In their contemporary state of decline, Eastern religions have become destructive and backward-looking forces in the world. Islam has produced fanatical fundamentalists, Hinduism has generated the yoga and ashram industries, and Buddhism has lost vitality and become contaminated with politics. Other Eastern religions are becoming extinct such as the creeds of the Taoist and to some extent, the Confucianist, the Mandaeans, the Tibetan Bons, the Druze, the Zoroastrians and several others.
From its advent, religion has been beset with enemies from within and without, who have tried to destroy its very foundations. This has sometimes been done through outright atheism, but more often through free thought and corruption. In general, spiritual-minded people today no longer have advisors and teachers who possess the ability to counsel them and to train them in the teachings of the prophets and the saints. Unfortunately they do not fine guides capable of leading them in the teachings of their tradition on the high road of morality and ethics that constitute religion's essential character. On the contrary, today we see cases of would-be religious scholars who are not only unscholarly, but are also ignorant and sometimes even corrupt. Indeed, in many places they have prevailed and now prominently occupy seats of religious authority. Sunk in lives of pleasure and good living, they play at the role of guiding, advising and preaching to their community, but in reality they have cast aside the simple lifestyle advocated within their tradition.
Western civilization is the latest stage in the cultural history of humanity. It has risen to oppose reason to revelation, science to superstition, and humanism to a heartless, false spirituality that is often embodied in institutionalized religion. As a result of western civilization, slavery is being abolished everywhere, the rights of women are being recognized, exploitation is being curtailed in every form, national aspirations are being realized and freedom and justice for all is becoming a world standard. This is happening rapidly, everywhere, except in the Middle East, the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent, and parts of Indo-China where adherence to ancient religious law perpetrates the gravest injustices and inhumanity. When Eastern religions are practised in the West, stripped of their accretions that favour castes and class, men over women, and priests and monks over lay people, their spiritual essences shine forth if they are truly concerned about the human condition. Thus, nothing is lost to humanity in this phase of civilization, but it may now be more accessible in the West than the East. In the next phase there will no longer be an East and West but a global civilization that will draw upon the achievements of both hemispheres to unite the forces of humanity for the goals of the new age.