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. “the first moment I learned about reincarnation, it felt like I had found part of the missing link.” Absolutely and it makes sense of all those previously unanswered questions as well as inviting responsibility in all we do.

  2. I can relate to so much here, having grown up raised in a religion which spoke words but the actions did not match. And so many of us know innately that what we see as religion is not true, and hence our cringe with it. In the last few years since my exposure to Universal Medicine and my understanding that true religion is my relationship with God, with myself and that it’s not about rules or regulations I’ve now come to a place where I can say I’m religious and now cringe and that is something I would have sworn blind a few years back I would never say.

  3. ‘It turns out that I am Religious after all!’ I love this title, there’s such joy in realising that we have had a relationship with God all along 🙂

  4. I am also religious Eleanor. I would never have thought in a million years I would say I was ‘religious’, but then I didn’t know I was going to discover The Way of the Livingness – a true religion that has become an incredible journey and reconnection back to God, love, brotherhood, truth, wisdom, science, philosophy… and so much more.

  5. Eleanor what you have shared here is common amongst most people’s beliefs about religion. You either fit into something or you don’t. And when you do, the rules are ridiculous and when you don’t then you are labelled.

    Religion has caused many disturbances around the world, thinking one is superior then the other when the reality is we are all equal or the same, just hidden by the colour of our skins, the countries we were born in and the list could go on.

    To me true religion is seeing everyone as equal, no impositions, no right or wrongs, it just is.

  6. When we allow ourselves to feel how there are no such things as ‘coincidences’ or ‘luck’ and realise that there is a Divine influence to everything that occurs in our lives, we will begin to feel more that same Divinity within us by connecting to the source of this magic.

  7. We tend to think that religion is the world of the unseen and this is partially true. The challenge is not only to be able to see the unseen. It is also to be able to see when someone is truly religious and read this from movements.

  8. This is something that we do have to practice… Simply speaking about our love of, and the truth of, religion. The more we do this, the more we break down the old images, concepts and pictures that we have had about this word, that has stopped us experiencing the truth of it.

  9. This is so similar to my experience it could have come form my own hand. So bastardised is Religion that we search in all the far places and feel into all the created lies, feeling disheartened that this is all that is on offer. Come true Religion in our lives and we may take a while to take the steps back to what was with us all along.

  10. When Serge Benhayon shares the true meaning of the word ‘religion’ it all makes sense. To reconnect to your inner-heart and to the essence of your being, you reconnect to God and this is equal in all humanity.

  11. Re-imprinting our relationship with God and religion, realising that it’s not about ideals and beliefs, but the relationship we have with ourselves and others.

  12. I love the equality of true religion. I have taken this and brought it into my life and it is one of the most important teachings of my life. That we are all equal. After years of putting myself above or below people at varying stages, it is so freeing to let go of that, and to know and live that we are all equal.

  13. When we understand that absolutely everything in life is constellated in order for us to evolve, we cannot see even the smallest incident as a coincidence as in truth it is an opportunity to fine-tune and let go that, which is not from love.

  14. A beautiful re-claiming of the truth within. How simple this is – we are naturally religious and living the true meaning of the word religion in The Way of The Livingness.
    “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”.

  15. The word religion has put so many people off, when they in fact think that the organised or institutionalised religions of today are it. Learning the true definition – returning to the Latin – as meaning to re-bind or reconnect – transformed my take on the word. Despite knowing about God and also knowing that such organised religions made me cringe and not want to belong, I can now embrace the word religion in its full meaning – and joyfully so.

  16. Religion never made sense to me until I started to understand it’s true meaning – thanks to Serge Benhayon. I now know and feel that I am religious and feel a growing a deepening relationship with God that is exquisitely humbling.

  17. Rather be spiritual than religious – I can so relate to that. Somehow I had this belief that being spiritual meant I was declaring my interest in what is beyond the physicality of this world without being a follower or bound by any dogma, therefore better/superior than being ‘religious’. Obviously I didn’t know what these words actually represented in truth. Amazing how much influence the bastardisation of words has over our making choices, and how damaging that truly is. It is stunningly beautiful to be reunited with the true meaning of the word religion/religious which simply means my reconnection to the All.

