I Had No Religion

by Dr Rachel Hall, Brisbane, Holistic Dentist 

When I was a child, other families had or did religion. They went to church on Sunday, wore a cross or had a bible. They belonged to a certain community or had been christened, they believed in God and that Jesus had died for our sins and came to save us. But not my family; we had no religion.

My Dad was raised a Catholic but fell out with God when my grandma died when I was around 4, and from then on he hated the church. My Mom, well she had been raised under the Church of England, but when asked about God she always told me she didn’t really know one way or the other. She too despised church, and when I was around 12 and wanted to go to the local church sermon just to see what it was like, she forbade it.

Both my brother and I were never christened and we only went to church for weddings and funerals. Yes, we celebrated Christmas but we were not religious. I had no religion.

At school, which was apparently non-denominational, we sang hymns in assembly, recited the Lord’s Prayer and listened to gospel stories. I quite liked them and some hymns really resonated with me, whilst others didn’t – so I simply mouthed the words rather than sing, so as not to get into trouble.

From these teachings, I began to view God as something bigger and better than me — something out there, ever watching and ready to reward or punish me. And, if I was a really good girl, if I prayed long and hard enough, He might just might talk to me or send me an angel or messenger, so I knew I was one of the chosen ones.

So, knowing deep inside that God was real but not knowing how to be with Him, I became a very good girl. I would pray long and hard, often bargaining with God in a futile attempt to get Him to contact me, to show me a sign, prove his existence – and yet I still had no religion.

By the time I became a teenager my knowingness of God wavered to an uncertain belief, and then waned to my claiming I didn’t believe at all – after all, I wasn’t even religious.

I found it easier to deny His existence than consider He had deserted me, left me out in the cold, or that I hadn’t been good enough, or prayed properly – and that’s why He never showed Himself to me.

My atheism continued for years. I would ferociously declare that God didn’t exist and religion was merely a crutch used by the weak and feeble to prop them up and excuse their behaviour.

Yet, when I was 20 and I received news that I needed to travel from Leeds to Birmingham because my Dad was seriously ill, I prayed and pleaded with God the whole journey to let him live long enough for me to say goodbye – even though I had no religion.

My Dad had actually died of a sudden heart attack, aged 47, and I never got to say goodbye in the flesh. However, when I visited the chapel of rest I was overcome with the unshakable feeling of my Dad standing next to me with his arm around my shoulder. I felt at peace knowing we didn’t need to say goodbye and that he was OK.

I started to question God’s existence again, so much so that I started to explore the religions. No one religion actually spoke to me and I was surprised to see so many similarities running through them, yet couldn’t fathom why they all seemed to be fighting one another. To me, if God was an all loving being there could be no chosen ones, punishment, judgment, hell or eternal damnation. So once again I had no religion.

That is, up until a few years ago, where I came to understand through attending Universal Medicine workshops and exploring the concept for myself, that God is about love. By allowing myself to feel and connect to God, and know love, I came to understand that organised religion was about reinterpreted scriptures and man-made doctrines which had very little love in them.

When taken back to its earliest definition, the word religion essentially means relationship. A loving relationship with self, nature, others and God.

I realised that if I were in fact from God, then I too was love. And that by being loving with myself, my fellow man and nature, that I was deeply religious. I also understood that each individual’s way of being religious was very personal to them, yet carried a common thread of union, love and equalness: that our religion comes from a way of living that is known inside of us and not from a book or a preacher in a church.

By being able to experience religion in its true sense, I know God as something I feel within and around me. I understand that being religious is a natural way for us all to be.

Now I can say, “yes, I have a religion” – a loving relationship with myself, others, nature and God. My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness.

225 thoughts on “I Had No Religion

  1. I thought God would only love me if I was a good girl! This image I was placing on myself to live up to was impossible to live by so it as no wonder I was always feeling I was never good enough no matter what or how much I did. Making mistakes I have come to understand and accept is part of my evolution. I am not perfect by any means and neither is anybody else. It feels such a relief to let go of the image of being a good girl.

