Religion & Religious Re-Defined 

The last couple of weeks I’ve been reminded once again about the true meaning of the words Religion and Religious. Quite often these words conjure up a lot of thoughts and images for us, but I’d like to share how I’ve come to view the meaning of these words in a different light.

I have never considered myself a religious person, at least not in the most common meaning of that word, as in being a follower of one of the main religions. In fact when my sister and I were little and she said that she was religious, I reacted quite strongly. I questioned her and I also ridiculed her for it. I even felt a bit appalled by her saying such a thing. Being religious! How pathetic was that! Hard words, but that is how I felt at the time. Looking back, I feel this strong reaction came from me observing people who claimed to be religious, but for me I could neither see nor feel that there was anything truly religious in what they were doing, which to me meant that there was no true love present.   

As a matter of fact, my overall feeling with any of the church activities I was involved in back then was that they felt very cold and loveless and did not contain the love and warmth I felt inside of me. Now this might sound as if I’m accusing the outside of being loveless and, back then, I think I actually did. Of course I could have held on to the love I felt inside of me and I did to some degree, but I also know that slowly I allowed the outside to sneak in and over the years I came to feel an aversion to heavenly and true words such as religion, love, god, and being religious. The reason for this was that what I saw on the outside, as in people talking about God, Religion and Love, didn’t match what I knew to be the truth of those words. So you could easily say that I felt hurt by people misusing these words.

Unfortunately this happens way too often. We create a distaste for words and practices that we feel are not honoured for what they truly mean, and in reaction we abandon them, which can also mean we abandon a part of ourselves as we are intertwined with the true meaning of many of these words, such as God, Love, Truth, and Religion.

This in itself is very sad because then we let the words be free prey, so to speak. Anyone can make their own interpretation of these words and if one definition is accepted by many, then it becomes the accepted norm, even though it might not be the true version. Could that be why so many people have issues with the word God and the word Religion? Because when we see and hear people use these words, we feel they are not truly representing what they are talking about.

If we look at the origins of the word Religion for example – its actual and original meaning – it shows us that it means to Re-turn, Re-unite, Re-bond and Re-kindle a connection with a flame that is burning equally inside every person on this planet. But this is not what I was told as I grew up. Then God was something ‘out there’ and something to worship. I never heard that the connection with God was inside of me and that I didn’t have to go to a building to have a connection with him daily. I wasn’t told that it happens just by the way I am with myself and others. What I also didn’t know, nor was told, was that when I have this connection it’s not for me to hold on to and keep to myself, but the whole idea is to share it with other people and to interact from this place.

I realised this when I started to let people in – when I stopped being so stubbornly protective and allowed people to see a little more of me. I allowed for people to see that I’m not perfect, something I have put a lot of effort into, wanting people to think that I’m perfect and have everything worked out. But as we all know, we cannot actually hide what is going on inside of us. People see through you and they can feel it. Also I started to invite people over for dinner. These may seem like little things, but for me they have been very powerful in getting to know the true meaning of life – that we are here to connect with people, to learn how to live side by side, and to help each other to evolve when we might be stuck in old patterns. For what is the best thing to assist you grow and evolve if not having people around you that can remind you if you’ve slipped away from being your natural loving self, the very quality that is godly within us all? By contrast, living isolated gives us free rein to do the same old, over and over. Quite boring, if you ask me.

So my way forward from here, with my re-kindled understanding of what religion and being religious means, will be to keep letting people in. That seems to be the one factor that makes true sense, and the one that really works for me. I’ve been living isolated for quite some time and when you do that, you will eventually feel that something is missing. And that something is other people because we are meant to be together, all of the time. I’m far from perfect in this regard but at least I’ve felt what I know is true and that is to let people in again and let them see who I truly am. With that it also feels like I’m opening the tap of joy flowing in my life again. And perhaps the reason my joy is flowing is because I have re-connected with our true purpose on earth – to return to where we are from originally, re-united and re-bound together.