  18. Serge Benhayon’s way of living is truly religious on every level. It is deeply inspiring to watch Serge live and move in a way that allows you to feel what true religion is all about, his powerful reflection supported me to re-connect back to God – something I am forever grateful for.

  19. Redefining what religion actually is the most precious gift that Serge Benhayon has brought to humanity, and when the veil of disconnection is lifted from humanity’s eyes this will be recognised

  20. We are all deeply religious (in the true meaning of this word). Yet, we establish a different relationship with ‘religion’. While the word religion truly invites us to be open to everything and deeply connected to ourselves, ‘religion’ invites us to restrict ourselves and our field of choices and to disconnect from ourselves because otherwise you would not choose what you choose. The world of free will….

  21. As far as I remember, I’ve always been a religious person. Along my life no religion truly made sense to me until I knew about The Way of the Livingness. Its simplicity and deep respect for my individuality, brought me naturally to connect with brotherhood and greater realisations about God and life. No other religion has ever allowed me to have this freedom and love for humanity. And this is what true religion always meant for me; no rules, beliefs or impositions, just Love and equalness.

  22. It is interesting that in the UK now they have introduced apprenticeships alongside University placements as an alternative way of further education and learning a trade. I am not sure how popular this scheme is but I do know that a lot of people I know who love their work are people that have not had a University Education. One young man I know dropped out of University and went to work in a man’s clothes shop much to the disappointment of his parents. He really enjoyed this work but after a few years changed direction and started working for another firm and became a Financial Advisor, and he now loves that. When we stay true to ourselves we feel the call of the work we need to do at whatever level we are at.

  23. I love how beautifully you summed up being religious Eleanor, true religion is so simple, where we deeply connecting to our inner hearts, living and holding each other in this love and equalness. The reflection to humanity of living this loving way is far reaching.

  24. I always knew that there was something more going on “out there” in the universe and related to movies like Star Wars, much more than I did the bible, so it cracked me up when you wrote about that! I was also a cringer when it came to Religion. The way “God” was painted in most of the Religions I knew of, felt like rubbish, it reminded me of people that believed in Santa Clause, a fantasy that made no sense, I mean how did he fit through the chimney when he was so fat? Anyway, that another blog…Getting back to my new understanding of Religion, now, I know that being truly Religious is about a deep connection with yourself that then expands out to everything that surrounds you, including God. I can also concur after a life of disassociation, it turns out, I am Religious after all too!

  25. I too had the same reactions to the word religion at first but when it was presented as a relationship with life, people, ourselves and everything around us- this made total sense to me and was the first religion I could fully accept.

  26. We all have a relationship with God whether we like it or not. Some choose to deny it, others choose to strengthen it… and the latter has been a wonderful path to live these last few years.

  27. Like you Eleanor I too used to cringe at the word religion – more because I realised it is what you do out of church in your daily living way and the quality of truth and love that you bring to all that you do that really matters and brings your life alive.

  28. Religion as is conventionally portrayed is something one ‘goes to’ or is imposed upon one. It is external of oneself. True religion, as you share Eleanor, is already within us. It has always been with us – it is living and expressing who we truly are.

  29. It’s interesting how often I write things off as a coincidence even though, I actually don’t believe in coincidences. I think that’s a way for me to not accept that there is a lot more going on in this life for example, when meeting people for the (seemingly) first time and feeling like I’ve known them for ever. There has to be so much more in that, there has to have been another life we shared together, how else can it be explained? Sure, we can say that perhaps we just have a strong connection and that’s that, but that feels obvious to me…it has to be more than just that, where did the connection come from then?

  30. Gorgeous Eleanor and yes me too. I now understand the religion is simply about my relationship with living in connection to who I am, my Soul, as I move through the universe through which I am aware of the interconnectedness, the oneness of God that I and we are all equally part of and held in. This is our natural way of being and the more we surrender to this the deeper our understanding is that true religion is about living in union with the divine love that we truly and Soulfully are, with All.

  31. Recognising that there is more going on in life – like those ‘coincidences’ that happen, and yet feeling a recoil to the word ‘religious’ and anything associated with this word can make one feel at a bit at a loss, but then understanding the true meaning of the word ‘religion’ as that which is re-connecting, re-binding and returning to, you realise that it is about coming home, back to within yourself, to knowing and trusting that feeling and quality of you within. This quality that never leaves you only we have been enticed to look outside of ourselves to find ‘it’ what was always with us.

