by Victoria Lister, Brisbane, Australia
I’ve never thought of myself as a religious person, yet in a recent post on my experience of cyber-bullying, and in another on the media ambush of a Universal Medicine event at which I was present on 12 October, 2012, I found myself defending the five fundamental freedoms all Australians are entitled to, specifically the rights to freedom of association and religion.
This would imply Universal Medicine is a religion and I, as an attendee of Universal Medicine workshops, courses and other events, am a part of this religion and might even be a religious person.
When I first considered the notion, I baulked. ‘Religion’ is such a loaded word and like many, I’ve always been keen to distance myself from it, for all sorts of reasons. Yet a quick online search of religion reveals the word stems from the Latin re-ligare, to ‘re-connect’, ‘re-bind’ or ‘re-choose’. So if the word itself isn’t loaded or prescriptive, and infers nothing more than the making of some kind of choice or commitment – and to what, isn’t even specified – need I feel scared of it?
No, and especially not if I start with the word ‘commitment’. As I’ve listened to Universal Medicine presentations, I’ve learnt the most important thing I can commit to is me, and the more I develop love for myself, the more I can extend this love to others. This commitment is a choice I need to make over and over, day in, day out, in everything I do. It’s the difference between, say, brushing my teeth two or three times a day with love and care, or doing it on auto-pilot, thinking of everything else but that one activity and maybe even doing it harshly because of a lack of attention.
So in this sense I need to ‘re-choose’, again and again, to ‘re-connect’ to myself and how I’m living life in every single moment. It’s a re-choosing I happily make; in fact I’d go as far as to say I’ve committed or ‘bound’ myself to living life as consciously and lovingly as I possibly can, and that I ‘re-bind’ myself to that notion on a daily basis. This is akin to establishing a way of living – a way of living that Universal Medicine has presented, quite simply and sensibly, as the ‘The Way of the Livingness’.
Given this, I’m delighted to declare myself a member of an association that presents the possibility that making an on-going commitment to living life as harmoniously as possible might be a good thing, both personally and for the planet.
So yes, I am part of a religion, and I am religious. And I will continue to defend my basic right to be so, and attend what group I see fit – no matter who threatens me, or how.