From Religious Confusion to Religious Truth 

My confusion about religion and God began at a very early age, probably from day one. My father didn’t believe there was a God but that there was a logical explanation for everything in the Universe.

His own father had been raised in the Catholic faith and from very early on was expected to be the priest in the family, but at 17 this pressure turned him away from the Catholic religion and he ran away to sea. He later discovered Rationalism and when he became a father himself he brought his own children up, including my father, in this belief.

I never had really understood what Rationalism was all about, but my readings since have presented that it is a branch of philosophy where an idea is validated by logic rather than religious means such as revelations, meditation or emotions. A Rationalist is said to believe that all knowledge can be understood through a process of reasoning without any external sources, particularly without the need for a God. But the few times my father voiced that there was no God, it didn’t make sense to me as I could feel so clearly inside that there was. My confusion grew even stronger as my father was totally connected to nature and the Universe and their cycles; I felt he loved and honoured people for who they were, never judging anyone and treating everyone as an equal. To me the way he lived felt so aligned to God and in fact as I grew older I used to say that he was living how I felt a true Christian would live. But of course in my mind that clashed with what I came to understand were his beliefs… beliefs that I chose not to question.

Then on the other side, my mother was raised as a Swedish Lutheran; she spoke little about her religious beliefs and she appeared to only go to church when someone had died or for weddings. It took me a while to realise that she had put aside her beliefs and in part aligned herself with my father’s views, although he never forced them on anyone.

So this was the scene that was set for the early years of my life. As a young child I would have unexplained experiences that I would share with my mother; for example, that I knew that there was no real death but that we would ‘wake up’ again just like when we went to sleep, but she would instantly tell me that my father didn’t believe in that, and so I learned to hold back from sharing these inner knowings with him. I chose instead to defer to what I perceived to be his greater wisdom and began to align to his beliefs as my mother had done, shutting down all that I naturally knew and felt. He was such a wonderful and seemingly wise man, so it was obviously very easy to accept that he must be right and what I felt and experienced at times, must be wrong. So onto the pedestal he went and as a result, down went my trust in what I could feel and innately knew. Sadly I never had the conversation with him about religion that I now would dearly like to have, and I know that if he had known how I had shut myself down, he would have been horrified.

My father never pushed his beliefs onto others as he respected their views, so when I decided I wanted to attend Sunday School he did not try to convince me not to go, and off I went for my first ‘religious’ experience. So it was at about age 8 that I slowly began to garner some insight into what religion was about, but interestingly I can’t even remember what religion it was. A year later when I chose to start Bible studies something inside me woke up and I could feel so clearly that what was being presented to me did not feel true, and I left, never to return.

As the years rolled on by and I began to read about certain religions from Catholicism to Buddhism, I began to feel like I did in Bible studies – that there was little or no truth in what I was reading. But when I read about the teachers that these religions were named for, I felt something very different; that these men did bring truth to the world. So the question naturally arose; what happened to their teachings?

I came to the conclusion that they had been bastardised and used simply for power and control of the masses, and in doing so the truth presented by these wonderfully wise men was distorted for the purpose of keeping the people in separation; from themselves, from others, from the truth and from God, and not to bring them together in love, equality and brotherhood as had been presented as the way forward for mankind.

The stories of wars, atrocities and genocide in the name of religion continued to confuse and at times horrified me, and slowly I began to distance myself further and further from religion and God until the point when I could not say the words without squirming, at times avoiding saying them altogether. But when someone asked me what religion I followed I would say that I was an agnostic as claiming to be an atheist just didn’t sit right. It was like there was a part of me that was keeping my religious options open just in case.

And I am so pleased that I did because as a result of leaving that door open, the confusion that I lived with for nearly 60 years is now finally dissipating and my clarity about what religion truly is grows every day. This most welcome change to my understanding of religion has come about as a result of connecting with Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine 12 years ago. When I attended my first ever workshop with Serge, I felt with every part of me that I had finally found what I had been looking for all of my life and that I was finally returning home, even though at that stage I did not know where home was and what was waiting for me there. From the workshops and other presentations by this very wise man I began to reconnect to the real me, who I had buried under the mountain of the many ill ideals and beliefs I had chosen to take on, including my ones about religion.

