I have always had a relationship with religion in some form or another. It started off when I attended a local Jewish nursery, and consequently declared in various conversations I was Jewish. On some occasions I even claimed my entire family was Jewish! Without really knowing what ‘being Jewish’ meant, I used to just enjoy certain aspects of their rituals, like when we would sing songs at Shabbat, and one song in particular about Cholla (braided bread eaten on Shabbat) ending up in someone’s little tummy before it was time to eat.
At this stage I had not associated ‘being Jewish’ with anything to do with Religion or God.
Then I went to The Church of England primary school. So, for the next few years my religion was Church of England (whatever that meant!). We went to church across the road to sing hymns once a week during school hours. We also used to sing hymns in school assemblies. The only two which I enjoyed were ‘This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine’ and one which was about different fruits and vegetables called ‘Cauliflowers Fluffy,’ sung during Harvest festival.
At some point during primary school I started to take an interest in Buddhism and became a lonely Buddha on top of the Church of England mount. The idea of serenity appealed, as well as being a ‘wise one’ with great knowledge and wisdom to pass onto others. I also loved the notion of being an animal in past lives. To me that was the coolest thing ever. I used to spend many a walk home thinking of which animal would be the best to be and as such, what I would spend a lifetime doing.
Still, by this stage, even though I had spent time in a church, I had not really considered what religion was or what it meant to have a relationship with God. And so, even by the age of 10, I was still bumbling my way through religions as and when I took a fancy to them.
In secondary school, through Religious Education lessons, I learnt more about the origins, history and purpose of organised religions. That put me right off.
I saw how exclusive and separatist organised religions had been throughout the ages, and it did not take much research to find how much blood had been shed and how many lives lost in the name of religion.
I denounced religion, not just as a personal belief for me, but as a concept for humanity. I would have passionate arguments with people about the absurdity of placing your life in some book’s hands just because they thought it was written by a higher power. I found it excruciating to see that there were so many people that, at the time as a young teenager, I considered to be stupid enough to believe in something so utterly ridiculous as say, every species in the world (over a million) fitting on one ark built by one person. Or, that because someone once ate an apple, women now have labour pains and men have to do manual labour… I was like, give me the big bang theory to defend any day of the week!
That said, I of course now realise that people are not stupid, and certainly not those who hold a particular belief with God.
I spent years becoming more and more comfortable with the fact that this is it. That this physical realm we occupy is the limit of our existence – we are here by chance, one day we will die out and there is nothing more to it.
I grew so comfortable with this notion that I would ardently argue the case that once we die, we decompose and that’s the end, even though as a child I loved the concept of reincarnation as it felt extremely familiar to me.
In 2015 I refreshed the acquaintance of Serge Benhayon, Director of Universal Medicine, Modern Day Philosopher and Focaliser of (the ancient) The Way of The Livingness Religion.
I began attending courses and workshops run by Universal Medicine and although I loved the philosophical and scientific aspects on offer, I would squirm in my seat when anything religious or beyond physical would be mentioned, even when it was someone’s lived experience. This ranged from talking about God and all manner of Macro-cosmic topics which are to do with the universe, all the way down to the Human Spirit, Soul, Archangels and The Hierarchy.
Only recently, when on a walk with a friend of mine, did I realise what this issue with religion really was.
My friend spoke about what religion meant for her, and as she continued to describe it I found myself firing up and wanting to express so much about how I love to experience the same sort of things. These included waking up in the morning and being inspired to go about my day, knowing that I am bringing more to the world than just function; and that connection with my Soul and the feeling of knowing that I am being looked after and prepared for anything that comes my way which comes with that connection; the relationship I have with the universe and the stars, all that is constellated and provided for me when I cherish and appreciate all that is on offer.
Within the space of a 10 minute walk I was ready to claim that I am religious. And deeply so.
I realised that it is not actually that I have become religious in those 10 minutes, but what happened was my understanding of true Religion completely changed.
In those few moments I reconnected with a deeper than deep knowing that most of what we now call religion does not come from and is not of God. And so I managed to let go of everything the world has been accepting, therefore implying and saying religion is all the doctrines, bibles, churches, fear-mongering domination, cold seats, never-ending hymns, fear-based recruitment, preachings, as well as the key to the pearly gates and the doorway to God (but only if you give some money first) – peppered with wars, killings, money-grabbing and even child abuse.