  2. I grew up with weekly trips to church on Sundays, and came to understand God as some mysterious, judgmental figure up in the clouds – sort of a cross between a bearded sandal and robe-clad Jesus and a rather serious Father Christmas – watching my every move and ready to punish me should I stray from being the good girl I thought I had to be. In writing this I can feel how heavy and serious I made my life, fearful of getting it wrong and making mistakes. It feels so freeing to finally be letting all of that go, understanding that it’s not about right or wrong, and that true religion is about having a deeply loving relationship with yourself and your soul, re-connecting to what we all already know and have within us.

  3. I don’t yet know who God is but I do get a sense of his presence in my daily life and interactions with others. I do know that God is not someone reserved for a privileged few but available to all and within all.

  4. I was christened as a baby, went to chapel regularly, wore a cross around my neck, belonged to a community and was baptised at 18 years of age yet I did not ask myself once was it true to me. I did it because I looked the part, ‘those around me were doing it so it must be the right thing to do’ I thought but in my late teens things began to change when I started to realise that there were other things I wanted to do on a Sunday afternoon and my relationship with chapel began to slowly fade declaring that I felt it wasn’t true for me to part of the choir, which reunited last year to celebrate an anniversary of the chapel. It felt so liberating to speak up for the first time in over forty years what I felt was true to me; that being a part of institutionalised religion was not for me. Thanks to Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine who confirmed what I have always known and felt true religion to be within that through the way I choose to live in connection to my soul, God, with fellow brothers and sisters and everything that is a part of my life is now my religion and that in every moment it is a choice to live religiously or not.

  5. ‘So, knowing deep inside that God was real but not knowing how to be with Him, I became a very good girl.’
    I feel like this is the crux of man-made religion. To make God so superior and etheric that we have no idea how to be with Him unless we follow the rules. This, to me, is ultimate control over humanity to take away the empowerment of feeling and knowing God as equal from within.

  6. If we truly understood the complete and absolute way we are supported and guided by God every day, it would blow us away. There’s something in us that likes to see life as a struggle and our path as hindered and difficult one. We talk about the huge amounts of alcohol, coffee and drug consumption in this world, but surely our greatest addiction of all is to the idea that we are ‘alone’ somehow. As you so beautifully show Rachel, nothing could be further away from the truth of God and Religion in this world.

    1. I would agree Joseph that our greatest addiction of all is to the idea that we are ‘alone’… I bought into this for years, this feeling alone, feeling unsupported and yet unable to receive support or love, and actually I bought into the belief I was ‘safer’ being on my own, it was this belief that kept me living in isolation and protection and so life was a constant struggle and battle…. But once I took responsibility for my life and my choices my life changed and this old belief no longer has a hold over me. I have learned to trust myself, let people in and share so much more of myself. Lot to appreciate, me thinks!

  7. It’s great to break some boundaries or walls around God and religion. For me growing up I had no idea, it was all very confusing. I was told somethings, tried to question them and was made more confused or felt more silly with the answers that were given. I walked away from all this to embarrassed and self conscious to tell people I didn’t really know what God was because nothing I saw made sense and frankly it made me uncomfortable when people tried to explain it. I would find myself praying and talking to God at different times and then wondering again what I was doing. It was all very confusing until one day Serge Benhayon made sense to it all. He didn’t introduce anything new or shocking but just straightened out and simplified what I already knew. God and religion are much simpler now and both truly make sense.

  8. I love to read this blog today Rachel and I love when truth is simply delivered: ‘When taken back to its earliest definition, the word religion essentially means relationship. A loving relationship with self, nature, others and God’.

  9. The central point of religion, true religion that is, is the connection to ourselves. Once we connect with ourselves, which is our divine essence, we can connect to others, to nature and to God. It starts with the relationship – to re-establish the relationship (which is what the word religion signifies in its original (Latin) form) to one’s divine essence, a core everyone has.

  10. ‘…our religion comes from a way of living that is known inside of us and not from a book or a preacher in a church.’ And it’s this that makes me consider that perhaps there is a religion that is true. How many of us are left confused by the competition in beliefs and gods? No wonder so many of us don’t want to talk about religion, because it feels corrupt, like so many other things in our world. But when we break it down and it bring it back to the simplicity of something that unites us all – and that isn’t a person so much as an energy that is holding us, then it all makes sense.

