This is how I responded to a person talking about the importance of a "personal search" for the Divine as opposed to believing in the strict confines of "religion", on a forum in a thread about spirituality and religion. Some might benefit by it.
People who worship humans hide that worship from themselves as well.
Usually, they cloak it in pseudo-philosophical terminology to justify it.
If one doesn't worship a god or gods, one substitutes tangible things or humans in its place. Some indulge in self-worship, others worship another man or woman or idea; it's always there and the individual rushes to defend it.
I appreciate the apparently genuine attempts to "free" me from my "bondage" to a "religion" but it's always been hilarious to me.
Everyone has a personal search but because people are fatefully lazy, they'll create cognitive shortcuts and rely on pattern recognition to label and compartmentalize ideas and people.
Thus because the bible has contradictions all religion is false.
I KHANSTANTLY question my religion. EVERY SINGLE DAY. Anyone who advances spiritually does so because humans were endowed with intelligence and free will so we don't want to be "had" at another's expense, following difficult orders and suffering the loss of sensory pleasures advocated by the irreligious/unspiritual.
However, EVERY TIME, my questions have been answered simply, holistically and beautifully. As I understand Islam and can prove with scriptural evidence, I'm supposed to question and contemplate existence.
For instance, polygamy. Most westerners will point to this as an unfair and oppressive practice but Islam allows it with many pre-conditions. In addition it's known that arabs had tens and sometimes hundreds of wives and harems so, in that sense, it wasn't an allowance but rather a RESTRICTION, to 4 MAX. Then if you can't treat them all FAIRLY, equitably, and justly, YOU'RE NOT ALLOWED to have more than one. If you can't provide for all of them, you're not allowed.
But people will question the existence of such an institution, like WHY?
And why are men allowed but not women?
History and biology answers these clearly. Consider the difference in temperament. Is it logical to assume 4 men could live harmoniously with one woman? Pre-20th century how do you determine the father?
2ndly, wars usually deplete the male population far more than women and children. What do the widow mothers do? Ruin the lives of happily married couples by seducing the men? Will those men who have trysts with those widows take care of the widows children? the children they end up having?
Adorable attempts to create a conflict between a personal search for the Divine and a religion are diaphanous in their hollow emptiness. That's not to say a personal search should always result in adopting a religious tradition, but that such a result is neither rare, nor wrong, nor antithetical to the search.
And personally, I have a KHANSTANT reinforcement of Divine Signs which fortifies my faith from all attacks.
much more detail on some of these signs is here:
1907 - Prophecy is fulfilled; Alexander Dowie after having 10's of THOUSANDS of followers is abandoned by ALL including his own family after becoming paralyzed on stage in NYC after he entered into the Prayer Duel with the Messiah, Ahmad (as)
1905 - another prophecy fulfilled when a terrible plague overtakes Afghanistan after 2 new followers of the Messiah are heinously stoned to death for apostasy. the followers of the messiah are saved. afghanistan is predicted to see only violence and bloodshed for a long time.
1904 - a plague occurs in India as prophecized by the Messiah. his followers are saved, even one who is inflicted after the sickness advances to a terminal stage.
1897 - as per very specific prophecy to the day Pundit Lekh Rahm is fatally stabbed. His house was surrounded by armed guards and police because of the prophecy yet no one saw the assailant enter or leave the house
more here about other subjects as well:
1917 - the prophecy about the end of the Czar made in 1905 is fulfilled when the Judeo-Bolsheviks slaughter his family in the "Russian Revolution"
1988 - the 4th Khalifa after the Messiah tells Pakistani president Zia Ul Haq to stop persecution of ahmadis in pakistan. He repeatedly tells him that a punishment is waiting for him. Despite this Zia continues persecution even trying to pass a law that ahmadis have to wear a collar.
August 13, 1988 - The Khalifa tells him that his time is up and God will pulverize him and his body will leave no remains.
August 18, 1988 - Zia ul Haq's plane explodes in midair, with CIA ABOARD. to this day no investigation has resulted in any clarity about what happened. All they found was a fake tooth of his, which is now buried in "his" grave.
http://www.alislam.org/alhilal/H2003-2.pdf (look for zia ul haq)
October 7th 2005 - 8 ahmadis are gunned down in a small town in pakistan and many more are injured during [b]FAJR PRAYER on the 2nd day of RAMADAN.[/b]
October 8th 2005 - The VERY NEXT day, A GIANT earthquake overtakes Pakistan, followed by aftershocks AND HAILSTORMS, killing over 80,000 people. No one from our community (ahmadi) dies in the attack. No ahmadi home collapses; in many instances non-ahmadi homes collapse all around a standing ahmadi home.
These are ALL FACTS and REAL EVENTS.
I see them as signs of God. The only response of "intelligent" humans is, "well, why would God kill innocent people"
all humans will die. If a painter makes a masterpiece doesn't he have the right to destroy it?
Should I abandon this blatant Truth from Allah in favor of ignorant and arrogant man's unintelligent maxims about being "free" from the "chains" of "organized religion" and "thinking for yourself"
Please. That's clownishry.
You're welcome to khandescend to those "sheep" and "religious nutjobs" who don't "question their beliefs."
But most of them probably laugh right back. I know I do.
Sometimes a toss in a prayer.