It is interesting to consider how you would live your life if you had no institution (or holy book) telling you what to do. What rules would you invent for yourself? What beliefs would you consider to be dogmatic and “essential”? My core conviction is that every religion is fundamentally missing the point, and the one true Gospel of Apokatastasis is a message of hope that transcends all religious categories. As such, any attempt to invent a new code of conduct and set of beliefs is doomed to failure. Nevertheless, it is an interesting exercise to try and come up with your own ideal religion. Here is my attempt:
The Evangelical Cult of the Epektasis, Eschaton and Apokatastasis
Every religion comes with a set of practices, rules or laws, a set of beliefs, and some sort of hierarchy of authority. Here is my outline of my ideal faith.
The Law and Practice
The following precepts are “opt-in”, which is to say that they are recommendations, not requirements (ie, failure to observe them is not a “sin” deserving of punishment, damnation, and Hell). However the more strictly they are observed, the greater the benefit and reward that will be reaped.
- Monday to Saturday are fasting and penitential days all year round:
- Must eat a diet that consists solely of fruit, vegetables and fish.
- Must only have a single meal and fast for the rest of the day. No snacking permitted. (It is up to your discretion as to when to take the meal. Dinner, breakfast or lunch are all acceptable options. Try to be consistent)
- Must abstain from all recreational drugs. (Medicine is permissible)
- Must abstain from all sexual activity. (Cuddles and kisses are ok)
- You must follow a regimented, disciplined schedule:
- Must wake up at 6am every day and sleep at 10pm every night.
- Must turn off all electronic technology by 9pm every night.
- From 6am-7am, must perform some sort of moderate to high intensity exercise (eg. weights, swimming, running, etc)
- From 7am-8am, must practice some sort of creative or artistic pursuit. (eg, practice an instrument, music software, write poetry, paint or draw a picture)
- From 8am-8:30am, must practice meditation, prayer and contemplation. (Can choose a meditative practice from any of the world’s mystical traditions)
- From 8:30am-9am, must continue practising mindfulness, while also commuting to work or whatever else you have to attend to that day.
- From 8pm-9pm, must spend time reading non-fiction and learning things. Scripture study is also appropriate.
- From 9pm-10pm, may read fiction, or listen to music. Anything chill and recreational that will help you sleep.
- Every Sunday is a feast day:
- You may disregard the Monday to Saturday schedule completely.
- You are required to eat all three standard daily meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- You are permitted to eat anything. No dietary restrictions are in force
- You are not permitted to work on Sunday. (“Work” defined as any action which earns an income from a business or employer)
- You must make use of some sort of “Safe” recreational drug. (Cannabis with whiskey is a good option for just chilling out and relaxing. Psychedelics are a good choice for spiritual growth)
- You should release all the sexual energy you’ve saved up throughout the week
- If you are married, you should schedule some time to make love to your spouse.
- If you are single, you should make love to yourself. Guys should have a good fap and girls should have a good schlick. Pornography is permissible, but make sure that no one in the clip is being exploited. (Kink.com are an “Ethical” studio where everyone is consenting, having fun and being appropriately compensated for example)
- You must engage in missionary activity and evangelism to spread the religion:
- You must convert to every religion simultaneously as far as you are able to (See the doctrines and beliefs for elaboration)
- When evangelising someone, you must strive to truly agree with everything they say, and fully understand their perspective, so as to affirm everything that they affirm. Only once you have done this will you be able to successfully and effectively proclaim the promise of the Gospel. Remember the Dominican maxim: “Never deny, Seldom affirm, Always distinguish”.
- There is a single sacrament, and it is ex opere operato: The preaching of the Gospel Promise.
- If your job contradicts any part of this law, you must either quit the job or fight for religious accommodations in your workplace.
The Doctrines and Beliefs
This religion is a minimalist religion. There are only 5 core beliefs:
- You must believe in the Gospel of Apokatastasis:
- In short, crude and colloquial language, this is basically the belief in the divine promise that there is an infinitely happy ending to the story of life, the universe and everything.
- All people, and all things -including animals, rocks, trees, Satan and Hitler – will ultimately be saved and glorified and experience heavenly bliss for all eternity.
- No one and no thing will ultimately be lost or damned.
