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 Benhayon Esoteric 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
Images of God
Waiting for God…
World Religion Day – but do we know what Religion is?
413 thoughts on “From Religious Confusion to Religious Truth ”
Yes, I could always feel the truth, the integrity, and plain common sense in what Serge Benhayon, and Universal Medicine shared, and lived.
Serge Benhayon shares so much wisdom, ‘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’.
I had nothing consistently imposed on me by parents in regards to religion, probably because they were not really religious.
The Truth about what religion is all about astounds us, with the simplicity of how we can be in relationship with God and being in True religion by our simple choice.
That our history is littered with the atrocities of war fought in the name of religion shadows and haunts too many of us so much so that we recoil and thus have withdrawn from the word religion altogether – and in that we have separated ourselves from what religion truly is, a connection and relationship with everyone and everything.
Ingrid there were many things that stood out for me in this sharing but there was one thing that I admired and that was ‘the ‘voice that whispered to me that what was presented in that Bible Studies wasn’t the truth’ and how you honoured this feeling. We think that children don’t understand or feel a great deal but they do, they are so astute.
What I love is that you didn’t give up and you found everything you had felt was true for you via Serge Benhayon, and it could have easily been through someone else as being the messenger too.
This article is a great example of the force of rationalism and how it can play a role in shutting down a persons’ innate sensitivity about God and themselves, with the relationship between the two being of utmost importance for any person to have the freedom to explore and understand.
Ingrid it’s very beautiful to read the way you could confirm what you always knew about religion and God by attending this presentation from Serge Benhayon. I can relate to your experience and the sense of space that is felt once we start to feel what’s in our hearts. Honouring that is truly powerful and very life-changing.
When things don’t fit into a grid, we call it confusing and messy and all that, but it really is possible that the grid itself is rather off, and that truth can actually be very simple.
What you wrote here really rang a bell for me. “but it really is possible that the grid itself is rather off,”. And as I read it, I could clearly see that, yes, the grid, i.e. the world we are born into, is way off and does not allow us to see and feel who we truly are. It feels like this grid has been deliberately skewed to keep us away from knowing the truth, and that truth is very simple.
To really deeply realize that we are sons of God makes you wonder why we are fighting with each other. It makes absolutely no sense.
At times as an adult I have doubted that there was God, even though like the author I felt it so clearly as a child. What I have realised is that if we don’t deal with what hurts us and think that God should make everything ok, we cut God off and will have trouble feeling the presence that is always there.
Our similar experiences show so clearly that as children we were not encouraged to express how we were feeling and to share our experiences with those around us, knowing we would be listened to and honoured for what we shared. And it also shows how early children can shut themselves down to please others, to fit in and to not rock the boat, and in the process bury the wonderful and wise little beings they are. How different life would be for all of us if we were encouraged to share all that is happening for us and supported to retain the natural inner knowing that we were born with.
“If you understand what religion truly is, then everything is religion.” Yes Alison, I love this too. Religion is not something we do on a special day of the week, when it lives within us, it becomes part of our everyday.
To re-claim and welcome religion after years of disparaging and avoiding it, is because of Serge Benhayon. True religion is love and inner relationship with God expressed in the way we live our lives.
A beautiful unfolding and reconnection with religion that is shared by so many who have listened to the presentations by Serge Benhayon on the Ageless Wisdom.
Where there is true religion there is no confusion, there is not one iota of anything in the cells of our body’s. True religion for me encompasses everything and this includes the cells of my body and the universe – then I am part of the whole, I am part of God.
“Where there is true religion there is no confusion”. How true Shushila, so no wonder that I was so confused for so long as all the religions around me were presenting very little that was true. So when Serge Benhayon began to present the true meaning of religion there was an instant knowing from my body, from every cell, but my mind that held all the un-truths kicked in and with it the doubt. But the knowing in my body was so very strong and steady and eventually I allowed myself to feel the truth of religion, a truth that I had actually always known.
Absolutely, true religion keeps things simple.
I loved your sharing of religion, it is a sensitive topic depending on the religion itself, who you are and how you have been bought up.
My heart just opened up when I read ‘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 everything. Are we prepared to see and feel it?
A beautiful description Elizabeth of The Way of the Livingness and everything this true religion encompasses.
We have been sold a lie about God and what religion is, if we have accepted hook, line and sinker all the beliefs, ideals and dogma of the church it is harder to free ourselves of this entanglement and consciousness. When The Way of the Livingness is discovered it is very clear that this religion is free of this dogma and is a religion that is reconnecting you back to the truth of God and the grander love we are all truly from.
For me, The Way of The Livingness has brought a beautiful simplicity to my life, after years of living in a confused and often complicated way. It is a religion that, as you say, reconnects us “to the truth of God and the grander love we all are from”, and the understanding of this truth lovingly dissolves all the lies that we have been fed about religion for such a long time. It is true religion, one that we all know deep within us and what we can connect to if we take the time to stop and to feel the immense love and innate love for ourselves and for God that is in every particle of our beautiful being
We have been sold a lie about what religion is, main stream religions turn many people away from religion, historically the atrocities of war fought in the name of religion are enough to turn people away from religion.
Institutionalised religion and what it was responsible for likewise turned me from religion, ‘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.’
We actually feel and know God, from within. I can totally relate to this experience of not wanting to connect to religion at all, and then becoming curious as to what my strong reaction towards it was about. Once we understand that the word ‘religion’ as we know it has been completely corrupted and bastardised and used for power and control, and that it actually means to re-connect to our innermost.. why would we not want to connect more deeply to, and listen to, that connection? It’s the thing that supports us most in the whole world – that inner knowing of and connection to who we are, where we’re from and what we’re here to do – down to the tiniest detail.
The word ‘religion’ has been corrupted and bastardised as were many of the teachings of wise messengers, ‘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’.
What I find so interesting is that you knew in your body that what was under these religions was truth. I remember the absolute knowing that Love was at the core of faith.
I have a feeling we all know this truth Lucy, but it will depend on the depth to which we have buried it, and why, as to how long it takes us to feel it again and to acknowledge it; and some may never do. But that is their choice of course. Once I felt this ancient truth rising in my body I knew that there was only one choice for me and that was to say yes to it and in so doing I have returned to me, to God and to my true religion.
Yes, I love what you share here as it brings in understanding, not judgement. We have no idea what has happened in people’s lives to bury that relationship with the source we are from, what we are made of and who we are in every cell of our being. As such we should not judge but live what we know so others can see a movement that is free from that fear in our bodies.
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.
Connecting with ourselves is a great first step, ‘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.’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
To attend church seems so fake as a pretence of being religious when you then go and live with no connection to God, or our inner-most.
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.
Imagine if they could hear what they said? There must be a part of them that knows ‘giving people what they want’ is a manipulation on some level but they are so invested in the assumed service of it that they do not bring the truth of what they know deep inside into their way of living.
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.
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”
To stop and simply BE with God is living religion.
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.
When we live in connection to our inner heart and move with its impulses, everything we do, say ,or think is living true religion.
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.
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!
Yes I also felt this connection through nature and through animals and babies. I knew there must be a being who was holding us all because of the order, the simplicity, the divine reflections they all offered me. I just couldn’t put it all together at the time because the indoctrination to look outside of ourselves for the answer was so embedded.
Nature used to be my saviour, where I loved to be, ‘ 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.’
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.
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…