What hurts – Religion Itself, or the Bastardisation of Religion? 

Mention the word ‘religion’ and it either goes very quiet or incites an unexpected debate, should you have struck a believer. And in many (possibly most?) circles, it is anything but fashionable to profess to being religious. Unless you are famous, of course; in which case, you get away with murder, or just about.

But what is it that makes us cringe, shrink, turn the other way, ignore the remark or smile limply – in other words, what makes us scramble for shelter at the mere mention of the word?

Is this an aversion against religion itself or is it more and much deeper than this? The former is certainly the easy and handy answer in our world of shallowness and profanities, of abuse, terror, angst, cruelty and obvious godlessness (oh God, don’t mention God please!).

But what if our aversion to religion is deeper than the easily observable mess the world is in? Why indeed such repulsion and disdain? Surely it must run deeper than a mere “what good has religion ever done?” “Religion is so outdated and yesteryear” or “leave me alone with organised religion”, to name but a few of the many possible and seemingly plausible objections.

I used to be an expert at these objections and have listed only a few of my milder if not outright weak and impotent utterances here. Nothing like an ‘intelligent’ person to take the mickey out of religion and give it a marathon run for its money!

But was there a deeply buried hurt underneath this façade of bravado and intelligence, combative posturing and explosive verbiage?

Looking back at it now I can say without a shadow of doubt that it was a deep inner knowing of a true religion that made me react so strongly if not verbally violently at times, the knowing of a true religion that:

  • doesn’t distinguish between races, skin colour, gender, education, social standing, etc.
  • doesn’t hold some as more deserving than others
  • doesn’t label one lot of people as chosen at the expense of everyone else
  • doesn’t call one single person a ‘Son of God’ to the exclusion of all others, no matter how magnificent that person’s contribution to humanity has been
  • doesn’t support greed, lies, murder, genocide, money laundering and corruption
  • doesn’t harbour criminals in their midst and thinks itself as above the law
  • doesn’t turn a blind eye to hypocrisy, deception and deceit
  • doesn’t spawn suicide attacks
  • doesn’t demand faith or allegiance
  • isn’t based on belief systems
  • isn’t self-serving
  • doesn’t preach of sin, purgatory and hell
  • doesn’t subscribe to the void or nothingness
  • doesn’t demand obedience or subservience
  • … and this list is endless, as you can well imagine

So what then is true religion, you may ask? And does it exist?

Well, if you are still with me and haven’t politely or even brusquely turned away, it does exist and it is called The Way of The Livingness. It is not a new religion by any stretch of the imagination but it is the true religion in my book, and for many. The Way of The Livingness is based on the Ageless Wisdom, the unwritten deep knowing at the core of every human being – every woman, man and child. Its modern representative is the world teacher Serge Benhayon, founder of Universal Medicine.

The Way of The Livingness is the antithesis of all the points listed above and so much more – and then some; it is all we have always deep down known religion to be in its untainted, uncorrupted, pure and unadulterated state; it is the direct and bodily felt connection to God from the depth of the inner-heart. It is true religion in the meaning of its deepest roots (religare = to bind) and it does bind us, if we so choose and in our own timing, to and within the All we all unavoidably belong to; and it does so even when we think it doesn’t concern us and turn the other way. Why? Because we cannot but be what we are, whether we like it or not, agree with it or not.

By Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah, NSW Australia

Related Reading:
The Way of The Livingness – Where can I Register?
The Way of The Livingness – It’s My Religion
Why Serge Benhayon and The Way of The Livingness Makes Sense

543 thoughts on “What hurts – Religion Itself, or the Bastardisation of Religion? 

  1. I have been reading a lot about the corruption that is occurring in evidence based practice and it definitely struck me that evidence based practice is akin to conventional religion, which really is a bastardised version of religion. Soon we may come to have the same distaste for evidence-based practice.

    1. Once it is official that evidence now means that a sponsor has paid for the result, the word ‘evidence’ is destined to go the same way as did religion – misinterpreted, misunderstood and maligned.

