Psychiatric disorders and mental health problems are skyrocketing in the United States. Mental illness alone costs $195 billion yearly in lost earnings, opioid misuse $80 billion – and that’s not counting heroin, alcohol and legal drugs. According to DrugWarFacts.org, over 27 million Americans aged 12 or older, were illicit drug users. Seven out of 10 Americans are on prescription drugs, according to the Mayo Clinic, 2013. One in four Americans lives with a mental illness, according to Mental Health USA. The numbers are catastrophic and speak to the dramatic human need for anesthetics to sooth suffering and lack of inner peace.
It is self-evident that the massive cultural changes we have been subjugated to since the 1960s have produced unwanted results. The fragmented, divisive, divorce, drug and atheist society liberal, left-wing elites continue to hail as an ideal does not exactly bring inner peace to its population. We live in a time of dramatic upheaval, where something has gone seriously wrong.
The reasons for the explosion of mental issues could be many, but why is the traditional method for finding inner peace and equilibrium still so scorned? Why are the metaphysical truths of faith and its philosophy not more thoroughly acknowledged? The problem is obviously of massive scale. Faith could possibly help some, or many; its spiritual methods have the potential to bring soothing to many souls in mental agony.
For 2,000 years in the West, religiously aware people have reflected on the meaning of life and how man’s existence is inextricably tied to the light of God as the Creator. The Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard argued that man must be in connection with this eternal light to overcome the darkness in this world.
One of the early church fathers, St. Augustine, famously said that without love, even knowledge inflates: It exalts man to a self-indulgent arrogance, which only leads to emptiness. The point is that God’s light helps us to be just, honest, have mercy, show kindness and love the Creator, in gratitude for the gift of life. As Jewish tradition teaches, man is placed on earth to help God make this a better place. He is to work diligently to the betterment of human kind. In this he will find peace and the very meaning of life.
Today’s society idealizes the breaking away from traditional, religious values, which are openly demonized and belittled. Yet, atheism does not have the answers to how to sooth the heart, only comfort the body. Man is more than a body, and the world is more than material wealth and the observable by the naked eye. There are other dimensions that affect us. The Latin word “religio” signifies “consider carefully.” The aim was to take the time to rethink perceptions of reality and the source for wisdom. The main focus of religion should be, as Socrates argued, that “an unexamined life is no life for a human being to live.” He believed that each man has access to the truths of life, as they are deep within himself.
The soul and the mind are chambers of hidden treasures. It is through the soul that we connect to the Creator. Disconnected from the father, the son suffers. According to traditional religion, man needs to open these inner rooms and bring forth the treasures that may help him achieve balance, virtues and diminish the suffering in life. In this quest, God is his source of strength to overcome evil.
One of the main reasons why people leave traditional religion is the degree of lawlessness and self-indulgence among religious believers, to cite Jesus when he defines a hypocrite. There were no people he was more angry with than religious hypocrites, and the feeling was mutual. They hated him to the point of making sure he was killed. False religion has always been the worst enemy of genuine spirituality. It is not about what you say, but what you do.
The true meaning of spirituality is often the very opposite of “technical religious beliefs.” As summed up by Mahatma Gandhi: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ,” and “If Christians would really live according to the teachings of Christ, as found in the Bible, all of India would be Christian today.”
St Augustine refers to the need for “true religion” as opposed to “false religion” – the former leads men to loving others and diligently working for the betterment of the fellowship of mankind. In this, many may find joy of life and a deep sense of fulfillment.