With the questions raised by the Ancient Aliens television series I’m wondering whether our religions are simply wrong and our beliefs based on false assumptions.

Buddha meditating under the Bodhi Tree. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

I have long held that there is a connection between religion and spirituality, although I consider myself “spiritual but not religious.” I have felt that during meditation I become attuned to a greater intelligence, get in touch with something larger than myself.

I have also felt that folks who engage in religious practices may be getting in touch with the same intelligence through prayer and ritual that I connect with through meditation. In truth, I’ve felt that everyone with any kind of belief whatsoever is heading toward the source, even those who believe anything remotely religious is a bunch of hooey.

Let’s say the hooey wins and we are left here adrift with our problems and nothing more. No spiritual sheltering from the storm, no eternal life (I was counting on the eternal life part), no loving God. Nothing but our engineering, mathematical calculations, psychotherapy (we’ll likely need a lot of that), and far more nuclear weapons than we know what to do with. And we’ll still have the aliens who keep returning to earth to carry out abductions.

What would we have left to believe in? There would still be organic breakfast cereal but cereal falls somewhat short of communing with the All-That-Is.

Having been slapped into a new reality by the Ancient Aliens I’d say let’s go on meditating and praying like we did before. The wise and the highly educated among us may say That’s Crazy, but then Wisdom frequently comes overrated, and often over-degreed.

Saint Teresa of Avila's vision of the dove. Image courtesy of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen via Wikimedia Commons.

What are the benefits of meditation and prayer? Lower blood pressure, improved breathing (more oxygen, also more prana but we can’t expect everyone to believe that, either), increased energy, less tension, less stress, better sleep, improved immune system, lower heart rate (and calmness), improved concentration, less depression and worry, greater creativity, happiness, more open to learning, more confidence, vitality, peacefulness. There is enlightenment, too, but that’s not guaranteed. The others are.

Even if we accept the premise that the gods of all religions are no more real than the Wizard of Oz, we can just as well retain the elements of our different belief systems that work to make our lives better.

Don’t we always tell ourselves that our thoughts create our reality? What now? Let’s just follow the path of meditation and prayer and belief in goodness and see what we create with that.