It turns out that I am Religious after all!

Most of my life I have been averse to the idea of being religious, partly because I was brought up in a family that was not religious and somewhat against religion, and also because of the examples of religion that I saw around me and the effect these groups had on people, communities and countries. For example, my mum comes from Belfast, a place that has been fought over by two religions for a very long time.

But from the word go I always had an interest in religion and even picked it as one of my options to study at GSCE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) level in Secondary school. I always found it fascinating, the ins and outs of these groups and how they worked, even though it was never something that actually appealed to me.

However, in saying all of this, I always knew there was something bigger than us that couldn’t be explained by current science. It was always clear that there was more to this life than what meets the eye and that there were forces at work for which I had no explanation at the time. I often compared this to “The Force” from Star Wars (I am a big Star Wars fan and watched it a lot when I was young) and later on also referred to this unseen ‘something’ as a universal energy.

When I was in my teens, as well as this sense of a greater force at play, I began to realise that coincidences weren’t coincidences at all. They started to become far too frequent and it felt to me more like everything happened for a reason. For example, those moments when you call someone up and they say they were just about to call you that very moment. Or bumping into someone that you hadn’t seen for ages, when not so long before you had been thinking about them for no apparent reason. These coincidences stopped surprising me and started to feel more like a small part of a bigger picture, although I wasn’t sure what that bigger picture was. It was clear to me that everything happened for a reason.

There were many aspects of certain religions that also made a lot of sense to me. For example, the first moment I learned about reincarnation, it felt like I had found part of the missing link. It made so much sense that we would live more than one life. One life would be pointless and I certainly never felt that my life was pointless. I may not have ever remembered past lives, but at times I certainly felt older than my actual age, and had feelings that I’d known someone for ages after only having met them a few hours previously.

So with all these various beliefs, knowings and feelings, when I got to my 20’s I started to refer to myself as being spiritual, because at the time it seemed like the only ‘category’ I could place myself in. I didn’t follow any religion but knew there was definitely more going on in the world than what I had learned at school.

To be completely honest, the word religion actually made me cringe, as the many examples of religions that I saw around me didn’t feel very religious! I couldn’t understand these organisations that had lots of different rules for everyone and that were almost always exclusive and misogynistic in some way. They just seemed to have so many contradictions, like having ‘love thy neighbour’ as one of the core beliefs, but starting a war with another country or group of people for whatever reason anyway.

Religion to me therefore equated power, money and some kind of separation from other people. It certainly never seemed to be all inclusive or about love.

However, that has all changed now. I can fully claim the fact that I am actually religious. Not because I got it wrong about ‘religion’ and decided to sign up to one, but because I had never heard the word ‘religion’ being used with its true intent and meaning.

That was until I heard Serge Benhayon talk about religion and The Way of The Livingness at a Universal Medicine retreat. At first I could feel myself cringe as usual when it was mentioned, but then, when I heard what religion meant to this man, it also made perfect sense to me as well.

A religion is not about an exclusive group of people who see others as different in some way, as it has the foundation of knowing that absolutely everyone in humanity is equal in their essence. There is never any judgement in true religion; nor are there rules or anyone telling you what to do. There is no one person above another and even God sees us as His absolute, equal Sons.

True Religion is not about imposing beliefs on others or trying to convert them, but there is an absolute respect for everyone and anyone, regardless of their age, race, job, gender, sexual orientation or belief system that they follow.

As well as the quality of the relationships I have with people I meet, I feel that being religious is also about my own personal relationship with myself, and with that, developing rhythms in life that are more self-loving and nurturing. Also it is about trying to bring awareness to how I am in what I am doing in every moment to the best of my ability, and taking responsibility for any reactions I have to the outside world, then seeking the cause of those reactions and letting them go.

Being religious is in the way I live and the relationships I have with all around me, knowing that this is forever unfolding and deepening as long as I allow it to. It is simply about being my true self, as much as I can, and knowing there is no perfection in that.

By Eleanor Cooper

Further Reading:
Why Serge Benhayon and The Way of The Livingness Makes Sense
The Way of The Livingness is my Religion
What is True Religion?