- There are many ways of stating this belief, according to the various religious traditions. For example “All things will achieve nirvana”, “All things will achieve Moksha”, “All things will be saved” etc
- You must believe in Antinomianism:
- There is nothing we have to do in order to be saved, achieve nirvana, experience moksha etc etc. We do not have to follow any law, whether it be religious or secular. We don’t have to love, we don’t have to have faith, we don’t have to get baptised etc.
- We are not “required” to love, but we are instead “free” to love. The opportunity to Love is an invitation, an honour, a privilege and a gift; it is not a religious requirement that must be fulfilled in order to be saved.
- Despite the fact that we are not under any law, we must willingly put ourselves under every law. We must become Muslim to the Muslims, Hindu to the Hindus, Christian to the Christians etc.
- You must believe in Pluralism:
- Every religion is 100% true. But every religion is missing the point (which is the Gospel of Apokatastasis. See point 1)
- All contradictions between religions are merely apparent contradictions, which are to be resolved through prayer, dialogue and ecumenism.
- You must believe in the Ordo Salutis:
- The Great Apostasy: All religious institutions have been compromised by Satan and as a result, fail to proclaim the promise of the Gospel clearly and loudly. Despite the fact that nothing they teach is strictly speaking “wrong”, all institutions have been infiltrated by demons and suppress the truth.
- Damnation: To follow any authority other than your soul as God himself is to be enslaved to Satan. If you claim that the church, or the Qu’ran, or the Bible, or the Vedas is the highest authority, you have been captured by the prince of darkness and enslaved to his lies.
- Hell: Failure to believe and affirm these doctrines means that a person is walking in darkness, and experiencing eternal damnation at this very moment.
- Evangelism: Someone who is already enlightened and trusts the Gospel promise has the power to enlighten and save others by the proclamation of the promise. But people who are stuck in the darkness have no power to save themselves or anyone else.
- Salvation: Believing in the Gospel promise just is salvation. To have faith in the Gospel promise is to experience divine joy and be saved. This is not something that someone can “do”; it is instead a gift given from one person to another, when the promise is spoken with power and authority.
- You must believe in the four fundamental axioms of theological metaphysics:
- The Doctrine of Advaita: Your innermost core identity (loosely, “the soul”) is God himself. The same applies for everyone and everything else.
- Divine Simplicity: God has no components. All of God’s attributes and manifestations and emanations are in actual fact in a relationship of perichoresis and interpenetration: I am you and you are me and we are God and God is all of us; God’s love is God’s mercy and God’s mercy is God’s justice, and all of these things are equal to the essence of God.
- Apophaticism: The ultimate truth is that there is no ultimate truth. There is a certain emptiness and nothingness that applies to God and the soul. God is both total fullness and complete emptiness, maximal existence and utter non-existence; God transcends all distinctions.
- Theosis: Salvation consists of realising these truths and fully understanding them with your entire being. The goal of life is to realise your fundamental and essential unity with the emptiness of God.
Every denial is considered to be heresy under this religion. To deny anything is to be wrong: Only affirmations are true. The worst possible heresy is to deny Apokatastasis, Pluralism or Antinomianism. As an example, it is permissible to affirm that the vast majority of humanity (or even everyone) will be damned forever, however it is impermissible to deny that all will be saved. Similarly, it is permissible to affirm that there are mistakes and errors in a religion, but it is impermissible to deny that every religion is 100% true. At face value this might seem contradictory, but part of the joy of doing theology is to resolve such apparent contradictions. This is also the only way to achieve unity and avoid sectarianism.
The Religious Hierarchy
This religion is explicitly anti-institutional.
- The highest authority is God himself, which according to the doctrine of Advaita is the individual soul. As such, a man is subject to no book, cleric or hierarchy: He is master of his own life, and no one can compel him to do anything.
- Nevertheless, due to the doctrine of Pluralism, we recognise every religious and secular hierarchy as being instituted by God, and therefore submit ourselves to all of them simultaneously. We respect the authority of the Catholic Pope, the LDS Prophet, the Ayatollah, the bishops, the sheiks and etc. Insofar as they do not compel us to go against our beliefs, we follow their guidance diligently.
- A believer in the Gospel of Apokatastasis is not permitted to climb the ranks of a religious institution, for to do so would be to become enslaved to said institution. We must always locate ourselves at the bottom of every hierarchy, for the closer you get to the top and the further you move from the bottom, the more you become compromised by the demonic powers.
And there you have it. The ultimate religion. What would your ideal religion look like if you could invent one? Feel free to answer in the comments.