There seems to be a gap between what leaders want and what the people want that is supported by false religion and pseudoscience (another form of religion that uses scientific jargon). This gap has existed for a long time, but has been growing since the Age of Enlightenment. During that time, and throughout history, religions began as counter cultural agents in the society created to better the life of the individual by getting him or her to realize they were more than a small group of people struggling to survive.
Religion supplied a bigger picture of humanity and what humanity could be. It recognized that we were all one people. Some of the original concepts in religions even said that loving each other was equal to loving God. They had a great deal of power to shape the memes (social genes) of society to make it more fair and just. Since this was the case, many of them were co-opted to support the culture they stood in opposition to and used by those in power to maintain their positions or gain position for their own small group.
Today we find ourselves inundated with religions that support the status-quo and promote things that their founders just wouldn't have tolerated. In order to bypass these anti-equality, anti-sex, anti-love, and anti-life religions that support the few chosen and curse everyone else, many people today have chosen the path of the mystic; even if that isn't something they realize. Seeking spirituality through Yoga, Tai-Chi, Meditation and other forms goes directly to the spiritual, bypassing the religious and the institutional. This is the path of the mystic.
The problem with this, however, is that many people taking this path are carrying the beliefs rooted in the latest philosophy/religion that has been co-opted to support hierarchy and empire-scientism. They can't even accept that mysticism and enlightenment are possible because they are outside of the narrow scope of modern science and have been demonized throughout history through said institution. This has not always been the case. The original form of science has been around for thousands of years all over the world. Great discoveries have been made throughout human history through science. At the time, however, there was no separation between science and religion. Scientific experiments were carried out and the findings passed on in mythic and religious terms.
Nonetheless, people were still doing science. It was only in the 16th Century, when there was a battle for power between the elite in the church and the elite in academia that science got separated from religion and art. The institution of science was created around that time. As time passed science slowly began to ascend and take the place of religion, and the basis of reality in most western countries became science instead of the will of God as reported by the clergy. The mystics of today, not surprisingly-in the US anyway, are not free of this underlying materialistic fundamentalism because it has been socialized into all of us. The truth is that science cannot explain everything and it was never meant to. We cannot get a full understanding of the universe or life just through science. We need more.
There is a deep misunderstanding about science, in the general population, that is not shared by most real scientists, that results in leaps of faith where people are blindly following the latest scientific understandings, jumping from one to the next and reducing science into a religion. Now there are even a few fundamentalist scientists who won't accept the existence of anything they can't measure. This is both frightening and a shame, mainly because it reduces science to the a belief system similar to the religious system from which it freed itself. I call this new belief scientism.
In order to live fuller lives and understand truth, however, it is necessary to reclaim real science. It is necessary to recombine science, the arts, and religion, because science, in actuality, is for everyone. Everyone doesn't know all of the scientific methodology or jargon. Everyone does not know all of the specifics, but everyone knows how to observe objects in the world, understand them, compare one thing to the other, and notice how changing one element in a person's life can change the person's life completely. If that element is changed in other people's lives and the other people's lives change completely in the same way one knows according to logic and observation, that it is most likely that the change in the element is bringing about a change in the person's life. That, my friends, is science. We don't need a double blind test to learn by doing and observing.
This is not what we have been told, however. Our new religion is pseudoscience. We are told that we cannot reason. We cannot understand the universe until we can find a scientist that agrees with us. In most cases that is not good enough. We have to have research done that only the ultra rich can afford to pay for that will prove the truth. Science has become the religion of the day. In order to break free from of it we must adopt spirituality and mysticism with our understanding of the experience coming from within and from people who have had the experiences before.
Science cannot do this; scientists cannot do this because the philosophy itself stops one from fully entering into the experience. Sometimes it is necessary to leave the scientific reason for things home and learn through experience so one can awaken the larger Self who is well beyond the understanding of science. In other words we must come to the point where we say, "Don't tell me how meditation works, just show me how to do it." When we reach this point those who use false science and religion to push forward political agendas will lose their power over us and we will be free until the next thing is co-opted.