Brian Hines finds it strange “that religiosity is so often associated with humility, selflessness, and lack of ego. Actually, the religious impulse is highly egotistical.”
How would religious belief be affected if it was known that our sensations of being connected with, of under the care of, a higher power were entirely contained within our own personal mind/brain?
The mystical and spiritual experiences would feel the same. But no longer would we believe that we were contacting a transcendent divinity. We couldn’t claim a special relationship with some supernatural being, because that “higher power” would be us.
An expanded us, to be sure. An us that encompassed normally untapped areas of the mind/brain. An us that wasn’t as split, searching, anxious, uncertain, and self-doubting as we are now.
This would eliminate a lot of unnecessary religious egotism. No one would be a member of a chosen people, or a special beloved of God. We’d all just be human beings, having human experiences, making the best use possible of our human psyches.
I’m grateful we live in a country where it’s still okay wonder and write about such things. And yet, any candidate fo higher office who dared make such a connection between religion and ego would be toast.