By Matts Josefsson, Student of Behavioural Science, Stockholm, Sweden

Related Reading:
A True Religion
My True and False Experiences of God
What is true religion?

505 thoughts on “Religion & Religious Re-Defined 

  1. A beautiful sharing Matts, ‘we are here to connect with people, to learn how to live side by side, and to help each other to evolve when we might be stuck in old patterns.’

  2. Matts thank you for writing this blog as by re reading your words again today I have come to an understanding about myself. It feels as though the reason I withdrew from life into my own ‘little’ world was because what I saw, felt and experienced as a child, was loveless and did not stack up to what I knew God to be. Rather than just observing and staying with what I knew to be the truth in my heart. I withdrew from the world and took my love of all things universal with me and hid it all away in an attempt to protect what I knew to be true.
    What has been shown to me by the Benhayon family is that the multi dimensional love of the universe doesn’t need protection as nothing can in truth harm it. We get caught out in the many lies that we are fed, all of which are fed to take us all away from the absolute truth of the universal love we all come from.

  3. In reading this blog I got to feel how the many different religions have suffocated us so that we have lost the true sense of what religion means and have accepted much less. As you have correctly said Matts
    “Anyone can make their own interpretation of these words and if one definition is accepted by many, then it becomes the accepted norm, even though it might not be the true version.”

  4. Thanks Matts, the true meaning and experience of religion is very simple, it’s right there inside of ourselves. When we bastardise any word, and in this case religion, one of the things that happens is complications are brought in, and we see that in man made religion where even the connection to God is very convoluted, conditional, and in many cases supposedly needs a middle man.

  5. Letting people in, or being able to be intimate with others, is one and the same, and when we add Appreciation as we can not have one without other (Appreciation / Intimacy) then we start to understand the Joy that we have in our lives because we have to have Joy in our lives before we can have Appreciation.

  6. I love this ‘If we look at the origins of the word Religion for example – its actual and original meaning – it shows us that it means to Re-turn, Re-unite, Re-bond and Re-kindle a connection with a flame that is burning equally inside every person on this planet.’ That sounds like true religion to me ✨

  7. Matts it was perfect timing for me to read this today, it’s very true, we need to be out in the world and having new experiences, meeting people and learning to let them in by being our full selves, imperfections and all, “By contrast, living isolated gives us free rein to do the same old, over and over.”

    1. Melinda Knights I’m so sick of the same old, over and over, way of life. It stinks of the rottenness of the repetitious behaviour that keeps us stuck in the rut of repeating the same life over and over again. I guess we all have to get to a point in life where we say enough is enough, I’m done with this. When we can finally admit that this current way of life that we are all living actually doesn’t work has never worked. Then we can turn again back to God and retrace our footsteps back to the only way that not only works but is all that matters.

      1. Yes, stop burying our heads in the sand pretending everything is fine here on earth, ‘When we can finally admit that this current way of life that we are all living actually doesn’t work has never worked.’

  8. Learning that religion is what we actually do out of church – it is the quality of connection with everyone and everything in how we live our everyday graces us with the understanding that religion is all about our quality of livingness and loving all equally.

    1. I agree Suse. In my opinion Religion has nothing to do with the church. I feel they have high-jacked the word along with many other words such as God. I realised I had an issue with the word God and again in my opinion, it has been so badly misused that it can put people off when the word God is used. I wonder if that is a deliberate ploy so that we do not reconnect with the true meaning of the word God.

  9. Matts I loved something that I resonated with your sharing and that you were to ‘keep letting people in’ and that is so true for me too. Who would have thought that being religious is to open yourself to others. This is the state of affairs playing out in our world, one religion is reluctant to let another in. It only takes one to make a difference and slowly others will follow and there is a history of one person making a difference – Robin Hood comes to my mind right now and there are many others including Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi etc – it only takes one to make a difference.

