Any spiritual teaching has a “seed” in it; a main point; the “objective,” of it.
In Christianity for instance, it was about brotherhood.
This link is a good site to “teachings in the Bible in a nutshell.” (http://www.turnbacktogod.com/bible-teachings-in-a-nutshell/
You may notice 2 recurrent “teachings.”
1) Do unto others as you would have them do to you
2) Love thy neighbor as thyself.
That is it. All the other teachings are basically driven by those two.
Therefore, whatever else we do such as praying, confessions, penances, rituals, donations, etc.etc. should be meant to accomplish in a practical way, those 2 main teachings. Evidently, that has been a “work in progress” interrupted by wars, slavery, racial discrimination, and other “items:” while on the other hand, the spirituality of those teachings have been placed into an “organization,” into a “religious corporation,” where a hierarchy exists, where a set of rituals must be performed by the members and “loyalty” to that organization is measured by “how much you are willing to give your life for the benefit of it, for its continuous existence.”
If you do that, you will be recognized as a “true believer,” a “saint,” or some other “nice” label. However, whether that behavior have taken you to the main teachings in a practical way, is not known.
Note that the “knowing the true God, or the truth” has been the item of discussion and quarrels among different ideologies in time; however, the importance of a religion or philosophy or any “ism” has been conveniently forgotten and that is to put those teachings in their practical form.
Ananda Smith who is a “humble” maintenance guy at the nearby college; may have imbibed those teachings practically in his place of work and in his home. Perhaps he even goes to an “official religious reunion” on Sundays; but definitely; he has achieved in his life those teachings even though he may not show up in the “religious organization jet set” or be “remembered” as a “great soul.”
See the point? 🙂
The “purity” of a spiritual teaching could be and will be changed as time goes by. That is the issue. That purity does not depend on interpretations of those teachings according to time but on not being able to focus on the “seed” of the main teachings.
Then “dogmas” will be in place, because there is a need to define boundaries for people to behave so they can be counted as loyal followers. The paradox being that a “dogma” is not flexible as spiritual wisdom is meant to be; but yet a dogma is encouraged to be followed rather than the “spirit” of the spiritual teachings itself.
Note that in the above main teachings, there is no “HOW; “ the “how to do it?” question. It is just an open verbalized teaching that is left for the ones listening to put it into practice.
The “how to” is usually added by a religious organization.
All religious organizations follow pretty much the same pattern.
If we were to ask the same question in Brahma Kumaris, we will find that the main teachings are:
1) Become soul conscious
2) Imbibe divine virtues
That is it!
Soul consciousness brings everything. The “be a good boy, do well” all of that is included without being compelled by commandments and reciting books. Soul consciousness is a natural state of being which brings a natural balanced behavior once we have experienced it on a regular basis.
Imbibing Divine virtues, basically means to “emerge” Golden and Silver ages sanskaras, which only a Brahmin soul will have.
If we feel that “Divine virtues” are related with the clothes we wear or the hair style we have or the ring we wear, those items are irrelevant; however, necessary for the “organizational standards.”
It is not good to be a “rebel.” Because that means to “oppose.” If we oppose we are dealing with Egos.
It is more convenient in the long run, to be open and accepting of what is there; however, to fully understand what is going on.
Therefore, someone who has realized this; will act “tactfully;” that means to interact with respect but independence. At the same time, that person will know “the aim and objective,” clearly in his life and keep his path heading towards that light.