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 “Religion is so outdated and yesteryear” or “leave me alone with organised religion”, to name but a few of the many possible and seemingly plausible objections.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

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

    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.

  1. I see how important it is to break down the illusions around what the word religion has come to mean, and that to do this need not be by engaging in heated debate or taking to the streets in protest of what religion has become, but rather simply through the way we live, how we interact with eachother, all over the world we can change not only what religion is and means and how it relates to and supports us in daily life, but also this can bring change to the world itself, to the whole world in a deeply sustainable and real very genuine way that touches at the heart of every person because every person deserves to know that they are a part of something great.

  2. I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity this lifetime to be a part of a very true and beautiful religion The Way of The Livingness. It has been life-changing to re-connect to the truth of God and divinity and to make this true religion part of my everyday living.

  3. The reaction I used to have regarding to religion was originated by the deep knowing of its meaning and the distortion that I felt in the religions I have known during my life. They didn’t honour my own freedom and discernment to read and understand what the Masters purely offered to us. Those religions have become an interference between those initially clear messages and people. The only religion that I know that respects, don’t push or taint anything is The Way of The Livingness. That reaction has been disappearing, as from there, I feel now myself respected in my own connection and communication with God.

    1. A true religion does not advocate or foster any intermediaries between God and us, it is anathema. We only need to observe our children to feel how God-given, irrevocable, innate and natural that connection is.

  4. I think it does hurt to see systems, beliefs, ideals, philosophies, behaviours and actions in our world that are loveless because deep down we do all know love and so can see when something is not from that love. And so rather than react to that hurt, indulge in it or deny it we can instead direct our energy into bringing the love that we know to life, in our every living way, re-establishing a truly religious way of life that supports everyone and for me The Way of The Livingness is that way.

  5. By and large, the word religion is intimately associated with the words belief and faith. Do you believe in God? If you do, you have to have a religion that operate based on faith. The Way of The Livingness is the only religion that does not operate based on those words. It is founded in a profound knowing deeply confirmed by the body and expanded through our livingness (our movements)

    1. The Way of The Livingness is like the Sun that rises every morning, without fail. We do not need to believe in it, it is there for all to see as is the true religion to be felt as the innateness it is in every single one of us.

  6. It is true, that many of the arguments against leading a religious life tend to come from an intellectual standpoint which has detached itself from the God Light that comes from our soul.

  7. The inescapable truth, religion in truth is about, we can crusade on a path of deceit and lies (all that religion is not) – or we can choose to take one step closer, within us, and re-discover that religion is within us all – and that all the misinterpretations have simply been ill created lies.

  8. “The way of the livingness .It is not a new religion by any stretch of the imagination but it is the true religion ”
    Even the words say it , the way you live lets you know how your relationship with the what is and the what is not is been lived , ones personal religion.

  9. True – we can only be who we are. And if we have chosen to hide it , it still is there. Hence what only hurts is the separation of being you. A simple matter of truth. Something we cannot escape only choose to not feel (deny).

  10. It seems a human trait to stick our colours to a mast and sail it into everyone else. It’s why I am learning more and more the benefits of a religion such as The Way of The Livingness, because it needs no fanfare, and is all about our own responsibility to live with care and make choices responding to truly feeling. Then other can feel this and they can ignore it or ask more, but it never need be an imposition.

  11. While reading this I was struck by what I think must be an incredibly common experience as a child. When I was younger the world was full of magic which I trusted, knew deep within, and expected other people to be able to explain and help me understand. That is the role of religion… to develop a relationship with that magic, and in its organised form it has abjectly failed – which hurts us all to the core. Such a disservice for such a precious feeling.

    1. I agree – as children we knew and were super aware of how it all feels; religion and education then do their best to layer this inner knowing with all sorts of theories and misinterpretations that fit the status quo, the ‘normalcy’ which we have falsely adopted.

  12. It’s so true Gabriele. When we observe the hypocrisy, inconsistencies or unloving behaviours of those that claim to be religious, or do in the name of religion, it leaves us feeling disillusioned and thinking it’s the religions fault not the actual individual who actioned it.

  13. It wasn’t that long ago that I would avoid any conversation about religion and absolutely struggle to say the word God and I would have been very sure that this would be how it was until the end of this life. But along came Serge Benhayon and introduced the world to The Way of The Livingness, a true religion that every single particle in me was saying yes to. I have come to embrace The Way as my way of living, a religious way that bears no resemblance to the institutionalised religions that, as far as I am concerned, have caused more separation in the world than the uniting of people in Brotherhood which is our natural way of living.