  2. Clearly I am focusing on this topic at the moment because I find myself back reading your blog as if it were the first time! I know that any religion that has Love at its core – which essentially is every single one – would never be able to justify child abuse, corruption, suicide bombers or anything else on your list.

    1. To call ‘religion’ what is clearly not religion is an abomination and nothing but an abomination.

  3. Every person has the right to embrace religion or not. That is free will. Those who embrace it have the right to choose which version of religion they embrace (well they may not be that free particularly when you just go by family tradition). Those who choose not to embrace religion usually come up with a statement that justifies this. The statement is what it is, but it is never the truth of the reason why that statement is coming out of their mouths. Understanding what is behind, though, is of great value.

    1. Rebuking the widely accepted bastardisation of the word ‘religion’ comes as no surprise and is imminently understandable. Denying God is another matter, though. It is a violent and self-destructive reaction to a truth deeply felt.

      1. Atheism and Agnosticism are two paths away from God based on a deep deep hurt. The difference between them is that in the case of the atheist, there is a given upness and in the agnostic, an arrogance that God has to prove to me that he is worth my trust again. The first one does not expect anything further and will move in a way that creates constant situations that confirm the vacuum one has chosen to live in; the second is desperate to have that signal but will never admit it and will move in a way that the signal will never reach him/her.

      2. Great analysis of what atheism and agnosticism are about and how they play out; both stances and adopted beliefs are rooted in as yet inconsolable hurts that have not been addressed.

  4. I would be one that would run away from the world religion because it is now synonymous with abuse and hypocrisy. Yet Religion is a connection and The Way of the Livingness is so practical that I have been able to heal much of my aversion to a word that was so exclusive to now feel that it is the reaction I have is to re-interpretation of people not the judgement of God.

    1. It is in fact our reaction to how we have allowed religion to be bastardised and used, in the name of money, power and influence. None of it has anything to do with God or the true meaning of the word ‘religion’.

  5. Religion is simply a reconnection to who we truly are and that is Divine. When we connect to our essence there is a deep settlement and also a recognition of that same quality in everyone else. The Way of The Livingness offers us a way to live in that connection with ourselves and all others in everyday life. It is indeed true religion.

  6. We have a deep inner knowing of love that exposes to us all that is not love and we react to what is not love being done in the name of love.

    1. … and we also react to the fact that we have contributed to the rot ourselves, to the twisting and torturing of words that once had meaning and gravitas, i.e. words that truly meant and stood for something, unequivocally.

  7. Now that is my idea of religion, a living way from our inner most hearts. No imposition, rules or framework rather a connection and expression of who we naturally are in essence.

  8. The first thing that comes to me after reading this account of what a false religion is compared to the truth of The Way of the Livingness is that it makes complete sense that many would react so strongly and discount the current religions of the world, because in our hearts we all know that what they represent and stand for is not working to bring us back to our souls and live harmoniously once again. But we need not ‘throw the baby out with the bath water” and give up on religion altogether, for it is inside us always, waiting to be reconnected to and nurtured by God.

  9. The religion The Way of The Livingness is to live with love and feel the love of God through you, all around you, as a part of you as you are a part of the Universe.

  10. True religion is the glue that will connect humanity together into an awareness of what our purpose truly is on this planet, and that there actually is no separation.

  11. ‘we cannot but be what we are’ is the inbuilt guarantee of us returning to who we are no matter how far we may choose to deviate away. It is an expression of the unconditional love we are held in, that allows us free will to explore what we are not, but never leaves us alone to get lost in the endeavour.

  12. ‘The Way of The Livingness is the antithesis of all the points listed above and so much more – and then some;’….brilliant blog. Hurt yourself with lies and bastardisation or heal yourself through truth and live the love that you are.

    1. There is always a choice and when we take responsibility for our choices and the oftentimes misery that ensues, we can choose otherwise and not be held captive by a consciousness any longer that is ruthless and only after one thing: to keep the devastation going and humankind in misery and captivity.

