The word ‘religion’ comes from the Latin word ‘religion,’ which means an obligation, bond, or reverence. Religion is the obligation to be yourself, and it is how you bond with your body, mind, and in-turn with society.
Wherever there is an obligation to the self, the survival of the self, there exist to chief levels: The Proper Self and The Extended Self. In the Proper Self are the body, the mind, and the person(spirit, soul) to whom the body and the mind belong. In the Extended Self come, people, events, and things other than the individual related, either directly or indirectly, to his survival as the Proper Self. The family, the community, other living entities and non-living things, the universe, and God; all fall under the Extended Self. The Proper Self and the Extended Self survive in harmony with each other in a symbiotic way. This obligation toward survival of the Proper Self-ad the Extended Self is religion.
The Proper Self, for his survival, to a smaller or greater extent, depends upon the Extended Self. This relationship is meant to be symbiotic, where both the elements contribute and maintain their worthiness. If one of them is contributing, and the other is not, then an imbalance in the feelings of self-worth is formed, which later leads to inter-individual or social problems. This usually happens when someone fails to acknowledge and accept someone else’s existence.’ Acknowledging and accepting things and people as-they-are maintains and enhances the self-worth of an individual and gives birth to a harmonious co-existence of the Proper Self and the Extended Self. The feeling of reverence, which leads to this acknowledgment and acceptance, is religion.