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Religion as a Quest for Truth

If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” – William Blake

“It seems that nothing exists for modern men beyond what can be seen and touched; or at least, even if they admit theoretically that something more may exist, they immediately declare it not merely unknown but “unknowable”, which absolves them from having to think about it.” – René Guénon


Religion is far too personal of a thing to be reduced to a precise academic definition. And yet, this ineffability is exactly what separates religion from everything else in the world. Religion works to externalize the innermost personal feelings of the religious. In a way, it represents an attempt to codify all things that one does not understand, that one does not know, and that one can never find out. Thus, religious belief and practice is a quest for truth that somewhat paradoxically supposes that an objective, ultimate truth exists, but that such truth is beyond human understanding, and thus, is obscured by human limitations. In this sense religion deals not only with a search for truth, but also has an understanding that such truth will never be satisfactorily revealed in the mundane world. If the truth is revealed, according to religious tradition, it will manifest in either a revelationary act that brings about the end of human misunderstanding, or it will manifest in a personal revelation that takes the human beyond the mundane world. In any case, religion supposes that man in and of himself is not fit to understand all things, and this is where religion can help him. It reveals truth beyond the scope of the human intellect, it reveals what cannot be expressed in language, and it reveals those things within every man that he cannot externalize otherwise.

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