Well, already there's a seeming contradiction in this blog post -- the title. Because if a religion truly reflected reality, it'd be part of the scientific world view, not religiosity.
So what I mean by "religion" is something more like a philosophy, poetic vision, or statement of what life is about. A meaning-dimension that adds depth to the everyday here and now while remaining consistent with the consensual truths about the cosmos known to science.
Traditional religions come up way short in this regard, along with most non-traditional faiths.
Consider some of the facts (open to alteration, of course) that a reality-based religion would have to mesh its teachings with:
-- Our universe is some fourteen billion years old, having gotten its beginning in a "big bang" that produced a still-happening (and accelerating) expansion of time and space.
-- Over the history of the universe, originally formless matter and energy have congealed into increasingly complex conglomerations that bear no imprint of having been formed by anything but the laws of nature.
-- Those laws led to life arising on Earth about 3.7 billion years ago. Evolutionary principles such as natural selection guided the appearance (and disappearance) of species. Now Homo sapiens is capable of pondering how and why we're here.
There doesn't seem to be room for a personal creator God in this realistic view of reality. Thus it's difficult, though not impossible, to be a scientifically-minded Christian, Jew, or Muslim (to do this, you have to embrace a non-fundamentalist conception of your religion).
Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism fit better with modern science, but by no means completely. Reincarnation or rebirth, for example, are tough to reconcile with the extremely limited (some would say nonexistent) evidence that human consciousness survives death in some fashion.
I didn't like the singer or the music much, but her churchless lyrics are appealing. Sample (with some misspellings corrected):
Don't need no Hare Krishna Hare Krishna,
Hail Mary, Hail Mary god.
Got no yen for zen, Bhagavad-Gita or Gurdjieff.
No Mormon, Methodist, Seventh Day Adventist god,
no absolutes beyond refute,
no reverential preferential Judaic Messianic god.
No Bibles, no Mahayanas, Dalai Lama
instant dharma gods.
Don't need no spiritual suicide or
prefrontal lobotomizing god.
Don't need no stoic sexless
Don't need no neon crucifix,
no jade Buddhas, no Vedas or Upanishads,
no camels or needles or Papal decrees,
no mail-order ikons, Korans or Mandalas,
no Sri Chimnoys, Meha Babas, or Ayatollahs,
no Gautamas, no Manitou, Ouspensky or Marx,
no yin/yang, no tao, no tarot or incense,
no sacred mushrooms
no Tibetan prayer mats
no "Immortal invisible gods only wise".
That said, I still feel there's a place -- even more, a necessity -- for awe and a sense of mystery in my personal world view.
For many people, religion fulfills the same need. Their faith leads them to look beyond the narrow confines of everyday existence toward the limitless horizon of whatever.
However, as a beautiful demolisher of religious fakery says, believing in dogma is like eating invisible food. You think you're getting some sustenance, but it's all empty calories.
I feel the most satiated when I dive into a hearty meal of ultimate awe -- ignoring unsatisfying tid-bits of religious, spiritual, mystical, or philosophical speculation.
The universe is. I am.
Holy freaking fucking amazingly obvious yet also astoundingly mind blowing.
Often it's said that the ultimate question is "Why is there something rather than nothing?" I used to agree. However, now I prefer to dump the question mark plus the first word, and transpose the next two.
There is something rather than nothing.
When I do, or make a honestly-aweful attempt, I'm left with what feels like the closest I can come to reality-based "religion" (using that word as I defined it above).
Science tells us a lot about what the something is that surrounds us, and is us. But neither science, nor religion, nor anything or anyone else can penetrate the mystery of There is... .
Is just is. Always was, always will be. Praise is.
No need to call it "God." Too much garbage associated with that word. I want to keep my awe clear and simple. Focused on the mystery of existence, not on what exists within is.
Reality is. Unreality isn't. Nothing more to say (for now).