Am I Religious?

I remember around the age of 16/17 being asked by a friend at school whether or not I believed in God. I responded by saying that it would be crazy not to, but I did not believe in God in the way we are taught through the varying religions. So at one level I was saying yes to God but at another level I was denouncing all of the organised religions that I knew. I grew up having been to schools heavily influenced by the Catholic religion and whilst I liked some parts of the teachings, there were far too many discrepancies that I did not agree with and which did not make any sense to me.

This led me to the following conclusions about organised religion:

  • I grew up thinking that religion was something outside of me, where I had to go to a church or a priest to have access. This meant sitting in a cold church on uncomfortable seats, listening to things that in the main did not make much sense to my life!
  • It was something you had to go to on a regular basis. If you did not, you were seen as being bad.
  • You had to renounce your sins and somehow they would be taken away at confession. This starts with the premise that you have sinned and are already bad. It also implies you can get away with anything so long as you confess it afterwards.
  • That in order to be closer to God you needed to be a monk or a priest. This put God out of personal reach.
  • You had Heaven, a state of nirvana or bliss to look forward to at the end of your life… if you lived a good life, otherwise you would end up in hell. This led to a feeling of always trying to do the right and best thing whilst not wanting to own up to or admit mistakes. It led me to try to be a perfect boy growing up – polite, attentive and not saying what I truly felt.
  • You had to prove yourself in order to get to Heaven and that life needed to be hard and arduous. So I could not simply be myself, I was always trying to be someone else, someone better.
  • That you would go to war over your religion. The sheer amount of bloodshed that has been caused over religion is inconceivable. We were told we are all equal, yet those who are not in the religion are perceived as sinners and will go to hell.
  • Illness and disease are punishments from God. This takes away all responsibility for our own actions… leading to us blaming and resenting God and other people.

Now all of those can seem fairly obvious examples of what put me off religion but for me the most insidious one was actually being repulsed and turned off by the word religion itself, so much so that I would run a million miles away from it. When I came across The Way of The Livingness I found it very hard to accept the fact that it was about a religious way of life, and that I already am a deeply religious person. So whilst I struggled internally with this fact, although I knew it to be true, I began to feel how I had stopped fully claiming the relationship with myself, with God and with other people.

I have been almost ashamed or fearful of using the word religion because of its many connotations and so have shied away from using the word in my life. I have even shied away from really opening up about The Way of The Livingness to others, in case they may take it the wrong way. It is crazy in a world where we are led to believe in freedom of speech that I have stopped myself from speaking about the one thing that I hold very dear to my heart.

There are many tenets of The Way of The Livingness which cannot all be listed here, but here are some, which for me show the real and true sense of the word religion:

  • Everything is within me, no one is greater or more special than I am.
  • We are all the equal Sons of God and are born with a knowing of this fact.
  • There is no building you can go to, to be closer to God.
  • We are returning to the love we are and not going anywhere and so are able to live this love no matter what.
  • Access to God or Heaven is not restricted – we simply have to make a choice to connect and live in a way that supports this choice.
  • We are responsible for all of our choices and what happens to us.
  • The doors are always open and no one is ever excluded or judged for their choices.

As I say the list can go on but more is not needed here – this quote says it all:

Honouring the love you are in full and bringing that into full human life forms the basis of a new worldly religious way known as The Way of The Livingness.

(Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings and Revelations, p 648)

It has been a very freeing experience to no longer feel shackled by thoughts that say I am not religious. It is also very freeing to claim that everything I could ever want is already within me. This has taken off a lot of the strain and pressure of wanting and thinking that I need to get somewhere and then, only then, can I let go and be myself.

So yes, I can not only claim that I am religious, I can in fact state that I am deeply religious.

Do I shout this from the rooftops? No, for there is no need.

Do I need to convert people with my words? No, for they will see the way that I live.

Does it matter what anybody else thinks about me? No, for if I am living the love that I am then this is more than enough confirmation for me.

By James Nicholson BNat, Design Consultant, Frome, UK

Related Reading:
We are Sons of God First
My True and False Experiences of God
Organised Religion versus True Religion

541 thoughts on “Am I Religious?

  1. “We are the equal sons of God and are born with a knowing of this fact.”
    True, as a child I had a natural connection to God which I lost when I grew older.

  2. It is funny as I have always known that we are the equal sons of God, even with the upbringing in the catholic religion it never felt true that there was only one son of God. We are all equal and are created from the original Divine source and when you know this to be true you start to see the corruption in the world that is set up so we don’t live as equals.