  13. I always found religion difficult to get my head around when I was younger, because God was perceived to be this figure of worship, and the reason for many wars in his name too, yet when we realise that God is actually within us all, there can be no wars in the name of religion, and worshiping God means honouring ourselves and others too.

  14. ” Looking back at it now I can say without a shadow of doubt that it was a deep inner knowing of a true religion ”
    For me growing up it was a bit similar and when people said they were acting in the name of God it was easy to see that those people were not religious.

  15. We are all so lost that we don’t even understand what the true meaning of religion is. The thing is that long ago we did know it but we have had the deliberate bastardisation of it to the point that we didn’t even know that we had lost it. It took someone to come along and and open our eyes for us. Thank God for his many messengers, for without them mankind would have no way back to truth.

  16. We do know, even as children, what true religion is, as it really is innate. What Jesus spoke about in terms of love and brotherhood are the things we naturally have already in the purity of the essence we are born as. If we remove children and adults from that essence via the systems, beliefs, and ideals of life, then the perhaps a truly religious practice would be to let each other be and to foster all human beings to be their natural selves, and to simply remove all that imposes on this inner essence.

    1. As it is with true healing and the restoration of what we innately and in essence are, it is always a question of getting rid of what we are not – in this case the beliefs and ideals we use as props and impose on our children, ourselves and everyone.

  17. So beautiful to read what religion is, it’s an absolute knowing in my body. Very much appreciated reading what it isn’t too, especially this one which I know I’ve not fully allowed myself to embrace – time to no longer buy into any being better than another for how pious one is or being less worthy and in need of penance for ones sins. ‘doesn’t call one single person a ‘Son of God’ to the exclusion of all others, no matter how magnificent that person’s contribution to humanity has been’.

  18. The thing about The Way of the Livingness that has meant I have been able to relate to and then reconnect to within myself is the physical practicality of it. We get to know religion and God through being more present and honouring of our bodies. The path to the Divine is physical and temporal (worldly).

  19. The Way of the Livingness “is true religion in the meaning of its deepest roots (religare = to bind) and it does bind us, if we so choose and in our own timing, to and within the All we all unavoidably belong to; and it does so even when we think it doesn’t concern us and turn the other way. Why? Because we cannot but be what we are, whether we like it or not, agree with it or not.” So agree Gabriele. The Way of the Livingness is unlike any other religion, as there are no rules or institutions to follow. When we listen to our inner heart – and just be our true selves, reconnecting deeply with ourselves and with God – this is the religion I want to embrace.

  20. Absolutely – religion doesn’t hurt us, it’s what we’ve made it to be that hurts us. I wonder how everyone would feel about religion if we approached it completely freshly without first being tainted by the man-made dogmas, issues and problems that exist now.

    1. We would be totally unencumbered by any notions, ideas or misinterpretations of what ‘religion’ apparently is and would live true religion from our body.

  21. It is true that we do have to totally re-imprint the word religion… And it is in fact the responsibility of each and every one of us who do know and treasure the connection with the divine that is possible, and that actually lives within us.

  22. It is so very true Gabriele, that we all have a deep inner-knowing of what true religion is. As by virtue of the fact that we are all Souls, we in essence know our innate way of being is religious in nature. Living in connection to our inner-most through all that we do, we live the truth that represents the equalness and interconnectedness of us all, our true and Soulful way.

  23. I agree – so many people are put off by the lies they feel in the way the word ‘religion’ gets used. The true meaning of the word religion is so exquisitely beautiful yet represents something so normal to all of us, and there’s no need whatsoever for us to belong to any organisation to be religious. The truth gets eroded as we allow anything less than absolute to mean what a word represents and we have continued to move in a way that would ‘advance’ in that vector.

    1. I agree Leigh – we all have a deep and great sense of what true religion is, as this is what we lived as children. A quality that never really leaves us, it is only us that changes our relationship with it.

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