It seems that when the ego-explosion happened, people became unable to perceive Spirit all around them ... the entire focus was on survival, and control. The world went from a friendly/connected realm, to a cold, dismal, and even hostile environment ... and mankind needed a new narrative to make sense of it. While feeling insecure, and facing new dangers, they desperately needed something, or some ones, to make it all seem more orderly, more in control. So too, they needed something to explain why they felt separate and incomplete ... much like how young children require "transitional objects" (like security blankets), when they perceive themselves to be separate from their mothers.
And so, man invented religion.
With the loss of awareness of Spirit-force, people saw religion as something distinct, separate from "real life" ... gods were "out there, somewhere" ... far away, remote. Gods required special houses, special days, special rituals (for appeasement) ... and connecting with the gods/God could only be done in those special ways. And, because life was suddenly so dismal and painful, they formed the concept of a life after death, as reward/compensation for all the suffering in this life.
Christianity speaks of a "God-shaped hole" within us ... which we humans try to fill with various things (money, fame, success, drugs, food, busyness) ... but that we won't be satisfied until we find God. And, for a while, religion does seem to fill the void (or, at least it keeps us so busy that we don't have time to think about how we feel ... so too, are feelings considered suspicious within religion ... so, don't think, don't feel, just keep busy ... or as one of Kevin Beck's favorite bumper sticker says, "Jesus is Coming Back - Quick! Look Busy!").
However, as science has developed in the modern era, our understanding of life has expanded, and the panaceas of religion no longer suffice. Ultimately, religion doesn't work either. It only acts as a band-aid ... it doesn't touch the cancer eating away at us. It doesn't affect our sense of separation and incompleteness - it can only offer "eventual compensation" (once we die).
But there IS another way to deal with the separation and incompleteness ... through spiritual growth/development. Religion offers a worldview, a system, and an explanation for life... but it frowns upon spiritual growth (& the questioning of what we believe) -- it instead requires conformity, to the truths it already espouses (& controls).
Spiritual development is about transformation ... to heal our psychological pain, and to transcend our current suffering. How to overcome the sense of separation, how to be free of psychic pain, by reconnecting with Spirit (or to realize that we've never been separate from Spirit). It goes to the heart of the problem, rather than just dealing with symptom-management. Once we begin the inner transformation (a shift in perspective), we discover that we no longer need religion as a form of compensation ... it becomes both unnecessary, and even a hindrance to our transformation.
As Job says, after his experiential encounter with God:
My ears had heard about you.
But now my own eyes have seen you.
When we experience God/Spirit, as God/Spirit IS, then our previous mental concepts of God fall away ...
And may it continue..!
(Next: Other Effects of the Fall...)