I was born into the institutionalised religion of Catholicism. At the tender age of 7, my classmates and I all underwent the training, practices and rituals that would allow us to make our first confession – currently called reconciliation. After confession we became eligible for ‘Holy Communion,’ the act which, according to Catholicism, symbolically unites one with God.
Central to the rite of confession is the concept of sin and the notion that we are all sinners with different levels of severity. There were lesser or venial sins, like calling someone names or taking a biscuit without Mum’s permission – these were the sins of childhood we were advised. Then there were the very heavy feeling mortal sins like adultery and murder that some adults engaged in, to the detriment of their ‘Souls’.
It was understood that the greater the severity of the sin, the deeper the guilt one should feel and hence the more intense the penance to be done. The type and quality of penance was ordained by a priest in a confessional box, a place I experienced as a child as having a suffocating quality and a rancid smell, which left me feeling nauseous.
I had problems with this notion of sin from Day 1… and this was not only attributable to the smell of the confessional box.
I was a gentle and obedient child and couldn’t relate to any of the ‘sample sins’ presented to us. I didn’t call people names and my Mum kept a lock on the biscuit box; I never hit my brothers, sisters or friends. Asking adults what I could confess to the priest, as I was worried about the quality of our conversation, I was advised to just make up a couple. Ultimately, my only sin was following this advice and lying to the priest that I had committed sins that I hadn’t! So I was guilty of lying to keep people and the church happy. I noted that as long as my guilt about something was assured, everyone was content and the self-perpetuating system was upheld.
Much later in life, and with the true blessing and grace of the Ageless Wisdom, I felt to revisit this experience and review it from the perspective of what I feel to be universal truth.
Firstly, for me true religion is about the inner connection with Soul, my innermost essence, which allows me to re-connect with Divine energy. This connection with Soul allows me to connect with God through feeling. It is not possible for me to connect with God through consuming a piece of white wafer or by taking a sip of wine.
Secondly, what removes me from God is choosing an energy that God is not – that is, a non-Soulful energy, or a spiritual energy. Re-connecting with Soul, by re-choosing the quality of the energy in which I move, is what is required to re-establish my relationship with Our Father and the Divine energy that God is. Nominating and renouncing the other false, spiritual energy – the energy that is not who I really am – supports me in choosing the energy of Our Father with greater consistency. This is all accomplished by my own awareness and does not need a priest to hear and/or to absolve what I have done, nor to administer a penance.
Thirdly, my personal experience of guilt is that it is a false, emotional energy that is not of the energetic quality of God Our Father. It does not serve to reconnect us. In fact, in operation, it serves to disconnect us and to place us in a heavy energy that separates us further from God.
The true religion I now live, The Way of The Livingness, is based on living the qualities of God on this earth, the qualities of Stillness, Love, Truth, Harmony and Joy, so that eventually we will not live on this earth at all, but return to our original Divine Soul Plane. The catholic religion of my childhood taught that I was born a sinner and could achieve salvation only through compliance to its tenets.
The Way of The Livingness presents that all children are born with a Divine potential within and that, with energetic integrity and responsibility, by choosing to align with this energy, our Soul, we start to discard all that is not of our true essence quite naturally. Neither the confessional box, nor any of the other rites, is ever needed for this.