What we call traditional religion is part fantasy, part social and part atavistic fetish. Most of us do not go to church on a weekly basis. Real religion is virtually invisible to its participants. The most pervasive real religion is STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. Its adherents place their faith in progress and the churches they attend daily are corporations and institutions like Apple, the AMA and Amazon. This faith promises novelty and ease in the short term and physical immortality in the long term. Neo-Darwinism tells the faithful that the corporations and institutions they bow to have earned their dominant place in the cosmos. Its participants expect we are on our way to heaven on earth if only the non-believers, the infidel, will allow large scale social, medical and ecological engineering to proceed without resistance.
The mind, so useful as a servant, has become master in this rootless religion of mental, egoic me-ism. The concurrent rise in unhappiness, incivility and poverty is seen as a need for more STEM, never as the result of this upside-down elevation of the mind.
This current, invisible religion is a sophistication and culmination of those preceding it. Rather than sidelining and minimizing mysticism, it completely ignores it. Full faith is placed in the physical; if it can’t be seen, touched or tasted, if an experience cannot be replicated, it does not exist. However pervasive, however fervently believed in, how can this utter madness not become the world’s shortest-lived religion?