  14. Religion is very much apart of who we are, its apart of our everyday. It’s very sad that what we know deep within has been shrouded with all that we now think religion is.

  15. Our repulsion to religion says we know it, inside out, and can’t stand the fact that the word is being used and practiced in a way that is not true to the true meaning. For some, the way religion is is good enough as it quells the want to be part of a community and be part of something that confirms there is more out there and more to life.

  16. How rare to read an article about religion that does not try to persuade that you have all the answers, that yours is the one! The Way of The Livingness is clearly about developing that relationship within oneself in every movement, thought and action. It is about integrity and honesty, truth and love, playfulness and joy, about harmony. I am sure there is so much more but if that is right then what a breath of fresh air and why wait, why not live that way as a ‘norm’ in order to reflect to others there is another way that does not foster the pain and resentment that is currently taken as the ‘norm’?

    1. It does not take a rocket scientist to see that we plainly need an alternative to what has been bandied about these last couple of thousand years… a new normal that is so much more natural.

  17. There is something about this article, which felt very beautiful… I felt a deep smile as I read it and reflected on the long nay endless list of what a true religion is not and cannot be… and, very simply, there is now a religion that lives and breathes truth …. Now that IS something to smile about.

  18. Although we think that religion needs to be a certain way and from that have created the organized religions, our natural religion is just that connection with our inner heart, that part in us that is our connection with the whole, which is always there if we live in obedience of it or not That is our own choice and is also the reason why organized religions do exist as it has been our collective choice to disregard that inner connection and choose for the man made religions instead.

  19. Gabrielle, I love how you give us space to consider what real religion is.. and that it is not any other illusionary stuff it has been made about, we had fallen (willingly so) for the lies and corruption of the word.. But the great thing is that even though we might have escaped the truth, the truth is still there and needs to be re-discovered and so shall the book of truth be opened. This sentence resonated very truly and deeply within: ‘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.’
    Totally wipes out the illusion we have given ourselves about religion – and sets straight what it is about.

  20. We all have this knowing that there is more to life than that what we see is happening in our societies and from that we are seeking for the truth of things and try to understand the purpose of our existence as human beings here on earth. But to get the true answers we have to become very honest with ourselves and in that to see our own doing and contribution to how our societies are running. When we do not like something we see we have to question ourselves what our part is in it and why that what we do not like is existing and having its way in the societies we actually would like to be different. There is a contradiction in this as in a way we do contribute to the whole while we like to have it differently. While not actively involved in the waywardness we can observe in our societies that we are adding to the whole, as allowing situations to exist and to not do anything about it is also a contribution as we all individually have the power to bring change and make the world a better place for all people to live in and to prosper and evolve.

    1. Yes – with one proviso, if I may: I would say that we are actively involved in the waywardness by not doing anything about it; it is still saying yes and aligning to what is not true, whether as a part of the silent majority or the belligerent and more outspoken, if not abusive minority.

      1. Thank you for this gabrieleconrad, I do agree with that. It is always an activity, whatever we do, and in that align to the truth of life to which we naturally belong, or we are in ignorance to this fact and with that actively holding a face that is actually not us and by way of acting like that we are adding to the waywardness that is so disturbing and at the same time is keeping us from looking for the real answers of why the waywardness is there.

  21. We all know God inside out – because we are essentially Him, living within His energetic field and created by Him. We can’t escape God. But, we can bastardise the word, reduce and manipulate its meaning to the point where people actually renounce that fact of God’s existence. To me, this proves just how far we have strayed from the truth of our inner being and what that is connected to.

  22. To me I have always known that I was religious and because of being part of the catholic church through the family I was born in, this knowing has been manipulated by the false images that this church has brought to it and made me wonder off from that innate knowing I had from young. That is the truth I now understand the institutionalized religions bring, the false images that take us away from something we know so well.

  23. The Way of The Livingness has stood the test of time… for it is True Religion to the letter – a living way we all know to be true to our core that we have each lived at one time or another.

