I grew up in a religious family – not what I would call devoutly so but with the focus of attending church each Sunday and having a faith in something; let’s say ‘godly.’ This was a faith that meant little to me at the time as the God that was talked of felt un-relatable – it just didn’t resonate in my body so the teachings had little to no impact on my life.
As a small child I was very loving and caring for others, but I would not attribute my values or my actions to having been influenced in any way by attending church, I would attribute them as being naturally religious.
I knew that the gentle caring boy I was had nothing to do with church, it was just me. Just as I knew that the attributes of love and care for their fellow man that I saw in others who attended church were qualities equally held within them, and that their attendance was really about connecting with others in community.
Observe young children and their innate acceptance, care and trust in others will become evident. Could this be a version of being religious we should all seek to master? A religion seen as a connection to our divine qualities and not an outer measure of faith and obedience?
Throughout time, people have been divided and diminished by religion, and violence has often been used to control and to conquer. Therefore I often ask myself, what does this form of religion bring us and why would we need to have faith in something that is external to the everything we already are. This feels like it comes from a lack of trust we have allowed in and a straying from the deep wisdom we all have within, but constantly choose to block – often by giving our power to institutions who claim to have the answer.
Religion for me stems from within and is about acting with integrity, considering everyone in our actions and taking responsibility for our life. If one’s own life blossoms through how we live, then the opportunity to support others by nature becomes that much greater.
If a five-year-old child appreciates their friend, has complete love, care and compassion inbuilt, then what could possibly be a deeper, more meaningful religious experience than this? If we want to thank God for life, what better way than through our connection and acceptance of our self and others as equal ‘Sons of God.’ This acceptance is not found in reading a script and believing it means this or that, but is drawn from a connection to a wisdom that cares deeply and respects the feelings of everyone, whether seemingly the same or vastly different.
Our religious experiences must do more than tolerate other faiths: at the heart of true religion is a deep acceptance firstly of ourselves and from that love a deep acceptance of everyone, no matter what they believe or how they act.
Misinterpretations of age-old teachings may not consider everyone equally, but it is within us each to feel what the truth is and how we wish to be in this world. There need be no clinging to a faith if it does not resonate with the vibration of love we know the world needs.
The Way of the Livingness was gently and slowly introduced by Serge Benhayon as a religion, knowing as he did the negative association many have with that word. But it is far removed from other religions I have seen or experienced; it is in fact a re-claiming of this word that represents us as we truly are, in full technicolour, free of comparison, control, judgement, jealousy and all the other emotional currencies we exchange with in everyday life.
This is religion that stems from within – it is impulsed and drawn out by our own experiences. It is neither from an external concept, nor is it housed in an imposing building or encased by dogma: this makes sense to me – it puts me at ease and it puts us all at the heart of our religion.
I can place trust in something that suggests that I act with more purposeful care, decency and respect for others, more understanding, more commitment to people and to situations. To be more connected and aware of my inner knowing, how to handle situations using deep wisdom I have lived before but disconnected from. This way of living does not have rules and boundaries, just a knowing that we all hold something magical that is there to reignite; an ever-evolving relationship with religion, through oneself, with others, with life itself. This is religion as we can all know it… grounded in intuitive common sense.
By Stephen Gammack