I’m not the least bit ignorant, Yvonne. I know what Islam teaches. And in your counter-argument, you verified beautifully exactly what I pointed out…submission is the path to achieve Islam’s version of religious success. It doesn’t matter that they tack on promises that say submission will get you to Oneness. It’s still submission, and it’s a very effective way of controlling the spiritually immature.
Christianity does the same thing using guilt. All sorts of promises are made to you if you will just purge yourself of guilt, the result being that you end up focusing on your imaginary guilt – all of which is defined by men. Some people go so far as to flog themselves or continuously punish themselves instead of focusing on the joyousness and freedom of becoming who you really are – warts and all! You are a unique individual for a reason.
Buddhism does the same thing by telling you to get rid of the ego. Shame on you for having an ego! The problem is that the real ego is that part of you that is always aware and scanning the environment for threats that may require you to fight or run like hell to save your life. The legacy of Freud is a serious misunderstanding of the ego.
You need the ego as a protective function! However, as you develop your consciousness, you become more and more present. The more present you are, the less need there will be for your ‘ego’ to be watching. Instead, you will be watching and supremely aware! As you become being totally present, the ego fades naturally to the background. You take over the job of watching for attacks and threats – and you calmly and skillfully shift these energies. You can only be totally present if you are silent, aware, and maintain absolute clarity. Telling people they have to drop their ego is not only a disservice, it’s a serious distraction from the work of becoming highly conscious. Ego is absolutely necessary until full spiritual development takes over, at which point the ego is subsumed into an awakened consciousness.
All religions are frameworks for the spiritually immature. This is not to say they are bad. They are useful for helping us hold a set of beliefs until we can plumb their depths and go beyond the dogma. Religions often mean well, but their teachings tend to be shallow and must eventually be understood at a much deeper level than most religions care to go. They don’t want to go any deeper because it undermines their control. Those people who go beyond the common framework enter the world of the esoteric teachings. This is a territory where only a few people really venture because it takes you beyond the world of the easy, the shallow, the group-think platitudes that most people settle for.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. You will rarely get to Oneness and the experience of the Godhead by doing what the religions, or even the New Age teachings tell you. You will only get there by having the courage to be yourself, follow your heart, and let the path that interests you take you into the unknown where you will risk being torn apart at almost every level of your being. However, you will come back together and will emerge as someone who knows the Self and needs no other framework.