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?

504 thoughts on “Religion & Religious Re-Defined 

  1. 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 ✨

  2. 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.”

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Religion and religious have been given a bad name by those institutions that claim to represent truth, yet we can feel that their so called truth is riddled with contradictions, that we can either choose to ignore or not. For anyone interested in seeing that there was a truth in words that we have since lost the Unimedpedia is a beautiful resource. http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia/word-index/unimedpedia-religion.html
    Restoring words to their true original meaning is a vital task for humanity.

  7. 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.

  8. “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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. “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.

  13. 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.

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

  15. I love how you write about rekindling your relationship with religion, it makes sense that the fire never truly went out, it just needs re-igniting.

  16. Feeling the love and warmth you felt on the inside and noting that any of the church activities did not feel like that, in fact, quite the opposite was a great way of exposing that the church was loveless and you therefore did not get caught in the consciousness like so many of us did.

  17. The outside world provides us with all kind of situations we are totally entitled to react to and stay in that reaction forever. The problem with reaction is that it cuts our ability to connect to truth. This makes very hard to be aware of those situations in which we are reacting to something that is not true but promoted as such. In those situations, what are you really rejecting? Are you making a true choice?

  18. Words affect us way more than we think they do. We can either avoid or get involved in something that is deeply harming for us just through not feeling the energy behind words.

  19. Sounds like the most important things in life deliberately are not shared:
    ‘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.’
    Because yes, life it about getting out of here and going back to where we come from, united as one.

  20. There are only so many fillers and distractions you can use to avoid the fact that you are living isolated, which is the opposite of the brotherhood we naturally are pulled to live. Dropping perfection is a fantastic way to let people see the real you, drop the facades and let people love you.

  21. “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.” – This phenomenon is so interesting to me, in that just because a large group of people have bought into a particular belief system it then makes it that much easier for others to adopt that system as being the truth, based merely on the shear numbers of people ‘on board’ and thus creating a false sense of ‘normal’. But history shows time and time again just how wrong the majority has been in the face of even just one man’s wisdom (i.e.. Copernicus saying that the Earth is NOT at the center of the Universe). The best modern example of this for me would be Serge Benhayon and the teachings of Universal Medicine.

  22. Throughout the ages there has been a scepticism towards religion which dismisses the experience of the person and holds the only truth as that which can be physically proven. And it is interesting to consider this, because more often the religious might of the organised or controlled religions takes centre stage as being all mighty and powerful. But the reality is there is also another stream of conscious thought that runs through our history, and that is the dismissive nature of scepticism which does not value the religious experience of the person, an experience which can be outside of the conventional norm of what religion is considered to be, but yet still quintessentially at the heart of that person and their understanding of what God is and why they are here. So a sceptic might say that a person’s religious experience is invalid because either it is not of the set dictations of a certain religious order, or because it is in connection to what is not seen. In my view however, it is the sceptic who wins naught, as the religious person is at least open to the possibility of there being more to life, of there being other forces and sources, and to building a relationship with God.

    1. Hi Shami, I don’t know a whole lot about the so called “skeptics” but to me it feels like those that call themselves that is just afraid of there actually being more to life than meets the eye so they rely on “hard facts” when these facts are just controlled facts. And this is not the way to go forward if what we are looking for is the truth, the whole truth.

  23. ‘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’ Beautiful Matts, true joy!

  24. Instead of holding onto and honouring what we know to be true of a word and what it represents, we tend to get hurt and put off by the misuse of words. I wonder if that word drift would happen if those of us who know the true meaning hold steady with it, regardless of what society is telling us. Unfortunately those who know the true meaning are often children, who want to be loved and included and feel they have to leave their knowing of truth to fit in with the world adults present to them.

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