Ambika alerted us about a recent survey that shows the fastest growing ‘religious’ group in America is made up of people with no religion at all.
As reported by CNN, a Pew survey shows that one in five Americans is not affiliated with any religion and the number of these Americans has grown by 25% just in the past five years. The survey also found that the ranks of the unaffiliated are growing even faster among younger Americans (those between 18 to 29).
That’s now 33 million Americans who have no religious affiliation, with 13 million of those identifying as being either atheist or agnostic. However, 68% of the religiously unaffiliated say they believe in God, while 37% describe themselves as ‘spiritual’ but not ‘religious’.
This significant finding shows that many people no longer ‘believe’ in the dead and stuffy doctrines of olden years but rather seek an alive spiritual connection with existence, a ‘now’ experience for inner fulfillment.
John Green, a senior research adviser at Pew commented, “Part of what is fueling this growth is that a lot of people who were never very religious now feel comfortable saying that they don’t have an affiliation. They feel a lot more comfortable just saying, ‘You know, I am really nothing.’”
The results show an encouraging wake-up sign among younger people in particular. The global trend to ‘find oneself’ in the beckoning Age of Aquarius started with hippies and the Summer of Love, followed by hundreds of thousands of people flocking to India in search for meaning in their lives.
Leaving behind outdated beliefs and disentangle oneself from collective crowd behaviours, is the first step in an individuals’ inner search.
Osho alerts us to religiousness:
Remember, truth is always individual. There is no truth of the collective mind, of the crowd. The crowd has only lies – Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Mohammedanism.
The crowd has only lies.
The truth is always individual.
It is experienced in the very innermost core of your being – where you cannot take anybody with you. You cannot take the person you love, you cannot take your friend with you. You have to go alone, and only in your aloneness is the realization. And because the realization happens in the individual, there is no need of any religion, organized.
Yes, religiousness is needed – unorganized, available to each individual according to his own potential, possibilities.
A real human society, a real civilization will allow every individual to seek and search and find his truth. Gautam Buddha’s truth is of no use to you. My truth is of no use to you. At the most, the man who has realized the truth can give you a certainty that truth is not just a hypothesis; that it is a reality, that it transforms people.”
Osho, The Messiah, Vol. 1, Ch 5
Bhagawati, Osho News