Religions have basically been borne out of individuals telling tales of what they experienced in their time completely secluded from society. For millennia now, men and women of renown have shared with others what they learned in solitude, and rather than spend time in solitude themselves to find God for themselves, they have submitted themselves to the report of the others. So, instead of knowing God for themselves, they simply believe what someone else claimed to be true of God, essentially making the storyteller their God.
Truthfully, these men and women of renown were all left alone, and returned to tell the masses that they had met God. There was no empirical evidence to substantiate the claim, but because the people were afraid to go within, through solitude, themselves, they couldn’t deny the power they witnessed in the men and women of renown. So, their religious beliefs were an offspring of someone else’s self-mastery. The people don’t actually believe in God; the people believe in the legends about God.
While Judaism is a religion, based primarily on the testimony of Moshe from his time ALONE upon Mt. Horeb, Israel actually means “victorious with Ēl”, Ēl actually meaning power. Ya’akov wrestled with himself to find his power.
Christianity is a belief system founded on the doctrines invented by the Council of Nicaea in 325 C.E., however Christ, meaning “smeared with oil” is actually a consciousness. That consciousness is achieved, again, in solitude, as Jesus was, also finding his power through confrontation with himself in the wilderness.
Muslims are adherents to the testimony of Muhammad, but Islam actually means “peace”. I become peace as I fully embrace myself. Peace is the wholeness achieved in self-love, and true self-love emanates outward to our neighbor and every living thing.
As we do the work of self-mastery, which requires engaging the shadow self in darkness, we become one with ourselves. It is here where we find perfect love: the perfect love that casts out all fear.