486 thoughts on “It turns out that I am Religious after all!

  1. I used to wonder what it was like to feel my ‘true self’… never having a marker for that in my body. Then one day I woke up with the most glorious, delicate feeling inside of me – I was connected to my essence, and I vowed to never disregard or allow abuse into by body any more, this feeling so was tender that I was afraid that I would lose it. The reality is that we cannot lose it, it is us that disconnect from it and like you say Eleanor, there is no perfection and through religiously building that connection with ourselves we can connect to our essence at any time, and that is when life flows with harmony and so called co-incidences support us along the way.

    1. Yes, that feeling is a complete life changer as from that moment on we know and it then becomes very clear what to do – deal with all that is not this glorious.

  2. Reincarnation is one that totally confirmed what I knew already, it was so awesome to hear the truth of what Serge Benhayon was presenting and that all these things that I was lead to believe, and yes there was a part of me that choose to believe this so I didn’t have to be responsible for the way I was living. This constant reminder that everything is everything and that what I choose has a ripple effect every where. This is one that I keep having to remind myself and keep claiming the Love that I am in all that I do – Viva Religion.

  3. I grew up in a religious family and in my adult life, I have spent most of it shying away from or using the word religion. Yet recently it has dawned on me that I am deeply religious. This religious way of living is what I have since discovered is a true religion, not based on anything outside of myself but based on the love that I develop for myself first and through that love I then develop the love with all others. And what is God’s role in all of this? God is my relationship with space. When I live in space opposed to time, I know who God is. He isn’t anything outside of myself, but I am part of Him, I am living in his body.

  4. Love the title, I can relate to it….”Being religious is in the way I live and the relationships I have with all around me,” I used to get very resistant to the word religion, in honesty I felt hurt and suspicious…I had not lived with religion as I grew up. For me I now claim religion in my life, it is life, it is relationships.

  5. “It is simply about being my true self, as much as I can” I love this definition of religion Eleanor. To be our true self we need to reconnect to the truth within us, which is found in our divine essence within.

  6. Yes, Eleanor, if we dig our heads out of the sand we cannot help but notice the forces at play in life that create so-called coincidences, the unseen but very powerful energetic constellations that constantly influence all of life due to living within the one body of God and the universe.

  7. Universal Medicine is of great service, when we workshop all these bastardised words and meanings that are hidden and/or obvious in our languages. Connecting back to the original meaning of religion supported me in coming back to who I truly am.

  8. It is so freeing to my being that I can say I am religious as that is what I am; a religious person reconnecting to the divinity that is within me and is part of the all, the universe and God.

  9. I grew up in a religious family and there was a lot said and recited in mass but outside of those walls not much that was asked to be reflected on or truly lived in every moment of your life. To be religious meant to be dedicated in doing things for others but there was never any talk about the quality or intention of this and whether it was from having developed love in your body and holding all others as equals not someone who needed saving.

  10. Imagine if we were all born into a world where we were held and given unto a book of lessons for life, that illustrated the underlying facts of life. What would it be like if we all grew up knowing we are equal? What would it be like if from a child we knew each action and thing we did had a consequence and deeper reason? What you say here Elanor makes it clear to me that we actually already do have this book – the bible of our inner heart. So we all know chapter and verse this Loving reality, whether we have chosen to skim read or tried ro rip these pages out.

  11. Religion is my connection to the ALL. Previous to meeting Serge Benhayon, religion was about beliefs and ideals for me. The focus was heavily invested in temporal life with the guise of being universal. There is no right or wrong in universal truth. What a liberation to know and to feel myself as part of the whole and to understand the temporal life from this ‘space’ – pun noticed! Serge Benhayon has shone the light on truth and exposed what is not true. A true servant of God – truly religious.

  12. I have always associated religion as being something that I do and I then have to follow rules in order to belong.But now like you Eleanor, I know it is about a deeper connection to me and then how i express to others in the world. It is about how I live from my body and the love that I express for myself and others.

  13. The title of this blog makes me smile. We could be spending life time trying to avoid the word and its very notion of being religious because of whatever it brings up to us, then we eventually come to realise, accept and surrender to the fact that the only thing we have always ever wanted is actually in resurrecting what that word truly represents. How beautiful.

