First we need to proceed with clarity or attempt to get some clarity on subjects most parts of which we know only and mostly through assumptions, imaginations, myths, great traditions and cultures, excellent scriptures imbued with means and methods to deal with various aspects of life , anecdotal references ( sometimes passed on as evidences) of / from great ancestors and all of these going on to create useful concepts, philosophical guidelines and so on are all well ensconced in ' words which are injected with great aura or element of wonder ( or uncertainty) with big rooms for unanswered or unanswerable questions and doubts.
However, none of the above carried through words can replace "REAL EXPERIENCE".
The phrases ' heat of the sun' or ' taste of ice cream' are not the same as experiencing them.
Without actual and real experience everything remains like scenes of a film on screen without stories.
So, sprinkling terms about concepts, philosophies, great histories or myths, ideas, ideals, stories of achievements and all sorts of thoughts, illusions, and imaginations will only lead to more doubts and apprehensions about the intentions of those using those terms.
I always fancy quoting this particular verse of Tirumoolar the great Saint. This verse is titled as ‘Kelvi kettamaidal’ which could be translated roughly in this context as ‘ask all questions and remain silent.”
VERSE NO.126. முப்பதும் ஆறும் படிமுத்தி ஏணியாய்
ஒப்பிலா ஆனந்தத் துள்ளொளி புக்குச்
செப்ப அரிய சிவங்கண்டு தான்தெளிந்து
அப்பரி சாக அமர்ந்திருந் தாரே.
They Walk Into Light of Siva
Ascending thus the steps,
Thirty and six of Freedom's ladder high,
Into the peerless Light of Bliss they walked;
And Siva, the inexplicable, they saw--
Having seen, realized and so stayed.
Voltaire said, “Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is”.
If a word cloud on Religion is rendered in English that would include at least the following:-
Religion; God or Gods or Goddesses; Divinity; Worship; Devotion; Prayers; Religious Scriptures; Sacredness; Sacrifices; Rituals; Traditions; Heaven; Hell; Symbols; Idols; Statues; Reward and Punishment; Virtue and Vice; Sin and Punya [opposite of sin]; Supernatural elements; Social Customs; Cultural activities like Music; Dance; Preaching etc; Great art and architecture; Innumerable literary works; Reverence for Nature and natural elements; Meaning of Life; Origin of Life; Universe; Origin of Universe; Creator; Angels, demons, spirits, wizards and witches; Morality as defined by certain socio religious mores; Superstitions, Beliefs, Faith, Ferventness, Fanaticism etc; Socially sanctioned and approved norms; Sacred places or specifically assigned places of worship; Debates about Origin of life and species; Methods of proper living; Mythologies; Miracles; Mysteries; Magic; Epics; Philosophical concepts; Benevolence; Blessing; Grace; Scholarly discussions; Soul; Spirit; Spirituality; Psychological security; Self –Realization; Social cohesion; Reality; Ultimate Truth; Authority; Sanctity; Priests; Saints; Sages; Holiness; Omni present; Omni potent; Scholarly literature; Occult science; Wise men, Popular stars endorsing religious affiliation; Preaching and Propaganda; Doctrines; Ideologies; Charity; Love; Fear; Humility; Forgiveness; Non violence; Service to humanity; Care and Compassion; Mortality; Immortality; Many more things all ensuring Obsessive Emotional bonding; A Binding Identity so strongly glued that it assigns the very meaning to existence of the individual in a particular society; Sanctifying sex; celebrating Births and Deaths; Justifying Wars and Destruction and Ruins in the name of Religion; Conversions; Rationality; Scrutiny; Science; archeology; ethnography; history; evolutionary psychology; cognitive science; Consciousness; Conscious Awareness; Inner-self; Group Identity; Social bonds; Harmony ; Unknown.
The above list is common factor for almost all religions. This list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive to any particular religion.