The day Serge Benhayon first mentioned the word religion I began to squirm once again and all the old religious ideals and beliefs came pouring back in, and there was a voice yelling, “No, this can’t be a religion!” But even though there was a part of me that wanted to run, there was an even stronger part that was saying stop, here is the opportunity you have been waiting for, to finally understand what religion actually is, to get to know the God that you knew as a child and to make sense of a world that most of the time hasn’t made sense.

So stop I did and I began to listen to what Serge was presenting and with the common sense and truth that I knew he was offering, slowly the walls I had built began tumbling down, especially when he presented the true meaning of the word religion. When he shared that the word has its origins in the Latin words, ‘re-ligare’ and ‘re-ligio’, meaning to re-bind, to re-connect, I could feel that this is what I had felt at the first Universal Medicine workshop I attended; that I was re-connecting to something that I had always known but that I had buried for a very long time, probably for many lifetimes.

As Serge Benhayon continues to share this Ageless Wisdom with us I have come to realise that so much of what I had felt and had known was true; that Jesus, Mohammed, Krishna, Buddha and the other wise messengers had offered humanity the truth; that their message was bastardised; that they did not ask for buildings to be erected in their name; that they did not want their teachings to be used for power and control and definitely not the reason to go to war; nor for God to be portrayed as a judgmental being totally removed from people’s lives, sitting on his throne in the sky.

They actually shared that it is in connection with our innermost, our inner heart, that we can feel and know God, wherever we are and whatever we are doing; it is in our livingness, and that in coming together to live this way in Brotherhood is a way we have known before and once chosen we will naturally live again. It is in the way we live in every moment as presented by The Way of The Livingness that we can build this connection to ourselves, and from this inner connection we can connect to others, to God, to nature and to the Universe. We are divine beings who are here to once again reclaim the true essence of love and remember that religion is in everything that we do and everything we express.

If you understand what religion truly is, then everything is religion.”

(Serge BenhayonEsoteric Teachings & Revelations, p. 46)

I have come to know that my religion is the stars in the sky that shine down upon me in the dark of the night; it is in the delicate bud of a flower that gently opens to the warmth of the sun; it is in the voice that whispered to me that what was presented in that Bible Studies class wasn’t the truth and that in connection to myself I will naturally connect to God and come to know him again as I did as the innocent and beautiful Son of God that I was as a child, and that I always have been.

Published with permission of family.

By Ingrid Ward, West Auckland, New Zealand

Related Reading:
Images of God
Waiting for God…
World Religion Day – but do we know what Religion is?

407 thoughts on “From Religious Confusion to Religious Truth 

  1. I used to deny being religious because of the connotations associated with this, I did not want to be misunderstood and I would say I was spiritual – and I was. Now I am honouring the original meaning of “religious” that is “to reconnect” and feel that I am returning to a more wholesome relationship with life as I reconnect to my essence and allow more connection to my soul.

  2. Those that make the dichotomy God vs logic, discount that there is a profound logic behind God’s decisions but only because they cannot see it and even if the logic is revealed to them, they see God through a human’s eye.

    1. Reading your comment was a reminder of the logic my father presented his denial of God to me, but that is where my confusion began because it was at total odds with how he lived in this world. How I would love to have a conversation with him now I have reconnected to the God I have always known through the presentations of Serge Benhayon and from making The Way of The Livingness my religion; my way.

  3. ““If you understand what religion truly is, then everything is religion.” I love this because it opens up the discussion on the word religion to mean so much more than what we have allowed the institutional religions tell us what religion is.

  4. Serge Benhayon shares the teachings of the Ageless Wisdom and offers an opportunity to reconnect to truth that is felt in every particle of your body.