  24. Religion was one of those subjects you just didn’t mention, as the saying goes, I think it’s God, religion and politics from memory. I remember avoiding the conversations like the plague and dismissing them outright. I wasn’t religious was my answer and I had no time to discuss why, I didn’t care and I didn’t care to let anyone know, I just wasn’t. Time and time again things would come up and I would stop and turn back the other way or politely walk around them. There was no way I would talk about religion and if it came up then I would just go into a daze and look disinterested until the subject changed. It’s a pretty specific reaction to something that I really didn’t know much about. I had been told a lot of things and from that confusion had decided anything that was like that, pushing and pulling to all areas like it did wasn’t worth knowing. I suffered until the end of school and then once I was working I thought I was free. It’s actually been really great getting to know what religion truly is and simply when it comes down to it it is your connection with what you feel and it’s not owned by anyone. It’s a very refreshing way to look at something and every day this connection is offered many opportunities to deepen which brings a clearer connection to what I feel and more understanding of what is going on around me.

    1. I feel that what you describe as your reaction to what religion has been turned into is shared by millions of people worldwide – do we just know that what we’re being sold is not true? Is not it?

    2. Hi Ray, while being religious is actually what is natural to us, it is interesting to question why the organized religions are actually there. What purpose do they serve as, in your case, they made you to turn away from religion in anyway shape or form?

      1. This is a great point and for me personally, I would have to say, “What purpose do they serve” was exactly that, they served to turn me away from true religion. Now obviously they haven’t gone anywhere or changed since but I am different and so in this way I had a part in the turn away as well. I mean my awareness to what true religion is was asleep. I knew what I saw when I was younger didn’t make sense and confused me but from where I stand now there is no confusion. This leads me to see while nearly all the current organised religions are twisting and turning the truth to suit themselves I was also unable to just see that when I was younger. I was confused, reactive, upset, ignorant etc to what I was truly seeing and so my connection to true religion wasn’t strong. I was able to be hooked into parts of organised religions because I had allowed the truth in me to be diminished or I had actively diminished this truth from how I was. If I stood then where I stand now organised religion wouldn’t have touched or hooked me as I am aware of what true religion means and I have no problems talking about it or discussing it with others.

      2. I appreciate what you say about the twisting and turning of the truth that the organized religions are doing as they give only snippets of truth but are not able to give the full truth and that is the luring and hooking part. You get the impression that when you bring more devotion to the dogmas presented that you will get a greater awareness and finally maybe will be given the truth of the basic questions we have about our existence as humans on this planet earth and will become part of the ‘saved’ and selected few. But it is also interesting to explore how we might have used these organized religions to keep ourselves distracted from that what is just living within and can be accessed without the need for any institution whatsoever as we now are discovering and come to understand as students of The Way of The Livingness.

  25. Recent observations and experiences of church services confirmed to me its lovelessness; tiny congregation of 7 or 8 people ( absence of children and young people) texts read with no true feeling, hymns written centuries ago, simply going through the motions. When a member of the congregation fell ill and was admitted, first to hospital, and then a care home, the congregation’s response, apart from the minister, was to do nothing, no visits, no team of supporters. A mismatch between what was said in church and how life is lived. True religion lives within each one of us, is not found within church walls but felt in each and every relationship we have.

  26. We all deeply know within what is true and what is not, who we are and who we are not, yet we have lost our way in knowing how to live this and are instead surrounded by a world that is living far from the truth we are. How do we live who we are when the rest of the world is not and this is what is being accepted as normal? To witness the atrocities that have existed between and have been imposed upon us as a humanity is something that we must all feel hurt by to some degree. Yet as you have pointed out living from these huts gets us nowhere and only keep us imprisoned by the limitlessness that we are living. There is a way to re-turn to living in connection to who we are, to the truth we know within and is felt as such though our bodies, where our relationship with ourselves and God is one and the same as we are the Son’s of God no less. The Way of The Livingness as you say so beautifully here – ‘…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.’ A true religion that is accessible to all simply due to the fact that within this is who we all innately are.

  27. It is quite profound, the reactions one sees or feels when the word ‘God’ is mentioned… To me this exposes just how much people have been manipulated historically about what ‘God’ means, in order to have such a recoil when this word is heard, when in truth, it simply is, as I understand, only about coming back, re-connecting with yourself, with that love that is naturally within the body.

    1. Beautifully expressed Johanne for when we understand, feel and appreciate the true meaning of the words God and religion, it allows us to reconnect to the purpose and meaning of human life.

      1. Without a true understanding of our forever and unalterable connection to God and thus the word ‘religion’; in its true meaning, we lack purpose; without purpose, we are open to unsettlement and anxiety if not mental and physical ailments.