  3. Not only is this a great line James but I know it to be absolutely true . . . .”It is also very freeing to claim that everything I could ever want is already within me.” . . . now all I have to do is live this!

    1. Me too Kathleen, I am learning to live true religion every day without perfection but knowing that everything is already within all of us.

    2. Indeed – we just have to live what we all know and have always known deep within. Then just like when we were children we get to see the real beauty and magic in the world and essentially are freed from the misery and struggled we have chosen to fit in and get through life with.

    1. ‘Living it is a beautiful way to express it’ I fully agree Rebecca. And it is this preciousness that we all have within and the more we share the more everyone gets to appreciate their own preciousness as well. It s a joy to share and appreciate it with another.

  4. “I grew up thinking that religion was something outside of me, where I had to go to a church or a priest to have access. This meant sitting in a cold church on uncomfortable seats, listening to things that in the main did not make much sense to my life!” This is what all religions (bar that of The Way of The Livingness) want us to believe, that the only way you can access God is through the Priests and the Rabbi’s and the many different leaders of religions and through the buildings they en-house. This is why I love The Way of The Livingness which starts with the premise that we all know God,, and we are all Sons of God equally so. So knowing this it does not make sense as to why anyone would want to sit in a cold damp Church on hard seats listening to priests that don’t make sense talking about God in a way that keeps us separate, when we have the choice to feel God everywhere, in nature in our home, at work, and in the people we meet, this to me is true religion.

    1. It is extremely disempowering thinking that anyone else has greater access to God because of a title or a position. And then comes the buildings being set up to look grand and unattainable and then with the cold and hard pews setting us up to feel we need to repent our sins – for me it feels like we are told we have to struggle to get back to love as opposed to surrendering to the love we are. It is a very cunning ploy that has been used to sub-consciously dis-empower us.

  5. Thank you James for sharing the simplicity of true religion, that it is a deep connection to our inner heart and the love that resides there, and bringing that love of God into all aspects of our daily life.

  6. The knowing that we are all equal sons of God is something that resides deep inside us all and it is beautiful to reconnect to this and very honouring. True religion as you share is very simple and a living of that knowing and love of who we are allows us reconnection to true religion and ends the confusion and searching outside and brings with it a real honouring and knowing of God within us all.

  7. True Religion is a living science that is known to each and every one of us and is only ever a connection to our inner-most truth away.

  8. The Way of The Livingness is the true religion for me because of the truth and love that is present and absolute, which I have not seen or felt anywhere else. It is a religion that empowers people to make their own choices and teach us what energetic responsibility is and how to truly live a loving life that is purposeful and all encompassing of everything and everyone. Our connection to God is also up to us to choose and develop.

    1. I agree, Nicola, it is completely absurd how irresponsible we have been in allowing the meaning of words like religion to have been changed to mean the complete opposite of the divinity they bring when used correctly. I know for me, the moment I settle for anything being less than love I am settled and accepting it to be that way, and so gradually we can go from love to complete and utter extreme forms of abuse all by allowing subtle increments away from the truth we know. And what we see in the world today shows how far we have gone from the truth we know.

  9. “That in order to be closer to God you needed to be a monk or a priest. This put God out of personal reach.” wow this is a big one and something that I had growing up, what also got in my way was that I never liked the life that these Monks or Priests would lead so it meant that I was torn between knowing there was more to life than the eye could see yet not wanting to lead a life like a monk or Priest in order to somehow be closer to God. I’m deeply appreciative to now know and understand that we are all equal and all equally close to God no matter our title as we are all equal sons of god.

    1. If we stop to think about it, it makes no sense for anyone with any title to be closer to God if he loves us all equally – why then would he give anyone any special privileges? The more we view things in life with the notion of, does this make sense to love, then the more we will see the discrepancies we have allowed in and thus can re-claim the truth we know.

  10. That is the bottom line we are all equal sons of God and anything that tries to separate us is not true religion and we don’t need fancy buildings to worship in for the kingdom of God is truly inside each and every one of us.

    1. I see our religious buildings as a very clear representation of how we complicate things. The simplicity of the fact that the Kingdom of God is within us is something we craftily avoid.

      1. This is a great point Matilda. So much money, time and effort is put into religious buildings which are ultimately used as a distraction to make us avoid paying attention and giving value to the connection to God that is already within us.

      2. It is a very interesting point – how often we go all out to make something look great or grand on the outside to try to make up for the cold and emptiness on the inside – love is simple, equally available for all and needs no building.