  5. There are lots of beliefs and ideals about God and how he his and how religion should be that can be really off putting and repulsive in my experience but I also know that there is a true beauty to be found in religion when it comes from our innermost connection and this is something that Serge Benhayon presents with sincere and great clarity.

  6. I was speaking to a young man recently and we were chatting very openly about God. Even though he was unsure about God’s existence I detected a deep seated, very old hurt that he had denounced God because of the way religion had been twisted, changed and bastardised for so many centuries. Yet, he had a deep sensitivity and a wise inner knowing about life, the world, equality for all and a connection to true religion.

    1. This is such a beautiful observation Rachel, and I feel that there will be so many within society who have experienced the exact same thing. Religion as it has been presented for so long, and in a very distorted way, is at the root of so many ill-behaviours that many of us live with. As far as I am concerned institutionalised religion has inflicted more harm on its followers than any truth it may have possibly been presenting.

  7. I have never understood how people can call themselves religious because they attend church, or saying they are deeply religious because they are regular church goers. For me religion is a way of life, with absolutely no need to attend a church or place of worship, I can choose to connect to God at any time, and any place.

  8. Someone I knew many years ago and whose father was a minister in the Presbyterian church, shared with me that he noticed his father preaching one way and living another. When he asked him why, his father replied – “I am only giving the people what they want”. And it seems to me that many who attend church on Sunday only accord importance to their religion on that one day, as they choose to live in a very different way, a non-religious way for the rest of the week. This is one pattern that felt so hypocritical to me, one that served to turn me away from religion as it was then.

  9. Like you Ingrid I too walked away from religion, this was in my teens when I became aware that what was been preached to me in church and how many of the so called pillars of the church ran their businesses and lived their lives on a daily basis was less than loving. For the next fifty years I didn’t speak about religion and was even unaware of the religion of my closest friends. When I first heard Serge Benhayon present on the origins and true meaning of religion something deep within me resonated with his words and I realised that what I had walked away from all those years ago was the bastardised version which was imposed on me as child. Now with the knowing of the true meaning of religion and how it is a way of living in love and harmony with all, I am proud to say that I deeply religious. 

  10. It is deeply humbling to feel that we know true religion, for many of us, this knowing is from childhood and permeates our whole life. In my experience, it was knowing deeply what truth was, but not being able to allow myself to live it that caused great discontent and unrest in my life.

  11. I have found that putting people onto pedestals feels completely unnatural – and when I have done so, I often try to knock them off – which is all very unfair because it was me who put them there in the first place.

  12. Thank you Ingrid for this powerful blog. I love what you have shared here with the simplicity of being in connection with grandness of nature as true religion.
    “I have come to know that my religion is the stars in the sky that shine down upon me in the dark of the night; it is in the delicate bud of a flower that gently opens to the warmth of the sun”

    1. Yes, it is actually that simple Stephanie but why do many of us make it so complicated? As the days go by and with my commitment to truly know God I can feel that slowly but surely, I am learning this and starting to live it. I am understanding that there is no doing in religion but a way of being where we naturally re-connect with God and so, are held lovingly and unconditionally within his magnificent being.

  13. Your father was very wise to not try to impose his beliefs or lack of them onto you. I am always very grateful for my parents not imposing a belief system onto me. By not doing so it allowed me to feel my own connection to God and that no organised religion was relevant in this connection.

  14. When we live in connection to our inner heart and move with its impulses, everything we do, say ,or think is living true religion.

  15. Growing up with all of these conflicting views on religion is indeed very confusing and the relationship our parents have with religion and God really stand out when we are young and can feel God for ourselves. In our house, there was a mix between my mother who was baptised in water as a Baptist and my father who renounced the High Church of England and went into Spiritualism. My father always believed in God but knew that the church did not have the answers he was looking for, and often said, that he did not need to go to church to find God.