    1. Shushila, I agree with you I never considered being religious is to open yourself up to others to be transparent in everything you do. But it makes sense because if we are transparent then no one can be blindsided by a lie because it would be immediately seen and felt for what it was, a lie. I immediately think of Serge Benhayon he is so transparent it is like looking into a clear crystal glass, he doesn’t hold one ounce of a lie in his body. There are not many of us that can match this level of transparency.

    2. And that ‘one’ can be each and everyONE of us, ‘It only takes one to make a difference and slowly others will follow and there is a history of one person making a difference’.

  10. Religion, love, God – when truth in those words are lost and has no true resonance whatsoever when they are uttered, it is hard to connect with what they are actually representing and our relationship with those words will purely be based on the bastardised version. This is something I didn’t consider until I came to know Serge Benhayon and what he presents that how corrupt our world has become as a result of the bastardisation of words.

  11. If you feel you have been criticised a lot, it can be tricky to let go of the need to look like you have everything sorted, I have found a great freedom, in not needing to get it right…. we miss out on the learnings when we make it about appearances and not truth. I feel that by connecting more with my body and being aware of how I feel, this honesty has supported a shift in responsibility, this responsibility an active and very alive foundation of how I have a relationship with religion and am in essence living that religiously.

    1. As someone who was criticised continually, I recognise the pattern of trying to get everything perfect, such a draining of our energy, and never truly healing; definitely letting go required of false paradigms.

  12. “we are here to connect with people, to learn how to live side by side, and to help each other to evolve when we might be stuck in old patterns.” Yes we are Matts, and it is so good to be reminded of this especially when we are feeling challenged by another. There is always something for us both to learn from any interaction.

    1. We offer one another so much in our relationships, however seemingly short or long….we are here to learn from one another. How precious that if we get stuck we can turn to another and essentially find a key to unlock clarity.

  13. When we surrender the judgement that keeps us divided from each other, we begin to feel the depth of our interconnectedness, an eternal bond of love that is the very breath of the God that breathes us.

    1. As you say Liane when we look behind the judgement we hold everyone in, we will find the depth of our interconnectedness with the multi dimensional universe we all come from and will return back to. The judgement is smoke and mirrors in an attempt to distract us from our multidimensional selves.

  14. In terms of the word, the bit that always has me catching my breath is just that simple ‘Re’ part…. we are coming back to something that we already know, that is already inside us. We don’t have to perform, work hard, have others tell us what to do. Its a birthright for everyone.

  15. Both my previous partner and current partner have struggled with the word Religion and God. Its kind of a trauma they’ve carried or a belief from parents to children and have found the whole thing distasteful. I’ve often heard them say ‘we were made to do this or made to dress like this or behave in this manner’ and so forth.

    It seems people are ‘made’ to be in a particular way in the name of God or Religion and its a no wonder these two people and no doubt many others have these issues – being made to do something they didn’t want to do or felt true for them.

    Letting people in and letting people see who you truly are is one way to true religion. Each one of us will have something to add that makes us all equal which will lead to true religion. True religion is within us all.

    1. I have also had my barriers and hurts around the word, largely I understand now, from the misuse of the word in society, where organisations and people, use the word, but do not live it. Religion is to be lived, not theorised about or thrown at others in righteousness, domination or with missionary zeal. Living Religiously for me is simple; to actively return with practice to who we are in full, through energetic responsibility and being honest. Love felt in these choices. I love this spherical, expanding, spiralling nature of gentle, steady return.

  16. “I realised this when I started to let people in – when I stopped being so stubbornly protective and allowed people to see a little more of me” – is a biggie for me too and definitely not perfect at. I feel I have come a long way and to think 10 years ago I hardly knew anyone in Sydney and now I know so many people is through this connection of letting people see who I truely am, imperfect but willing to give it ago.

  17. There are many words we’ve abandoned and religion is one of them. When we do we leave it to others to define it and do not address the hurt we feel and then bring the truth of what we know. To take those steps back is amazing and to feel each and everyone of us has the power to do that, and as more of us do, we begin to see more clearly a lived truth in life.

  18. “the accepted norm,” it is often the case that it is the accepted norm to misinterpret the true meaning of many things.

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