Ironically, I think the transition from material to spiritual is apparent in the collapse of religion as a global institution. Institutionalized religions like the Christian, Islamic or Jewish faiths, ( and by "institutionalized," I mean saddled with a hierachy of authority that keeps the practitioner removed by degrees from his or her God,) are facing deep crises and, as a result, are becoming more and more desperate and violent to maintain their hold on their politicized sphere of influence and power. Suicide bombers and "army of God" militias pop up as any political entity begins to lose control: just ask the American servicemen who faced the last vestiges of Japanese Imperial power at the end of WWII. The latest scandal that is rocking the Roman Catholic Church is only the latest in a long line of abuses that includes the distinctly secular Sale of Indulgences, Spanish Inquisition and Hundred Years War. It is causing Christians everywhere, and not just Catholics, to question the very foundations of their institutions of belief. Why were the Gnostic Gospels of Mary, Thomas and Peter kept out of the New Testament? Why was it forbidden, even punishable by death at times, to quote or even refer to them? Why did the early church see violence and death as an acceptable tool for the "saving of souls?" At the same time, the peaceful teachings of Muhammed were corrupted to embrace a dogma of violence and death to the "unbeliever." Even Conservative Judaism is looking back to the same warlike and vengeful God of Abraham as justification for a more bellicose political stance. The tragedy is that the philosophers, teachers and spiritual gurus who inspired these "religions" would be the first to condemn the way their words have been corrupted and twisted for political ends. The same voices that condemn this President as a "socialist" are the same who pay lip-service to the teachings of Christ, while conveniently ignoring his "socialist" principles of charity for the poor at the expense of the rich: remember the eye of the camel anyone?
What makes this death rattle of religion all the more fascinating to me is the imminent renaissance of science. Despite the "creationists" and scientific revisionists, science is about to take a peep behind the veil of creation that will, I believe, reveal the true nexus between our physical and spiritual existence. The transitory, chaotic and random nature of our materialistic existence will be revealed by the Hadron Accelerator at CERN. It will look God in the eye and discover, once and for all, that the infinite "oneness" of the alpha-Omega Universe consigns our messy little politicized, materialistic notion of "life" to the irrelevant garbage can of spiritual bankruptcy. What we have struggled, fought, killed over will pale into insignificance beside the revealed truth. Watch out 2012, God is coming and she won't look anything like what you think!
It is appropriate that I post this on Easter Sunday, a day of renewal, reaffirmation, triumph over death and the sacrifice of corporeal substance for the infinitely spiritual.
Remember, my friends: Only Connect!