In the past I have questioned the advisability of going backward in time in an attempt to recreate a past period when life was better and the world simpler. The concept of an idyllic past is very popular especially in many religious circles. My contention has been that going backward is never true progress.
In another sense, though, I find myself going backward and considering the possibility that it does involve progress. The backward direction I am inclined to take in this regard involves backing up to reconsider all the many assumptions that tend to rule my thoughts and become reflected in my attitudes and behaviors. This would, of course, include my assumptions relative to my religious or spiritual beliefs.
What have I inherited religiously and blindly accepted as true? What is the proper starting point for approaching the subject of God and spirituality? What are the axioms and safe assumptions upon which to build my belief system and thereby govern my life?
The institutional church has been the dispenser of those assumptions historically. Rarely are those assumptions challenged and re-evaluated by the religiously minded among us. Only the skeptics seem inclined to ask the real basic questions and then only to endure the derision of the church.
Is progress possible in spiritual understanding if we never re-visit what we hold as sacred truth and test it again? Is the evidence conclusive or just circumstantial? What is the opposing evidence? Do the conclusions drawn from the assumptions remain true and valid? These are all vital questions which demand every seeker’s honest appraisal.