Conventional “God-religion” originates in the state of mind that characterizes the first three stages of life. Thus, conventional “God-religion” is ego-based—and it serves the functional desire of the egoic (or phenomenal) “self” to be protected, nourished, pleasurized, and (ultimately) preserved.
The phenomenal “self”, or egoic (“self”-centered) body-mind-complex, is the source of conventional “God-religion”, as well as all of the other ordinary and extraordinary pursuits of born existence in the first six stages of life. Therefore, it is not Real God but the ego (perhaps gesturing conceptually toward “God”) that is the source and fundamental “subject” of popular (or exoteric) “religion” (as well as higher mysticism). Real Transcendental Spiritual life begins only when the ego (with all of its mind, emotion, desire, and activity) is thoroughly understood and (thereby) transcended. For this reason, only the seventh stage of life directly Serves the process of Most Perfect Real-God-Realization. All other forms of doctrine (or instruction) serve the purposes of the first six stages of life—all of which are founded on the egoic presumption of “self-and-other”. It is the culture of conventional “religion” that promotes conventional ideas about “God”. The principal conventional “God”-idea is that “God” is the “Creator” (or intentional Emanator) of the “worlds” and all beings. Such seems an obvious idea to the bodily ego, trapped in the mechanics of the perceptual mind and the material (or elemental) vision. The ego is identified with embodiment, and the idea of the “Creator-God” is developed to account for this fact, and to provide a conceptual basis (in the form of the idea of the ego as “God-made creature”) for the appeal to “God” to Help the ego in this “world” and in the (yet unknown) afterdeath state.
The difficulty with the “Creator-God” conception is that it identifies “God” with ultimate “causation” and (thus) makes “God” inher-ently responsible for the subsequent “causation” of all “effects”. And, if “God” is responsible for all “effects”, then “God” is clearly a very powerful but also terrible Deity—since conditionally manifested existence tends to work both for and against all “creatures”.
Therefore, in conventional “religious” thinking, the “Creator-God”-idea is commonly coupled with the idea of “God” as “Good” (and, thus, both opposite and opposed to “Evil”). If the “Creator-God” is conceived to be “Good” (or always working to positively “create”, protect, nourish, rightly and pleasurably fulfill, and, ultimately, preserve all of conditional Nature and all “creatures”—insofar as they are rightly aligned to “God”), then the ego is free of the emotional double-bind and the anger and despair that would seem to be justified if “God” is simply the responsible “Creator” of everything (good, bad, or in-between). Therefore, conventional “religious” theology is founded on both the idea of “God” as “Creator” and the idea of “God” as “Good” (or “Good Will”).
However, if “God” is the All-Powerful “Creator” (except for Whose activities not anything has been made), then how did so much obviously negative (or evil) motion and “effect” come into existence? The usual answer is generally organized around one or another mythological story in which powerful creatures (or one powerful creature, such as “Satan”, regarded to personify “Evil”) entered (on the basis of free will) into a pattern of “sin” (or disobedience and conflict in relation to “God”)—which resulted in separation from “God”, and a descent (or fall) into gross (material) bondage, and so forth. Such mythologies are structured in terms of a hierarchical view of conditional Nature, with various planes descending from the “Heaven” of “God”. “Religion” (thus) becomes a “method” of attempting to “return” to “God”.
Exoteric “religion” (or the “God-religion” of the first three stages of life) is generally based on an appeal to belief, social morality, and magically effective prayer or worship. The “return” to “God” is basically conceived in terms of this “world”—and, therefore, exoteric (or terrestrial) “religion” is actually a process in which “God” returns to the ego and to this “world” (rather than vice versa), and it is believed that “God” will eventually reclaim humankind and the total “world” from the forces of “Evil”. Nevertheless, exoteric “religion” is an “outer cult”, intended for grosser egos and for mass consumption (or the culture of the first three stages of life). The most advanced form of conventional “God-religion” is the esoteric (or “inner”) “cult”—which is a mystical society, open only to those chosen for initiation (and, thus, growth, or development, into the fourth and fifth stages of life). Esoteric “God-religion” is a process of cosmic mysticism, or the “method” of “return” to “God” by ascending as mind (or disembodied “soul”)—back through the route of the original fall into matter and “Evil”—until the “Heaven” (or “Eternal Abode”) of “God” is reached again. This esoteric mystical process goes beyond the conventions of exoteric “religion” to develop the psycho-physical mechanics of mystical flight and “return” to “God” via the hierarchical structures of the nervous system (ascending from the plane of “Evil”, or “Satan”, or the “flesh”, at the bodily base of the nervous system, to the plane of “God”, or the plane of “Good”, or the “Heavenly Abode”, at or above the brain, via the “magic carpet” of the life-force in the nervous system).
Thus, the idea of the “Creator-God” leads to the idea that “God” is “Good” (or “Good Will”), which leads to the idea that “creatures” have free will, which then accounts for the appearance of “sin”, suffering, “Evil”, and loss of “God-consciousness”. And conventional “God-religion” then becomes the means (through structures of belief, sacramental worship, mystical prayer, Yogic or shamanistic ascent, and so forth) for the re-exercise of “creaturely” free will in the direction of “God”, “Good”, the triumph over “Evil” and death in this “world”, and the ascent from material form and consciousness to Spiritual, “Heavenly”, or “Godly” form and consciousness.