  11. No matter what stories I was told or how real it was depicted, I never believed that hell was an actual place, nor indeed that God would cast a judgement that would send you there as punishment. It just did not make sense in my mind or body as a child.

  12. Everyone has a religious relationship with life. Some are based on denial of God, but that is still an active relationship. This may sound like semantics, but it is important because the understanding of the term religion has been hijacked to refer to the dogmatic beliefs and structure of mainstream religions. Of course it does not make sense to do so, because at some point even those religions only belonged to a minority. And if we were to refer today’s definition to them back then, what would we have called them? A cult? Actually, yes, that is exactly what they would have been called. For the true definition of a cult was invented by sociologists in order to attempt to pidgeon-hole people’s various beliefs into various categories so they could be better understood. The term was later hijacked by those with vested interests who felt threatened by those who broke away from mainstream thoughts about things, and so it became a derogatory term. But tell me this, what is the difference in subscribing to the teachings of a man who lives before you today, and subscribing to the apparent and widely reinterpreted teachings of wise men who lived thousands of years ago. At least with the former, you can see for yourself whether the teachings are reflected by the way the man live’s himself.

    1. It is not semantics at all Adam – the one thing about seeing the way a teacher lives today is that we get it first hand – just like with Serge Benhayon – it has not been allowed to be re-interpreted. Whereas the great teachers of the past did not generally have the teachings written down until long after they were gone and so there was not the direct livingness represented rather an interpreted viewpoint. We have also been given translations as often you cannot capture what was said in words especially when we go from the older languages to the more modern ones and so the essence of what was said has been altered.

  13. I can now say that I recognise a religious person, not by their attire or job title, but by the quality they move with and relate to others in.

  14. We know God and we know love before anything else when we come into this world. It makes sense why it is so confusing for children to try and link the knowing of God and knowing of true religion with what is taught about God and religion in school etc.

    1. We only have to look into a baby’s eyes to know this. The clarity and depth of knowing is exquisite – and we can have this too, we just need to reconnect to the divinity we know within. Nothing else makes sense in this world or is greater than the depths of love we can feel within.

  15. I loved reading these tenets of The Way of The Livingness James. Like seeing an amazing sunset, a hundred year old tree or a new born baby – these words and simple statements make me warm in my heart. How beautifully this is – our body knows Love and natural laws a mile off, without any need for rules or regulations. The key doctrines of The Way of The Livingness are written in the stars, in our eyes, in our hands – and so naturally it’s wisdom is available to every man.

    1. Joseph it is so very simple, as life can be when we get ourselves out of the way. As you say,’our body knows Love and natural laws a mile off’, we just have to connect, well re-connect and everything we could ever have wanted to know we have access to so long as it is for all and not simply to better or advance ourselves at the expense of others. It’s the self that gets in the way wanting to know and own everything which has been our downfall – I know myself how trapping it can be and how truly liberating it is when I let its grasp on my life go.

  16. “Am I Religious?” – A great question to ask James. Even though I had been brought up with a ‘good Christian’ ethic, I never considered myself to be religious as I could never truly relate to what was being preached to me. So when anyone ever started to talk about religion and tried to include me in the conversation, I would adamantly say ‘I never discuss religion’. It wasn’t until I met Serge Benhayon and began to understand and appreciate the true meaning of this word, and was able to dissolve the pictures of what I had been led to believe religion was about, that I could accept that I am religious, simply from connecting to the divine essence that I know is already within me. So now it’s not really a case of discussing religion, but rather living it, through the way I move and how I connect to others.

  17. It is amazing that we continue to live with the glaring indiscrepancies of religion; calling ourselves intelligent but not questioning the falsehood that we have created under the banner of religion.

    1. I agree these indiscrepancies are huge – also like 2 completely different ends of the spectrum – it feels a bit like bi-polar because the high is so good that the low or the evil can somehow be justified. However, when we look at it this way it makes no sense!

  18. It feels that with the current religion as we know them in the world, they kind of stole religion from me. Through The way of The Livingness I realise that nobody can really steal religion from me as that is what I carry within me. It is just possible to bastarize it but never ever somebody can own the true meaning of religion, it is what we carry in our heart.

  19. “We are all the equal Sons of God and are born with a knowing of this fact.” I love this James, it rings so true for me, especially the knowing part, it’s partly a concept at this point to me too that I’m just beginning to feel and know more and more from my body, a remembering that I embrace as it becomes clearer and clearer to me. That to me is one of the keys of The Way of The Livingness, that is everyone’s own return back in their own way, at their own pace, which totally honours everyone, their way however that is.

