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Religion has an outward aspect and an inward and both are equally essential at least in the beginning. For the vast majority religion is only the outward aspect and they know nothing of its inner significance. Such people are no better than the materialist and may have the potential to cause greater harm.

"It is good to be born in a church, but it is bad to die there. It is good to be born a child, but bad to remain a child. Churches, ceremonies, and symbols are good for children, but when the child grows up, he must burst the church or himself. We must not remain children forever."

Talk given at Unity Hall, Hartford (Connecticut), USA, on March 8, 1895, as reported in "Hartford Times" (March 11, 1895). The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Part-1. Page-325.

AL-GHAZZALI gives a beautiful illustration in Mishkât Al-Anwar given below:-

"In other words, whoever abstracts and isolates the outward from the whole is a Materialist, and whoever abstracts the inward is a Spiritualist, while he who joins the two together is catholic, perfect. For this reason the Prophet said, "The Koran has an outward and an inward, an ending and a beginning. I assert, on the contrary, that 'Moses understood from the command "Put off thy shoes" the Doffing of the Two Worlds, and obeyed the command literally by putting off his two sandals, and spiritually by putting off the Two Worlds. Here you just have this cross-relation between the two, the crossing over from one to the other, from outward word to inward idea. The difference between the true and false positions may be thus illustrated. One man hears the word of the Prophet, "The angels of Allâh enter not a house wherein is a dog or a picture," and yet keeps a dog in the house, because, he says, "The outward sense is not what was meant; but the Prophet only meant, 'Turn the dog of Wrath out of the house of the Heart, because Wrath hinders the knowledge which comes from the Lights Angelical; for anger is the demon of the heart."' While the other first carries out the command literally; and then says, "Dog is not dog because of his visible form, but because of the inner idea of dog--ferocity, ravenousness. If my house, which is the abode of my person, of my body, must be kept clear of doggishness in concrete form, how much more must the house of my heart, which is the abode of man's true and proper essence, be kept clear of doggishness in spiritual idea!" The man, in fact, who combines the two things, he is the perfect man; which is what is meant when it is said, "The perfect man is the one who does not let the light of his knowledge quench the light of his reverence."