Buddhism and perhaps the Hindu traditions are the closest organized religion that kept the Ancient Wisdom philosophy. The Ancient Wisdom says; everything is part of something greater and all is part of an infinite, transcendent, unimaginable “thing” we call "God". The last millennium had brought us a lot of wonderful scientific research, but it also brought scientific materialism and the negation of every single aspect of transcendental elements in the mankind: physical, mental and spiritual. They claim: Our mind is but the lump sum of biochemical processes in the body. there is nothing beyond, all things not quantifiable are hocus pocus
In reality, we are spheres of elements that are interconnected. Touching one affects the whole. This thinking takes us into what is called mysticism. From the 'geek' word mystos:mist, fog. We each accost the individual research process in our own bodies. As the Kalama Sutta states "don't believe me because I say so; apply it and see for yourself."
Buddha’s last sermon was in the place called Kalama. In this sutta, Gautama Buddha passes through the village of Kesaputta and is greeted by the people who live there: the Kalamas. The Kalamas greet the Buddha and ask for advice. According to the Kalamas, many wandering holy men and ascetics pass through the village, expounding their teachings and criticizing others'. The Kalamas ask the Buddha whose teachings they should follow. In response, he delivered a sutta that serves as an entry-point to Buddhist tenets for those unconvinced by revelatory experiences. The Buddha advised: • “Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing, • nor upon tradition, • nor upon rumor , • nor upon what is in a scripture, • nor upon surmise, • nor upon an axiom, • nor upon specious reasoning, • nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over, • nor upon another's seeming ability, • nor upon the consideration, "The monk is our teacher."
Most religious people approach the higher realm without the necessary personal empirical experimentation needed to coalesce/understand/apprehend/realize that which they are speculating upon. They listen to some radio guy or TV evangelist or neighborhood preacher. The church and the community are nothing more than a veritable “round table” of great speculations over subjects about which they know little. They are akin to virgin teenagers speculating about sex. One may have had ONE experience and he is telling the others how it was, then the others using great imagination try to relate and understand but of course they will be unable unless they reach that experience. They all look at him as and expert and ready to follow him to great conquests…(like they followed Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin etc)
These “round tables” are good and necessary because they create the intellectual disposition and curiosity to tread the path. BUT, they have to be discarded, once one starts the path.
This is precisely the difference between DEEP, personal experience and superficial learnedness and blind belief. Faith should be reserved for personal life, and even at that should never be blind.