Where do we start?
I would be both arrogant and foolish to start, or end, with myself. I am the one with the questions and problems. I am the one in need of transformation. I am the seeker, not the source. I must turn away from my self-sufficiency, pride, fantasies, and predispositions. I am looking for an explanation of eternity, a reason for reality. Out there I must start.
Surely an infinite good person has been able to break through human selfishness and connect with others who have come and gone before us. Surely there is a record in history of success stories of positive transformation. Surely those people cooperated to publicize the channel of communication with Divinity. And because no other field of study focuses on deity, I need to start with religion.
Immediately upon arriving at that conclusion—religion—many readers will have an automatic fear response. I understand. I went through it myself. That is why I left. So please understand that when I say we must start with religion I am not saying that we should end with religion.
Commonly, religion is the human, external organizing of people to learn, practice, and distribute whatever truth flows through the channel from Infinity. My goal is to find and buy a working cell phone. An ignorant, even hypocritical, salesperson may waste my time, but my objective remains unchanged and the cell phone remains untouched. It works, or not, whether or not the salesperson is a "true believer." I am taking the cell phone home. I am not moving in with the salesperson.
Also, part of our goal is verifying the infinite goodness and effectiveness of Deity. His/her track record will be found in the spiritual history of humanity. That will leave a mark on religion, even on those that rejected it. Therefore, let us now make a brief survey of religion to see what is out there that may or may not be of help.
In your words:
What has been your experience with religion? What is the difference between good and bad religion? What are some advantages, disadvantages, limitations of religion?