  11. “… a loving relationship with myself, others, nature and God. My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of The Livingness.” So simply expressed, yet it is all there. No church building, no preacher required. Each of us can thus have a personal relationship with God through reconnecting (aka religion), which original definition means to re-bind, to reconnect (Latin – religare).

  12. The notion of a judgmental God who dishes out punishment is hard to accord with the awareness that God is Love. Impossible in fact. If we know love then we know that a truly loving being does not judge nor mete out punishment. This major contradiction troubled me during my youth, raised as I was to attend church. The Way of The Livingness addresses all these contradictions within me, knowing that love is a beholding light, present for us all equally, honouring our absolute right to choose through free-will – and our responsibility for whatever we choose as reflected back to us all in the harmony, or disharmony we create. The Way of The Livingness is my religion too.

  13. Until now hadn’t fully appreciated the irony that so many people in the world of today consider themselves non-religious, atheist or agnostic, and yet still celebrate Christmas day which represents the birth of Jesus Christ.

  14. How different would the world be if all religion had at its core that God is about love, true love, and nothing but love.

  15. It’s funny and I may have even said this before but to not have a religion you would first have to know what religion is. I mean you can’t say you haven’t got something unless you clearly know what it is so then you know you don’t have it. This may sound confusing but consider the possibility that when you are saying you don’t have something or you aren’t something then you would first have to know that something to know you don’t have it. It maybe a spin on things but it’s also with respect a simple fact, you can’t say no or you haven’t got anything unless first you clearly know what it is, otherwise how can this be?

  16. I was brought up as a Christian but found the whole experience of ‘church a truly dry and boring experience. I learned to enjoy the social aspect of it, meeting other 15yr old people at Church Fellowship that was fun getting to know others on a more social platform.

  17. There are so many situations in life where we feel bad because we do not have a sense of belonging to something and see how so many people do not have such problem since for one reason or another ‘they belong’ and seem to be satisfied with that fact. The question is how much of that is true? How much belonging to something that is not true is really a value; an asset? To what extent is this something that caps you and harms you? This is important since what harms affects the body and they have to work hard to get rid of the imprints left in them.

  18. There are many ideals, beliefs and pictures presented about God and how our relationship with him should be according to different religions that are false in my experience and only serve to hinder our true connection with him. The Way of The Livingness presents no such false images and in fact assists us to let go of these if we have taken them on and to re-discover the depths of love within us and to bring this to our everyday life and relationships.

  19. Eventually the world’s religions will show themselves in a way that is undeniable to be empty of the love they profess to represent. Unfortunately we still attribute many things to the word ‘love’ that are not true representations of the word, as we do many things to the word God that are equally false.

  20. “…our religion comes from a way of living that is known inside of us…”
    Then there can be no temple nor church, and no mount upon which it sits that is any greater than that which lives within – our integral and innate living relationship with God.
    Thank-you for this sharing Rachel. There is a coming home in this for us all.

  21. God immanent, rather than transcendent… This changes the world as we know it today, where so much of our life-force, power and indeed will is given over to that which is outside of us, in search of a connection with the divine.
    We must then ask, who or what is actually feeding off such a tremendous give-away on our (humanity’s) part? And why the truth of God being within us all has been so obscured from our view…

  22. As I deepen the relationship to myself and gently get to know the true meaning of the word ‘religion’ I also get to feel more deeply the lie so many of us including myself fell for, put simply that if you went to church you were religions. This belief so far from the truth is what is being played out in society and although I gradually turned away from institutionalised religion before I was introduced to Universal Medicine it was Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine that supported me to re-awaken to the fact that my religion was in the way I lived with myself, others and the universe through the connection to my inner heart.

  23. “By being able to experience religion in its true sense, I know God as something I feel within and around me” – bringing back the true meaning of religion is so important. Don’t we call people who would follow the religious doctrine and all the protocols so faithfully, blindly, without questioning religious? And that is so far away from the truth.

