Most people think about religion as a bunch of rules and beliefs that you buy into. This is not how I view religion. In my view, religions are ancient systems for working with your mind to achieve certain states, such as nirvana or the kingdom of heaven. The rules and the beliefs are the product of different cultures trying to work out how to do this. In most cases religions were founded by individuals who successfully achieved these states. This is the important part! Without this part the other parts are just an empty system.