  28. We all know so much wrong is done and has been done in the name of religion, so when something comes along that is true, one would be rather sceptical if it wasn’t for the fact that we can feel truth and The Way of The Livingness is the first truth I have felt in a very long time.

  29. We have made religion so complex but in truth it is very simple and we all know deep within what true religion is, our part in and thus connection to the all.

    1. Very true – we have complicated and complexified the most simple, known relationship we each have with ourselves, God and the Universe.

    2. Exactly Esther – living religion is living the truth of who we are in every step – it’s not about following rules, jumping through hoops, memorising scriptures and the like. Living religiously is much more simple than we realise and that connection is ever present and patient.

  30. Great point Gabriele, it is only the bastardisation of religion that is so harmful to us. We have to question why so many choose it, despite that harm being so evident in the name of wars, corruption, pedophilia, supremacy, chauvinism, the list goes on. And that is only the more obvious harm. At some level we must gain something from it that allows us to turn a blind eye.

  31. Having experienced a few religions in my life I was never satisfied with the explanations given to me. I was put off religion for quite a while. Only when I came to The Way of The Livingness have I felt this is the way. My body felt at home and so many questions have been answered. This is true religion. No intermediary necessary.

  32. ‘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.’ – And it is easy to see in children that they know this natural way of being, which then eventually fades out more and more by the impositions and demands of their surroundings and society in general, and by the time they are adults they have completely suppressed this inner knowing of who they are.

  33. I’ve always had a true knowing that there is a God and I went to Sunday School as a child and read some of the Bible. The Bible often talks about the kingdom of God inside us, but what exactly does that mean, what is it and how does one connect to it? These were all questions I asked my teachers and they had no answer for me. But then I discovered Universal Medicine and the answers to these questions and more were given to me and now the world makes perfect sense!

  34. I was once a great skeptic. My mind was my greatest weapon, and I used it well. I could even entertain the possibility that there were things that the mind could not yet fathom, but that could still be conceived of with a well developed mind. It was my religion.
    But true religion cannot ever be explained by the mind. It cannot be understood as a formula. It is a surrender to the fact that we are an inseparable part of a grandness which cannot be conceived of but can be felt in the love that it forever holds us with.

  35. The greatest threat to freedom of religion is sadly religion itself. Unfortunately, in turning our back on all religion due to the actions of a relative few, we discount the possibility that true religion, if there is such a thing, is waiting to be discovered in the ranks. And if you shut yourself down to all religion, then sadly, that is a truth that can never be discovered.

  36. “But was there a deeply buried hurt underneath this façade of bravado and intelligence, combative posturing and explosive verbiage?” – My favourite sentence i’ve read in a while 😉

  37. This is a deeply important blog, because it highlights the fact that religion has been distorted beyond recognition and everyone knows it because everyone knows what true religion is, and this is a great hurt that runs through society, as we all search for the truth only to find what has become bastardised and or forgotten. The Way of The Livingness therefore is so important for restoring what is true in society again – the fact that God lives within, He is with you everywhere that you go, and His is a beholding light that embraces you through your soul, and all we ever have to do is be ourselves and He is there with us through our expression.

  38. This is great Gabriele.to expose the bastardisation of religion because so many people are put off, feeling that institutionalised religion is not true, but not knowing where else to turn to for the truth. Learning to understand through the Ageless Wisdom teachings and the Way of the Livingness, we have an opportunity to choose to return to true religion.

    1. I agree – The Ageless Wisdom and The Way of The Livingness offer true religion and the opportunity to heal the old hurts associated with the misinterpretations and gross aberrations, as well as our part in it.

  39. “So what then is true religion, you may ask? And does it exist?” now this is a great point when we look at all the things that we expect of a religion then I would not have found a single institutional religion that is actually about the all, equally and without judgement. What I deeply appreciate and Love about The Way of The Livingness is that it brings you back to the root, the original seed of what true religion is and from there everyone is equal and the hurt that I know I lived with over the bastardisation of religion can start to heal.

  40. Yes if we go back to the roots of the word religion it is to re-bind, or re-connect, and that makes total sense to me. We are re-connecting to something deep within us that when felt connects us to everything. It lets us be and has us feeling whole and complete and very much alive. It is a reconnection that can be felt in our physical bodies and yet it goes way beyond the physical.

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