  16. For ages I thought I did not want to have anything to do with God, although I loved observing nature, was fascinated with the flow of life and in awe of the order in the universe.

    It took me a while to figure out that this was all part of my relationship with God, and that I did not want to have anything to do with was not God himself, but the imposed misinterpretation of him!

  17. I felt similarly Ingrid – ‘that I was re-connecting to something that I had always known but that I had buried for a very long time, probably for many lifetimes.’ I never gave up searching for the truth as i too had attended Sunday school as a child – and even taught in one for a few years before I left home at 18. I returned to religion when pregnant, but always found the hypocrisy in church stifling. When I came to find the true meaning of religion through the presentations of The Ageless Wisdom via Serge Benhayon I knew I had come home. My search was over.

  18. Ideals and beliefs are the background programs that essentially run a person’s whole way of being.We may assume they are true however perhaps this is not wise, given the influence they have on our lives…

  19. Our relationship with God is deeply personal and some may refuse to use the word God but we all know Him otherwise how do we know to react when the lies are presented.

  20. I recall for many years calling myself an Atheist yet I also never felt comfortable with the word, I had turned my back on the Catholic religion as I could no longer stand the hypocrisy and lies this religion stood for. I realised that is was not religion I was reacting to but the bastardisation and reinterpretation of God, and the fact no one was living in a truly religious way. Because of my past experiences with religion, at first I was a little cautious when I was introduced to The Way of The Livingness, but this didn’t last long as I could feel the truth of this religion, and this allowed me to deeply heal and be inspired to re-connect back to God and a religious way of life.

    1. I too was never comfortable calling myself an Atheist and now I realise that somewhere inside of me I knew that wasn’t true, that I did know God so therefore I couldn’t deny this knowing. Returning to my relationship with God has been a most profound but also very enjoyable experience, one that I am so delighted that I did not turn away from when The Way of The Livingness was first presented by Serge Benhayon. Yes, I did a lot of squirming and there were times I wanted to run, but the inner knowing was still there, saying ‘stop and feel, you do know the truth, and always have’. So I stopped and there was the truth waiting for me,

  21. We can take on beliefs from others at a very early age. We have a tendency to take on all that is shown to us and reflected to us about religion and God from our family and culture. This can be very hard to change or move away from, so we have to bring a lot of understanding to where others are at and their choices.

  22. The more I connect with myself, the rhythms and cycles of my body, I can’t help but feel that this is a religious way of living and being and that is what I choose to live, not what anyone else tells me to.

  23. We need to stop feeling, to align ourselves to Rationalism or any other fabricated religion. Is this the purpose of their existence or their consequence? In any case, if we stop feeling we disconnect ourselves from our inner wisdom and our own intimate connection with God.

  24. We cannot use the mind alone to explain the vastness of space that we belong to. To do so in an attempt to ‘shrink’ space (Universal Intelligence) in order to get it to fit into a predefined area that we can then say we own and thus have a hold of. Our innate divinity cannot go away simply because we ignore it. It always remains deep within us unpolluted and untainted while we simply layer over the top of it a lesser way to be and accept such reduction as our seeming norm.

  25. Rationalism was the conceptual foundation of massive experiments that took place during the XX (20th) century to create social/economic/political orders from above in the name of wellbeing and happiness in which individuals entered the equation as mere executors of a precise movement within a more comprehensive one. These experiments and the narratives that supported them were a clear path of competition with religion as provider of the answers and the way. Then we had other kind of experiments in which ‘religion’ operated as the foundation of political/social/economic orders. Either scenario of the attempt to build ‘Heaven on Earth’ shows a clear sub-ordination of the individual to the collective, a very clear mistrust and open war with free will and a clear incapacity to help people to build wellbeing in their bodies.

  26. I am so clear in my knowing and acceptance that there is a God that when another dismisses there is a God I am steady and do not react. Even when I am not myself and disconnected I know there is a God and when I am connected to myself, to who I truly am I know and am aware that everyone else too can feel God in the sense that he is within and within everything too. It is impossible to dismiss God. Dismissing God clearly shows me the ill energies at play that are outside of who we truly are that we can take on.