    1. It is one of the Joys of The Way of The Livingness, that we are on our return back to the love we are all from rather than attaining anything. It is letting go of the shackles and layers we have imposed over the love we are and so the unfolding process is each individual and unique because our layers may have similar flavours but are different. The choice is ours how quickly we choose to let them go and return. The love here is knowing the hold these layers have had over us and so it is not always easy to shed them but very possible and doable when we commit to love and nothing but love.

  20. Understanding the difference between what we know to be true and what we have taken on in terms of religion is so important. When I was 17 I renounced Catholicism because it didn’t marry up with what I was feeling but because of my confusion I threw the ‘baby out with the bathwater’, thinking and feeling sad about it, that I was renouncing God. This was not the case at all but from then on I didn’t call myself religious when in fact everything about me was and was wanting religion in its true sense!

    1. It is amazing how we can know something like God so innately yet be swayed when we are told otherwise and then take those beliefs on and place them above and over what we know truth to be. There are so many things I have found and keep uncovering that I have done this with – ultimately it comes down to what will I tolerate that is less than love in my life.

  21. The word religion has been bastardized for so long in a way that interferes with our connection to inter-dimensionality of all there is and us claiming ourselves equally as the sons of God.

  22. It is very beautiful to reclaim words that we have turned away from because of their mis and re-inteprations. Religion is one such word. Derived from the latin word ‘religio’ – religion has a sacred root, meaning to re-connect to the unity of our essence within. Not only am I enjoying embracing the word religion back into my vocabulary but this exploration makes me curious about what we have done with other words too. Let’s take love, God, responsibility, intelligence as examples… next month’s homework!

    1. That is awesome Matilda and a joy to read. Religion is so sacred yet because it has been used in the name of war, rape, pedophilia to name but a few we want to disassociate from the word at all costs rather than fully embracing what it is offering us.

  23. It’s interesting as I often feel we still hold a massive reaction to the word religion even if we say we don’t. Is this because we have been part of it and feeding everything we don’t like about institutionalised religion for many many years, such as I am better than you, separation, one god, your religion is not as good as mine, arrogance, suffering, being lesser, not worthy etc etc – we can do this in our own homes, by the way we live and move. And at some point in our lives been part of it.

  24. The meaning of the word religion has been so twisted as to completely unrecognisable. If or rather when we come back to understanding the true meaning, the old religions will be seen through for what they bring and they will simply die as people withdraw all support for them. For an insight into what the word Religion really means http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia/word-index/unimedpedia-religion.html
    And for a beautiful treat the Unimedpedia on God is very special. http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia/word-index/unimedpedia-god.html

      1. The Unimedpedia is a fantastic resource committed as it is to bringing back truth to the meanings of words. Truths that have been gradually eroded and sometimes deliberately bastardised over the centuries, to the point that many words today are defined as the exact opposite of their original meanings.

      2. It is great to have somewhere we can go to that brings us back to the true meaning of words. The fascinating thing for me is that most of the words that can actually be truly supportive and beneficial for humanity when used in their true sense are the ones that now are used in a completely different way. Serge Benhayon has been great and is great as bringing us back to the truth no matter.

  25. Universal Medicine has been incredible in supporting me to understand that true religion is my relationship with God. That is 247 and me letting go and allowing God to be with me. God is the vibration of Love and it is quality that we are equally able to access.

    1. Me too Natalie, without Universal Medicine I would still be extremely hesitant to word the word Religion. Whilst I have never denied there to be a God, I have also never felt at ease with the way he has been made out to be. Whereas now I know God for the absoluteness of love that we are held in and the more I allow myself to surrender to the love the more content and alive I feel within my body.

  26. Anything that says we are not all equal is not religion, for we are all the same deep within. Yet this is not what is generally taught when it comes to religion, with ‘religions’ preferring to claim that one or some are somehow more exalted than all the rest.

    1. I agree, anything that states we are not equal sets us up against each other to start with and so cannot be love. This was one of my main struggles with ‘religion’ growing up as how could God have his chosen people when we are all Gods children – it made no sense.

  27. One of the many things I love about The Way of The Livingness is how holding, understanding and accepting it is of all other religions. It simply does not force itself down other people’s throats and try to proclaim to the world how amazing it is. It simply just is pure unimposing Love lived with everyone regardless of what they choose.

    1. ‘Pure unimposing Love lived with everyone’ what a great definition of what The Way of The Livingness is all about. It is not about the individual finding salvation or anything like that rather sharing the love we all are and know within with everybody else. It really is that simple and brings a whole new meaning and purpose to life. Just like when we were children – nothing else was or is more important than being love with each other.