  24. Here, you have qualified why and how you are Religious and so it makes so much sense but I still hold reservation to claim my Religiousness without an in-depth explanation like this. I love the freedom I feel in the way you express on this subject too. There is still a small part of me that feels like I have to explain because all though there are truths in all Religions, there is also judgments and bastardisation and I fear I will be associated with THEM if I publicly proclaim my Religion.

  25. I too grew up with no religion but what I find interesting looking back is that in my own non-Christian way, I would pray to God on occasion. Or you could say I would speak to something that was not of this realm but yet I knew was there. I did not believe in God in the Christian sense, but who I spoke to I never questioned.

  26. A simple version of what religion is “And that by being loving with myself, my fellow man and nature, that I was deeply religious.” God is love, so are we. If we not act, move and think love then what are we representing? If we are not being love we are having a relationship with the reinterpretation of love.

  27. Religion is a true way of how we live with ourselves and with each other. Understanding who you are and who others are is equally important. The understanding therefore offered is absolute space, to enfold in the way we all choose to be.

  28. Beautiful Rachel. There is a depth of knowing of God within us all. Without question even in the aethiest person there is still a knowing that there must be something grander to life, they simply see it through science. What if we all know that there are fragmented answers of what this grandness is available to us to subscribe to in the world but we are simply not willing to see what its truth would reveal to us about the way we have chosen to live?

  29. The relationship with religion that people establish early in their lives is always curious. For some, it is an immediate hop on movement. For other people, religion is a no go zone. And there are various intermediary stages in between. The ironic thing is that who ends up being truly religious is not at all evident from these early choices.

  30. When we consider the fact that we are part of the grand whole, the universe, it strikes me as somewhat curious that we, here on earth, make decisions about our religiousness, whether we are religious or not and what kind of religion suits us. Nobody else does it. The stars, the sun(s), the planets they all abide to the rhythm of the whole, so do the plant and animal kingdoms; they do not question their place and rhythm in the cycles of the universe, they simply are.

  31. How is it that religion has strayed so far from representing the truth about God and love? No wonder so many people have turned their backs on God and religion because it was hard to accept the lies that have been fed by the authorities of the church. Being introduced to The Way of The Livingness was a true blessing and for me healed many past hurts from religion that had stopped my relationship with God. To now re-connect back to the truth of God has been possible with this true religion, and I appreciate being a part of this religion as it brings a way of living that is deeply healing, not only for a chosen few but for everyone equally.

  32. Reading this reminded me of my own struggle with what I felt God was or is, and what was being told to me as a child. I have always felt like I have been searching for the truth since my Sunday school days, and finally found the answers after attending a Universal Medicine presentation.

  33. “My religion is the way I live. It is called The Way of the Livingness” So simple and a way of living with love in every moment that is available to all equally.

  34. So many of us, myself included, will have been disillusioned by the smorgasbord of religions on offer that would simply never draw me in – damnation, judgement and retribution, rules and customs that you had to abide by or be outcast, never made sense to what I knew God to be. So disillusioned I did become at one point and was willing to throw God out with the bathwater, and have religion left splattered on the floor… .
    But I always knew that God was not separate to me or outside of me or anyone else for that matter, and that religion was not a doctrine of rules and retributions, but a way of living which when chosen, offers an ever-steady communion with the grander whole we are actually apart of.
    The Way of The Livingness is the religion I have always known – the religion of the inner-heart, very practical, real and simple in the activity of daily life.

  35. We all know that God is pure Love and not an ounce of anything else. This means there is no judgement in God and hence how can war ever be in His name as He would never ask any of His children (us all) to war against each other!

  36. Likewise Rachel, for a long time I had the same puzzle that the religions all seemed to be talking about the same thing, to generally have the same root underlying truths and yet there was so much friction that it was difficult to align to one or the other. That was until I was introduced by Universal Medicine to the relationship I have inside, and there is no contradiction in there.

  37. It is freeing and empowering to know that we can live religion 24/7 simply through the connection to self as it is only then that we are in communication with God and the multidimensionality within.

  38. It’s so great to be able to get to a place, after a long, confusing time spent in religion-wilderness, that is rich, well-populated and requires no travel to get there. I know I’m enjoying it!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s