  14. I was caught up in Religion for a large part of my life with the doing good and being good adhering to the rules and wanting to save others. I shudder when I read this, but I now feel a deep sense of appreciation and love that I have come to understand, The Way of the Livingness as my true way of religion, no imposing, no rules, equalness for all, and a love for myself and all others, that emanates from my connection to my inner heart.

  15. To be religious is a question that might arise confusion or suspicion in people, but perhaps what is most important is what you share Eleanor about how we view others, no religion should ever think anyone lesser or greater based on their belief, that just cannot be a religious way.

  16. Thank you Diane – there is true religion and then there is a bastardised form of religion. True religion which is a relationship with your self and your innate divinity is one I have learned I cannot continue to ignore, otherwise I automatically opt for the bastardised form of religion which in turn, just does not sit right with me. True religion is very beautiful and all-encompassing, it asks of you to be more responsible but in return opens up so much more for you.

  17. In the past, because of the way we have created religions, I know I have rejected what I now accept as a natural religiousness in me. It never made sense how much our current religions divide us. My relationship with me and my willingness to explore The Way of The Livingness has brought me home to my natural religiousness which is an ongoing and inspiring development.

  18. I am having to really appreciate the difference I feel towards the word religion today than 5 years or even 2 years ago, there is still a whole depth to religion that I am yet to really feel and make part of my day yet at least I now know the truth and feel the will to fully embrace being religious.

  19. Deeply appreciating this line Eleanor: :I certainly felt older than my actual age…” in your reference to the ‘absolute sense’ that reincarnation makes to all of life.
    How limited we are, by dogma that refuses to acknowledge the truth of reincarnation (even ‘removing’ reference to it from key ‘religious texts’ in times gone by)… And how great is this process that allows us the grace and framework for every lesson we must master, in order to walk back to who we truly are, and not stop there, but thereafter serve others on the same path.
    This is something I always knew was the truth also. And boy, did I always feel older than my age! From very, very young! Took a bit for people to listen to what I had to say seriously, from that little growing being that I was…

  20. How deeply refreshing, to return to a relationship with ‘religion’ where “It is simply about being my true self…” If our world knew true religion from birth, this would define everything in our lives – how we are with each other, how we raise our children, our systems, education, our every expression…
    I too have reclaimed the word ‘religion’ Eleanor, to be about something so simple yet profound in its essence – my relationship with God, the essence of me (that is of Him), and all that is. In this, we breathe who we are once more, and cannot but loosen the tethers and strangleholds of the falsity portraying itself under the banner of ‘religion’ that stifles our societies at such deep levels… A beautiful blog and sharing, thank-you.

  21. Religion always used to mean the same as organised religion to me, and it seemed that if you believed in god then you had to be a part of one of those. So I chose to believe in the ‘divine’ or the ‘Great Spirit’ as a way to try and avoid the whole religion thing. I too gained a new found respect for what religion truly means through Serge Benhayon and his presentation of The Way of The Livingness, and the realisation that religious is what I am and would not ever say that I am anything but that!

  22. When religion becomes about acknowledging the divine within it is surprisingly easy to feel a deep tenderness and sense of stillness and joy in my body. In that sense of connection the knowing of God feels personal and intimate and as if it has always been there.

  23. All of my life I had observed how people have used the banner of religion to abuse, kill, segregate, dominate and exercise supremacy over one another. Or in the other extreme advocate washing you hands off from living as part of society. Yet none of this felt true in my heart. I have witnessed how many try to wield power over others by casting confusion over our natural relationship with divinity and then assuming a superior position by pretending to have a ‘better’ relationship. The Way of The Livingness has been a real gift in such a climate. It has brought great healing, return of trust, empowerment and an end to the confusion and agitation within me related to religion. I now smile with every pore in my body as I know once again that true religion IS and always has been consistent with what is in my heart.

  24. It seems that once there is understanding of the real meaning of ‘religion’, that it is almost impossible not to consider oneself as being religious… Just highlights how much distortion and energy there is created around the everyday use of the word ‘religion’ that attempts to recoil one from reconnecting to the essence of its original meaning.