I brought religion back to me, and found that there is not one ounce of the aforementioned included, that it is not about me talking to God or God talking back to me, but that Religion is about my relationship with me and ultimately with my Soul, the Universe and God. But not from some holy, top of the mount, sacrifice a lamb and you will see me in my true form kind of relationship. Instead, from a point of inspiration that I can feel where there is more to life than this physical body and this earthly world; that I have a Soul which is here to guide me, look after me and navigate me through life with the purpose of reuniting, being one with it; that there is a Universe which is full of order and magnificent reflections for us; that there is God, and that his beholding is not something to be believed in, but to be walked with in every footstep in order to be felt, and subsequently to be honoured and treasured.
I have felt what is possible when religion is lived in its true sense of the word, which is a kind of ‘greater than great life’ that I cannot and would not say no to.
True religion is for us all equally, it is specific for each and every one of us. This religion does not impose on what should or should not be. It offers space for oneself to be at ease. This religion for me is – The Way of The Livingness.
By Michael Brown, Maths Student & Retail Manager, United Kingdom
What is true religion?
Organised Religion versus True Religion
Religion – a separative force or a healing power?
122 thoughts on “Religion? For some or for All?”
The Way of The Livingness is to forever deepen a reconnection to your Soul.
Like so many words religion has been reinterpreted so many have lost sight of what a True reconnecting with our Souls and thus God is all about and as you have shared Michael The Way of The Livingness has reopened the door to True-religion.
True religion as you talk about would truly enrich our lives. Going about the everyday things and feel our connection with the Universe, God and the stars is all what religion is about, thank you Michael.
Michael this is a great blog for a discussion on religion and how we have allowed ourselves to be controlled by a man made version of someone’s reinterpretation of God.
To me I feel that you have it in a ‘nutshell’ when you say that
” there is God, and that his beholding is not something to be believed in, but to be walked with in every footstep in order to be felt, and subsequently to be honoured and treasured.”
‘Religion is about my relationship with me and ultimately with my soul, the universe and God’ – this way of living religion frees us from rules and dogma, and opens the way for responsibility, power and purpose. Thank you Michael,
I love exploring my relationship with being religious. It is a profound and exquisitely delicate relationship that makes sense of life absolutely.
‘…being inspired to go about my day’ – I love that you have described this as being part of your relationship with religion and being religious. It is not a theological theory but a lived experience – practical, understandable and very inspiring.
How much more accessible is religion when we make it a practical lived experience? It completely takes away the mystery, piety and fluffiness of it all and in its place we have purpose, a foundation of self love and a grounded awareness of what we are feeling in relation to our connection to ourselves and therefore to the profundity of everything that can be felt around us and in others.
The religion I was taught at school always felt like a long distance relationship to me. The Way of The Livingness, on the other hand, is very personal and intimate.
Reading this again, to me it just shows the absolute innocence of children in how they tend to go along with things and the huge responsibility we have in respecting and caring for them where there is no imposing but rather supporting and nurturing them to be all they truly are ✨
Driving home from work yesterday I was inspired to appreciate the magnitude of the sky and in that moment felt the support that is endlessly available to us all. Moments like this are a confirmation of how deeply religious I am. And yes that is The Way of the Livingness.
We could say you had an-at -one-ment with the Universe, God is with us always as we live within his atma, which is our known Universe. We live and breathe his very breath and that to me is very reassuring that I am held in his love always, no matter what my mind might otherwise tell me.
Reading about what aspects of different religions appealed to you, has got me reflecting and wondering what it is that people go for. There are positive aspects to each religion, but can we accept these acceptable bits without also taking on board the elements that just don’t ring true, but go against our innate knowing of love? The solace and comfort I sought in a religious community to face my existential angst could never erase the niggle that this wasn’t it, and no matter how much effort I put in I would always have to come back to knowing this.
Reading about what church songs resonated with you as a child reminded me of the only hymn I liked at school – Libera, When a Knight won his spurs.
I just googled the lyrics and can see why it struck a chord. I liked the symbolism, the allude to times long ago that we were once a part of symbolically and that it was the energy that was renounced, not people.
I really enjoy what it feels like to claim back the true meaning of a word. Religion is one that has been manipulated away from truth for centuries to satisfy the desire for power. Its simplicity when reclaimed is exquisite. To be religious is to be connected to our innermost hearts and therefore in relationship with God.