  32. Thank you Eleanor for these gorgeous words that serve to reinstate the truth about religion. Religion is what reconnects us all in this great jigsaw puzzle of life. It is not owned by anyone nor does it have any creeds or doctrines that seek to isolate one person, ideology or belief from any other. It is re-union in the truest sense. One with All and All with One.

  33. It is so freeing to reclaim the true meaning of religion and to feel the love of God that flows through us all.

  34. It is so true, everything does happen for a reason. We are part of a magnificent order that both science and religion can agree on.

  35. Loved what you have shared Eleanor, with a very clear understanding of what true religion really is. I was so called religious all my life but that religion was a hard taskmaster. Knowing the truth of what true religion really is is so liberating, no rules and regulations no divisions, no one to try to convert, just a simple loving relation with myself from my essence holding others as equal in this quality, realising that all I say and do has an effect on all mankind.

  36. Remembering my experiences of religion at a young age – there were a lot of men in long frocks who seemed kindly but felt lacking in some truth – like they were playing a part in a play, a role that they could perform but somehow even they knew they weren’t quite hitting the mark, but everyone pretended and went along with it – these were not the words I would have used at 5 but nonetheless this was apparent to me. Hence no pull to join these organisations. But yet sometimes in the world you would meet a person who genuinely lived love irrespective of whether they belonged to an organised religion or not – so we know there is a truth that we resonate with, that uplifts and inspires us to connect to that same truth within ourselves. Serge Benhayon is one who lives that steady reflection of truth and love and true service.

  37. I now see that being religious is found in our living way and how we move, express and love is the beating heart that sets true religion on fire.

  38. I think we all know there is some greater power in the Universe, its just that man has done such a good job of forming his own opinions on what this might be and then tries to push this on others to the point of violence and atrocities, without really feeling what the truth of the matter is.

  39. As a child I often pondered on the true meaning of life, asking many questions within and occasionally having the courage to discuss things usually with another my parents had asked to look after me and my brother when we were young. I knew back then and I know today that there was so much more to life than eating pizzas and partying; without true purpose what was the point? It wasn’t until I met Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine reflecting to me what life was truly about did I get the confirmation I had been looking for; that there was another way to be and live and that it was down to me and my relationship to myself to live it, taking responsibility for everything that happened to me to the best of my ability.

  40. Having a true relationship with yourself and with God every second of everyday is one that I continually work on letting in. Breaking down old beliefs that I have held from previous religions that have created him to be this God out side of you that you look up to. Being able to feel the Love that God is inside of me and know that by every movement I am with him or fighting against him I realise it is my responsibility to have this relationship or not.

  41. Funny how we all actually are religious – some can be religious with chocolate and some can be religious with having a beer…Religion is essentially our relationship with something small…or big…

  42. The way you have so beautifully and clearly explained the meaning of religion indicates your deep connect and understanding of this word, and it comes from your Livingness.

  43. I love reading your blog again Eleanor. It reminds me of what true religion is and gives me a better understanding as to why I too reacted to the word ‘religion’ prior to hearing Serge Benhayon present what this means to him. You have inspired me to claim that I too I am religious without worrying about other people’s reactions. To be able to now say I am reglious with steadiness and purpose feels amazing.  

  44. The word ‘religion’ is now so bastardised that it has come to represent specific pictures and images of ways of being based on doctrines and stipulations that are anything but about holding all in true equality or accepting another’s right to free will and choice. So we have a situation where some people align to one camp or another and point fingers or weapons at each other and where the rest are so disenfranchised with the pictures that they steer well clear of any exploration into the true meaning of the word.

  45. Religion is all about relationship, with myself, with others and with God and lets face it, we all want to be in relationships hence why religion is natural to us. The problem is we have bastardised what religion is so the first step is to understand what true religion is.

    1. So true Elizabeth, prior to Universal Medicine when I heard the word ‘religion’ I immediately have images of separation in people, corruption, greed, murder, domination, and the list goes on. But now I understand its true meaning, I too am religious and like you shared the true meaning of is very natural to us.

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