    1. Beautifully and wisely expressed Johanne. It is amazing when a word is misinterpreted as much as the word religion has been, it leads to significant misunderstanding and confusion about its true meaning and purpose.

  25. Knowing that there is no perfection, and that being religious means re-aligning to who we truly are through a life dedicated to self-care, service to humanity and re-connection to our bodies is certainly the way to go for me, and so it turns out that I am religious too and loving every minute of it, even the bits that are exposing and confronting, because it takes work to undo all the ill choices that I have made over aeons, so thank goodness for the opportunity and the wisdom that The Way of The Livingness presents.

  26. The more I travel through life it confirms the fact there are really no coincidences or accidents. We are given everything to support us to evolve, and I am appreciating the divine order at play.

  27. The phrase, ‘being religious’, is so weighted with ideals, beliefs and images about what that actually means, so for many people they choose not to express how they feel about God, life, death, the Universe and so forth because those around them are guaranteed to have their own perception of what ‘religious’ means rather than listening in full to what that person feels themselves.

  28. “Being religious is in the way I live and the relationships I have with all around me, knowing that this is forever unfolding and deepening as long as I allow it to. It is simply about being my true self, as much as I can, and knowing there is no perfection in that.” Beautifully said and I feel the same too, and knowing Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine has allowed me to claim my true religion with a knowing of this for myself.

  29. The Way of The Livingness is not a religion based upon a set of rules and beliefs that ones wears like a coat that you can put on or take off as you wish but a way of being, as its name says – it is how you live and how you live is your religion

  30. The shame and awkwardness that I used to have about Religion has totally dissipated and when I was younger I had a sense of arrogance in the way I would say I am my own God. Now today with the incredible support of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon I feel that absoluteness in knowing I have a direct relationship with God which in turn means a direct relationship with all and at the same level of intimacy. To choose to live this Love and connection then becomes something that is of serious importance because everyone deserves nothing less than this Love.

  31. Re-incarnation allows us to make sense of life and deems us responsible for our choices and actions. I could never get my head around being told that we lived, then we died and we either went to heaven or hell. When I heard about re-incarnation my whole body felt a resounding yes, this makes sense.

    1. Mary-Louise, I had the same feelings about the fact we lived, died and went to heaven or hell. It did not make sense to me even as a child, it was like there had to be more. Unlike you however it took me some time to embrace re-incarnation, perhaps because the stories of coming back as grasshopper put me off.. but once I had been presented the truth about re-incarnation, like you my body was at ease and in agreement with it.

  32. I love the heading and can relate very much to it. I grew up in a non-religious family. One year I had to fight to go to Sunday school when I was young as I was curious. I read the bible at age 17 out of the same curiosity as well as looking into Buddhism and having a general interest in others religion and why people believed what they did. But none of it felt right and I considered myself non-religious. In recent years I have been realising I am deeply religious, it is only the bastardisation of the word religion that had me thrown.

  33. I always knew God but found it hard saying I was religious because of all that it entails and means when you think about the many religions out there. I knew God but equally never felt you needed a church or somewhere to go to commune with him. So I was put off from religion. However, thanks to Serge Benhayon slowly but surely these barriers to saying I am religious have lifted. I know God as I always have and no belief or blind faith is necessary.

  34. I love being religious. I relish in it, I cherish my religious way utterly and fully. It’s a deep communion that I have with my body and hence with universality, with my inner most knowing that is not of this place. The grandness we are and from and my daily living way to support me to connect me to this, is my religion. Accessed through my body cared for to the core because it is from it, when it is cherished and treated with Love, that I know God — His love within me and within the All.

  35. It seems ridiculous that we should be scared of being or being seen to be religious. We are after all a spirit living in a body and we leave this body when we die. Where do we think we go? Religion is merely an attempt at making sense of this plane of existence that we all share. It invites a deeper awareness. Why are we so scared of that?