  27. True religion is our willingness to embrace The Livingness as a daily way of life where the quality of our movements reflect our interconnection with the universe and everything there is.

  28. I love this excerpt “If you understand what religion truly is, then everything is religion.”

    (Serge Benhayon Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p. 46)”

    It takes away any stigma about what Religion actually means, it invites an open mind and frees up the body as you read it.

    I found it so interesting hearing about your upbringing, we all come from such different backgrounds but we seem to all have one thing in common and that is an inner knowing that there is more to this life than meets the eye.

    1. That is so true Sarah that everything is religion, and something that occurred to me after reading that quote is that literally everything that happens to us during the day is an offering for us to learn from and evolve back to our original source (to re-connect). It’s just a matter of staying aware and responding to these things as they arise.

  29. I too can’t “imagine living without this awareness”; it feels so natural in stark contrast to the way I used to live. It is very hard, near impossible, to live in connection to others, to nature and to the Universe when you are living in disconnection from yourself.

  30. I haven’t seen that quote about religion being in everything but, as you have so beautiful illustrated, it is. It is in our connection to each other, to nature, to the unseen. It is in our thoughts and our actions. I cannot imagine living without this awareness now and yet, if I had subscribed to what I took on as religion to be about, I too would have remained an agnostic.

  31. Its so wonderful you have re-connected with your religion . What you have shared in you writing sounds so graceful, thank you.

  32. I love the idea of rationalism – that things should be looked at with discernment and intelligently, but can’t help but think there is an underlying hurt or contraction that stops that person at looking at the unfathomable or unexplainable with the same rational discernment. There is plainly an energy, or a guiding force at play in the world – and that is worth some serious rational consideration!

  33. If we do not understand the true meaning of the word religion how can we ever hope to understand the concept of living religiously and how it supports us in our everyday.

  34. When the true meaning of the word religion is shared and understood as our own re-connection back to ourselves, the word simply settles in my body.

  35. The experience of religion so many of us have had in our younger lives has turned us away from that so called religion, and as we grow into adults with our own choices and thinking, it is very easy to see the corruption, misadventure, abuse and downright lies associated with religion. The real deceit though is that what we were told was religion, is not religion. Thank God for Universal Medicine introducing true religion to the world.

    1. And that deceit is playing out on a world scale currently. We all have a responsibility to claim and live true religion in our everyday to offer another way.

    1. Absolutely Brendan – and that’s the very point of rationalism – to ignore the rest of the universe.

  36. I can understand why someone who has been hurt by the reinterpretation of religion would decide to leave God out of their religious beliefs and practices, however that is really just ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’. God is within us all so to deny this is to turn away from the deep connection we have with ourselves, leaving us at the mercy of whatever is outside of us. Beliefs then become super important because they are the only way in which we can stay relatively steady in the chaos of the world we have all created.

    1. So true Lucy, we need the beliefs to make sense of the chaos, yet when you connect to the All that is within, there is no chaos but a stillness and an understanding of how everything makes sense.

  37. I had a chat with somebody about religion yesterday, they were so certain in their knowledge of everything they had read and everything that has been bastardised that they have completely renounced religion from their life. Even though I know that I haven’t completely embodied the real meaning of the word, I feel absolutely blessed to be open to the possibility of a true religious life.

  38. Learning about the different religions and even now interacting with people from many different faiths I am at times asked if I am religious and I say yes without hesitation. Which is beautiful because previously I too would hide away from claiming that I am religious as to associate with something that didn’t make any sense nor did I want to be seen as a looney or as a sheep in the mind of another; judgements I had previously pinned onto those following a religion. The way Serge Benhayon presents religion makes so much sense in that it’s about being in relationships, which we are constantly in and can’t escape from, and there is more to us and life that is physical and we can and do have a relationship with this.

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