
•Consider the possibility that much of what you have been taught about religion is not accurate. Consider that perhaps, travelers have been taught half-truths, by those in power, so they can be more easily manipulated. Further, that some of your most cherished religious beliefs may be misrepresentations, supporting a fear and reward indoctrination system, set-up to control very specific social behaviors. No. This couldn’t possibly be true? Or could it?
•In our physical realm, religious form provides a basis and structure from which to continue the spiritual journey. Travelers must learn and understand that there is both an internal and external dimension to form. The external or worldly aspect is tied to factors like time, place and sociology. Whereas, the internal reality and aspect of personal experience is timeless and transcendent, providing a deeper understanding of the form and leading us on to the next place.
Quotes to Consider
•Secret Meaning of Reincarnation Theory
‘The Soul passes, from the Deity, into the gross material world. It then has to return to the Godhead by successively passing through six phases: Angels, Demons, Men, Quadrupeds, Birds, and Reptiles.”
According to Shah, this statement found in traditional teachings, has been assumed by literalists and those without insight, to mean that members of the human race may ‘inhabit’ the literal physical body of one of the above named creatures. The teaching, however, is in fact saying: The human being has six soul states. Each one is symbolized by one of these creatures. (Although given in descending order, the Soul may proceed from any of these states to perfection) .*
• “The most excellent Jihad is that for conquest of self.”**
* Idries Shah, The Commanding Self, The Octagon Press: London, 1994, p. 289.
** Some Wise Sayings of Holy Prophet Muhammad, webpage, accessed 5/14/08,
Location: Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Author's Profile: To learn more about Stewart Bitkoff - Click HERE
Other Articles: Stewart Bitkoff has posted 32 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Stewart Bitkoff... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).