  36. Eleanor it is such a great feeling to not react to words and not have a tension in the body when a word is said but a feeling of at easement. In the case of religion I had a real fight and tension with the word, it bought up separation, fear and corruption for me. It is a real blessing to now feel at ease with the word and this has all come through re-connecting to its true meaning and having that as part of my life.

  37. If we allow ourselves to connect and feel more than what we can see with our eyes, we cannot help but be religious, because every particle in our bodies knows that we are a part of the rhythm and flow of something grand and magnificent. Staying in tune with the cycles in nature as well as within us is a truly religious way of life, because with every movement we are one with God.

  38. Your blog shows so well what the harm is about reinterpretation of words from their true meaning. It can keep people from doing something that is very supportive to us like the meaning of religion.

  39. “Being religious is about the relationship with myself.” This is a beautiful statement. If I look inside and observe my heart it shows me how I am treating myself. Religion starts for me in this communication between my heart and my head, where the heart is connected with my body and showing me how I am with myself, whereas the head wants to function and have his own will.

  40. With the support of Universal Medicine I have been able to Joyfully accept that I do have a religion and relationship with God, one that is very strong and direct. In the past I would have run for the hills of any suggestion that I may be religious. Funny really because this bastardisation and re-interpretation of what religion is in the current form that represents religion is so close yet so far way from such a powerful, truthful, all encompassing Love that God is – ALL of the time.

  41. I can really relate to what you have shared here, Eleanor. Religion always felt as though it was imposed on us from the outside with very little truthful connection to our innermost part but now I know that religion comes from within me and is how I live every day.

  42. The true meaning of words should be a universally unifying way or religion that brings humanity together in a way that it is a Livingness. As I see it, religion as practiced today only causes separation.

  43. “Being religious is in the way I live and the relationships I have with all around me” Awesome statement Eleanor when you say it like this it is so simple and takes away all the unnecessary complication. Thank you.

  44. Can your religion change from day to day? I would say yes for me. Each day my view of the world changes, my awareness grows and so does my understanding. That is what I am here for, to development the quality I am, how I am with others and everything. So in this way my religion would be a part of that development and not remain stagnate or idealistic. I have a responsibility in how I am, the way I am and all of this is part of the religion that I am. I remember always thinking religion was just a place or a book but now through blogs and conversations like this I can see much more and hence my religion is much more.

  45. I grew up in a religious family and religion to me was what I had experienced personally within the close encounters of friends, family and relatives. The biggest reaction I had of religion when I was young was I did not feel God in activities and behaviors of that which was meant to express God. I did not react towards God but towards the not so true expressions of God, because we are from God, we know God within our bodies.

    1. What you have shared Adele adds so much to what has already been written in the blog. I love the fact that as being a religious person who knows it in my heart as part of my livingness, it cannot be shaken from me. This is the simplicity of the way of the Livingness which treats everyone as equal in brotherhood!

  46. Each and every day I am being asked to live God, to live the religion that I know inside of me, that which never imposes, is understanding and respectful. And this cannot be lived to the depth that my body knows unless my body is nurtured and cared for with equal understanding and respect. And in times when I have left this care and have reacted, it is asking me to deepen my care even more to understand why and to see the opposite of my reaction, is actually the deepening of my own love. The path of religion is an every day Livingness, it is never perfect and always an exploration, but it is always breathing and deepening.

  47. Understanding that to be religious is to do something religiously I realised that I was deeply religious as I commit to being more with me.

  48. Whereas for most people in the western world, sadly so, religion brings up a negative connotation because of how the word itself has been raped and bastardised, I now cherish deeply the true meaning of religion, and know that I’m a deeply religious person. To be religious of one’s inner knowing, to have a religious relationship with one’s soul means that one has a forever deepening relationship with oneself and all of humanity. It is the most enriching way to live, there is not the empty and cold separation of life being one-dimensional without meaning, for we know we are part of a much bigger whole.

    1. “To be religious of one’s inner knowing, to have a religious relationship with one’s soul means that one has a forever deepening relationship with oneself and all of humanity. It is the most enriching way to live, there is not the empty and cold separation of life being one-dimensional without meaning, for we know we are part of a much bigger whole.”
      Such a beautiful explanation of religion Katerina. Thankyou.

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