This is one of the most significant times in human history to be alive. As humanity awakens – physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, economically, and politically – much is surfacing for self, and global, examination, and transformation.
What, then, is it like for those awakening in America?
What Surveys Indicate
According to a 2008 Pew Forum survey, 65 percent (of Americans) believe that “many religions can lead to eternal life” – including 37 percent of white evangelicals, the group most likely to believe that salvation is theirs alone.
Thirty percent of Americans call themselves “spiritual, not religious,” according to a 2009 NEWSWEEK Poll, up from 24 percent in 2005.
“…Americans are becoming more Hindu: 24 percent… say they believe in reincarnation, according to a 2008 Harris Poll,” reports Lisa Miller in NEWSWEEK, August 24 & 31, 2009, “We Are All Hindus Now.”
A research project conducted by the Barna group between 2007 and 2011 revealed that 59% of young Christians disconnect either permanently, or for an extended period of time, from church life after age 15. Some of the reasons stated by those surveyed:
- (23%) of the 18- to 29-year-olds surveyed said “Christians demonize everything outside of the church”
- “Church is boring” (31%)
- “God seems missing from my experience of church” (20%).
- “Christians are too confident they know all the answers” (35%)
- (23%) said they have “been turned off by the creation-versus-evolution debate”
- (40%) said the church’s “teachings on sexuality and birth control are out of date”
- (29%) said “churches are afraid of the beliefs of other faiths”
- (36%) not being able “to ask my most pressing life questions in church”
- their faith “does not help with depression or other emotional problems” they experience (18%)
In a survey released in 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute nearly one-third of Millennials who left the faith they grew up with cited “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” related to gays and lesbians. “A majority of Americans, 58 percent, also said that religious groups are ‘alienating young adults by being too judgmental on gay and lesbian issues.’ Among Millennials, that percentage jumped to 70.”
According to a May 12, 2015 Pew Research Center article, America’s Changing Religious Landscape, the percentage of American adults who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points since 2007, from 78.4% to 70.6%. The religiously unaffiliated however, has jumped from 16.1% to 22.8%.
This trend continues, as reported by the Pew Research Center, on October 17, 2019, in an update on America’s changing religious landscape, In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace. “In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade. Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up from 17% in 2009.”
The Human Experience
The human experience is one of separation. Separation from God, or creative Source, or oneness, and authentic self, wherein all is known. Each sovereign being on Earth creates, and progresses on, their own unique path; a combination of potentials known, before incarnating, immutable events, with immutable, and variable, outcomes, and free will. Separation has also been described as a “descent” in consciousness. Like an automobile, capable of high performance, traveling at 25 mph.
It is possible to separate to an extreme degree, experience pain, and suffering, and to engage in activities on Earth considered so egregious, and beyond the constructs of ethics, and morality, that humans felt it necessary to create a legal, armed forces, and law enforcement, system, and behavior correction facilities.
There is value, though, in the journey of human experience, apparently known before embarking, and further revealed after completing each lifetime, or there would not be over seven billion incarnated now, new arrivals daily, who are welcomed, and cared for, and those who return for additional human experience. Especially, now, during this time of awakening, and transformation.
Awakening, then, and progressing spiritually, is the gradual, return to connection with this intelligence, improved human functionality, and knowledge of what can be known while in human form. Separation is unnatural; a temporary experience, with a finite life span. It’s difficult to get here, be here, and stay here. The sense of longing, and that there is something not quite right, and something missing, is often felt by many while incarnate. So then, too, is the ever present, often subtle, intuitive guidance of how to proceed.
There have been many examples throughout history of those incarnate who were “ascended” in consciousness, and more fully functioning. There is great satisfaction, and the return of feelings of “wholeness,” “on-purposeness,” and renewed enthusiasm for life, in progressing to this way of being.
As Americans awaken spiritually, experience improved intuitive functionality, increasing moments of expanded awareness, and become of more evolved spiritual understanding, there is naturally less, and less, demand for the previous offerings of theological products, and services.
As with the arrival of most new products, and services, demand for what they replace typically declines. For example, when personal computers arrived, sales of typewriters began to decline, and then plummeted.
Awakening to the awareness that those who choose to incarnate over, and over, to experience many facets of human life, from many perspectives, and shift from one race, role, and gender to another, provides the understanding that this process may require several lifetimes to compete.
Previous existences also explain the autodidact; the “self-taught” or “self-awakened,” person picking back up where they left off, and why “bad things happen to seemingly good people.”
What Has Been
For centuries churches, spiritual communities, and religious organizations have been the repositories of spiritual wisdom. They provide community, theology, moral guidelines, classes, paths to enlightenment, Sunday, and various other services including wedding, and funeral, promises of salvation and, for some, life purpose, jobs, and careers.
While some are altruistic, for the most part these are businesses that provide products, and services (no pun intended) within their level of consciousness, and spiritual understanding, choice to exist, and desire to survive, and must therefore generate the revenue necessary to meet their expenses. Many ask for 10% of congregant’s earnings, and more from those who will give more, and that they volunteer their time, and recruit new members. Some are required to stand next to marketing materials on street corners. Some struggle financially, even with tax exempt status, and many have applied for Paycheck Protection grants.
And some of these organizations have become enormously wealthy, and politically influential, with founders, and administrators, acquiring sprawling campuses, performance spaces, luxury homes and automobiles, and private jets. Some sail the seas on a ship.
It has been the mission of the churches, spiritual communities, and religious organizations to provide guidance, and moral instruction, however many, too, have experienced corruption. There has been the amassing, and misuse, of power, and authority, questionable fund raising activities, such as the selling of religious artifacts, and “dispensations” to assure salvation for self and departed family members, and the selling of the idea that prayer and tithing can eventually make you rich – here or hereafter. Many are encouraged to leave assets to their churches in their wills.
There has been the cloaking of inaccurate, and self-serving, theology within entertainment, and aggressive marketing using fear to assert marketplace exclusivity, with theirs as the “one true faith,” and claims to speak for, and to know, the “will of God,” a “deity” with “human characteristics,” and afterlife “consequences.” There have been religious “Holy” wars.
There are no patent, or trademark, restrictions, and no one undisputed Christian “authorizing agency.” Anyone, therefore, can create a “Christian” denomination, or sect, – with their own scriptural interpretation – and there are estimated now to be over 38,000 in the United States.
In fairness, though, many within these organizations have done the best that they could, within the limitations of separation, to instruct, and guide, populations, with various degrees of literacy, and to provide services to the sick, and needy.
A Methodist church I am familiar with now provides a “traditional” Sunday morning service for those who still wish this, a “community” gathering next, for all to attend, and a “new energy” service after that with the minister playing guitar.
What Will Be
We continue to see extremes of separation. Shootings. Terrorism. Savagery. Demagoguery and, adherence to, ideology. Politicians, lost in their lust for power, and those who fund them, who will do, and say, just about anything to maintain the status quo. Incivility, personal animus, and the ways in which some treat others from the anonymity, and distance, of the Internet. Businesses that continue to put profits ahead of the well being of their workers, customers, and the environment.
Correspondingly, peace on Earth is arriving with those creating peace within themselves.
Like a river flowing faster, bearing increasing gifts of awakening potentials, some are going with the flow, and others are resisting, and attempting to remain in place, and are becoming increasingly uncomfortable.
The darkest part of the night as we see the dawn of a new era of existence.
© 2019 Robert Taub all rights reserved