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Spiritual Self-Determination

Last weekend when traveling to Germany I found some time to read in the book on Religious Communities in the Canton of Berne. I found some interesting descriptions of today’s esoteric culture or new religious communities, confirming or clearing several observations of mine. In general most people don’t want to commit themselves to an organisation or structure, and the new groups are often also not so organised like the traditional religions – though there are other examples, too.

In the book it says that degree of organisation is not an adequate criterion for people, and often they don’t want any organisation at all, or structures are of a fleeting character. This is a really Aquarian mode of expression – decentralisation and issue-focus is more adequate. Many groups don’t define themselves even as religious, but prefer terms such as spiritual (like I do), philosopicial or esoteric, or even “scientific”.

Last monday I read in the New Zurich Newspaper an interview with Dorothea L├╝ddeckens, professor of the University of Zurich on Comparative Religion, about a meeting on changes in the new religious movements. She said that now 30 to 40 per cent of the Swiss population think that reincarnation is possible – a question denied by orthodox Christians. She pointed out that even many church goers today appreciate the offers of the churches, but are also interested in other spiritual ideas and practices, thus changing the popular Christian religiosity. Esoteric literature has invaded the main stream bookshops or alternative therapy systems the therapy market.

Many people don’t want an all-inclusive system, but take specific offers, like a patient using alternative medicine, a manager going for a time-out into a monastery, parents searching an alternative school for their children… It is a kind of self-determination, where people take what they value and leave away what they don’t. You can compare it with a shop, where you select what you are interested in – you don’t buy the whole shop.

Seeing the sun through the forest is like seeing the truth through a multitude of concepts.

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