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I asked a friend today, what is the end of your spiritual journey? She said, to continue to transform and ascend until you are a planet or a star. 🧐 I tried hard (and succeeded) in not laughing.
But there are some interesting thoughts connected to this. New religious movements will find different carrots to dangle in front of potential followers, and always there is this trade off where the priests of the new movement will encourage you to think of a potential reward in the future in return for favours in the here and now.
Often these things are made to seem very unbalanced, such as everlasting bliss in heaven in return for a brief baptism and a few short prayers here on Earth. But what causes you to believe that such things are possible, where is the root of this idea in our experience of this world? Often when you examine things in this way, you find it is an idea that has been handed to you by other people.
So my friend, I knew she was into some off-the-beaten-track alternative ideas, involving a rather ditzy American online spiritual teacher, but I didn’t know she was this much of a new-age person... it was funny.