      1. Great observation James. A lot of people miss the freedom joy and innocence they once experienced as a child and no longer do in the same quantity and quality in adult life. Yet it is this innocence that The Way of The Livingness is founded on. It is certainly not about following a way as dictated by a leader or teacher although there are people with access to higher levels of wisdom and intelligence. It is actually about reliving that way which is within us and because it is all us together sharing this love inside with each other it makes the unification true and whole and utterly equal.

      2. Thanks Joshua, and that is the one of the keys I feel in life – it is living what we already know within and not trying to attain something or get anywhere rather just returning to the love we have all come form.

  28. ‘I grew up thinking religion was something outside me.’ Me too James. There always had to be a mediator between myself and God. Realising that I can have direct communication with God and the Hierarchy was an awe-inspiring moment for me to understand, with the grace of the Ageless Wisdom teachings.

    1. I too found the fact of needing to have a mediator between myself and God to be somewhat strange. It was like, on one hand, I could pray/communicate directly but on the other hand, there were those who by rank/ordination were closer to God. But what made them more special? I could not feel a greater depth or sense of love from the monks or priests compared to anyone else, in fact, I felt a coldness from them because it felt like they were there out of obligation and a need to be there rather than because of love.

  29. It is very amazing to claim back the truth we have always known, freeing it from misinterpretation and dogmatic control. Religion is an innate quality in us all, way beyond the confines of any organised institution.

  30. A great blog and I wonder if much of the confusion about religion is simply the same as our confusion about love. When we understand that love is, not an emotion but something quite different, everything else starts to fall into place.

    1. That is a great point Christoph, I agree as soon as we claim back the meaning of words then everything makes sense religion and love are two of these words which are very sacred yet have been used to mean anything and everything but the sacredness they come from.

  31. I remember when I first heard of religion it was in RE (religious Education) in primary school and when I was asked by the teacher what the first words in The bible were I was stunned, as I didn’t have a clue, and from that point never felt like I stayed alert during RE. I then found it was identified as ‘cool’ to draw all over the religion pamphlets we were given and desecrate them so to speak, but meanwhile inside I still knew there was something true about the word ‘God’ and ‘Heaven’ but never could match it with the teachings here.

    1. I know what you mean – a lot of what I learnt or was told about religion and God at school contradicted itself and also made Jesus out to be the special or chosen one, someone we could only look up to but never actually be like – it was this unreachability that did not make any sense to me. If this was the case then what would the whole point have been, what would the purpose be. Surely if God is all loving, which he is then everything he would be about would be to create equally and space for us all to be the love that we are and no amount of energy would be given towards separation in any way.

  32. I love how you mention how it does not matter what others think of us and the religious way we are choosing to live. Almost all religion that I have come across apart from The Way of The Livingness promotes the judgement and at times condemnation and vile hate of others that don’t believe what you do. Total separation if you ask me!

  33. Being asked if we are religious can be such a loaded question, and I guess it is what we define as religion that determines our answer. I would say being religious is about a feeling and a quality of living, this is far more defining of the word than the often considered associations of church and worship.

  34. Simply breathing our own breath is a big part of being religious. When we breath our own breathe and therefore not take on all the woes of others we can then be free to have a true relationship with ourselves and everyone else.

  35. Claiming our true connection to God has never been so simple, all we have to do is move and breath in a way that is about connecting us with our inner-most, and then we can all feel the truth that emanates from that true connection.
    Thank you James, The Way of The Livingness has delivered the truth about religion and this is needed to be shared as you have done.

  36. I was angry and hurt by the word religion, I now breathe the sweet gentle breath and reconnect and know with all my heart it is God’s breath and this is religion. Living from this breath in my movements (without perfection) is a religious life.

  37. If we have to fight to defend our religion, to harm others because they don’t agree, to enforce ideals of what our religion says we must or must not do, or to want all others to convert to your religion, we know that religion does not really represent truth or love, or God.

  38. The Way of The livingness was the first time I had ever heard about God being brought into the every day, which is beautiful!

  39. The concept of confession begs the question why ‘sin’ or do something in the first place that you have to confess to – where is the integrity in that?

  40. Its always so interesting how inconsistent formal religion can be, and the mixed feelings and emotions that this inevitably brings up in people. Just in that it gives us all a moment to ponder what is really being preached from the pulpit? Does it resonate with out heart consistently so?

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