‘Religion is about my relationship with me and ultimately with my Soul, the Universe and God’. I love this one. And as this relationship is very personal, there are no rules or any external prescription needed, just an intimate deepening which naturally unfolds each one’s realisations about oneself and life.
Thank you for sharing all of this Michael. For your honesty and openness and for ‘firing up and wanting to express so much about how I love to experience the same sort of things’. There is real wonder and awe in the air when we let ourselves feel there’s so much more than our human existence.
Returning to a true knowing of what religion is after being affected by the man made ‘created’ versions portrayed in religious education, and anyone associated with them exposes just how far, even though they all contain a elements which ring true between them all, the remainder is from something which feels completely true.
Thankyou for presenting the truth of religion – in essence the world would be a very different place if all knew the grandness to be “walked with in every footstep in order to be felt, and subsequently to be honoured and treasured.”
Yes and this ‘very different place’ is ours to make. As in, when we walk in relationship with God we will begin to live and see the grandness of heaven on earth.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we just stripped religion right back .. like, took everything away of what it has been or thought to have been, etc. etc., and instead listened to our body, connected with the stars and then asked ourselves (instead of listening to another) what is religion to me?
‘ that I have a Soul which is here to guide me, look after me and navigate me through life with the purpose of reuniting, being one with it; ‘ now for years I believed I was on my own in life but actually this is so not so. I have the biggest and best ally I could ever want, my Soul. Now it’s time to look at all the ways I run away from myself and ask, is it worth it?
I heard a religious statement that is repeated at funerals the other day and it actually feels like a curse, a statement that sets you up for whats to come next… “From earth she came and to the earth she will return.” A simple statement but it feels to confirm there is nothing but human life, we started here as human beings and only return here as human beings. It cuts out the possibility of anything but human life.
So great to clock such curses. I used to think curses came in the form of being cursed at – so like if you are sworn at but I got one the other day that came from sympathy. I said out loud to the person that they’d just cursed me and I wasn’t taking the invitation to get sick. It didn’t matter that they didn’t acknowledge what I said, I knew the power in spotting it and saying no. Reading this I’m seeing there are curses in motion more than I’ve cared notice previously.
Our world is full of things that say fine words but actually do the opposite. The fact that we have the capacity to feel this, in itself shows we all have a connection with the energetic truth. Live from this knowing place and you can’t help but feel unified with the divine.
When we are young aren’t we utterly adorable (not to say we are not when are older 😶) but just the absolute innocence of who we are and the naturalness of wanting to connect with everyone in our environment and feeling the oneness in our environment with everyone … which of course is true and innate which is why we can feel this ✨
‘Still, by this stage, even though I had spent time in a church, I had not really considered what religion was or what it meant to have a relationship with God.’ I am not sure that any organised religion really supports us to know what it means to have a natural relationship with God. With this form of religion comes a lot of dogma that is hard for a child (and adults in truth) to understand. Simply by telling a child that when they are feeling playful, joyful, loving, connected, at ease with themselves that this is what being in relationship to God means. We can then understand the simplicity of divinity and that is ours to claim, very naturally so.
Thank you Michael, as you have shared True Religion brings such a simple and Loving approach to the way we can live that is full of appreciation for the life changing acceptance by our own choice of how divinity in Truth is up to each of us to live.
True religion has to be lived, there’s no other way to bring it into being.
‘that there is God, and that his beholding is not something to be believed in, but to be walked with in every footstep in order to be felt, and subsequently to be honoured and treasured.’ love, love love this. This is inspiration as to how to live as there is so much that, on some days puts me off. Walking with God as a foundation for life brings a loving purpose that cannot be deterred from being lived.
When we walk with ourselves in conscious awareness we walk with God. If we cherish it then we are honouring it and there is beautiful joy to feel.
For me, I have felt the presence of God the most when I have allowed myself to connect deeply with another person and afterwards look into their eyes to catch that spark that comes from their soul, or have felt Him through all the amazing reflections God offers via Nature- the way the setting sun illuminates the forest in golden light, the magic that makes a Caterpillar turn I to a butterfly, and the blooming cherry blossoms in the spring.
“I brought religion back to me” in reconnecting to our essence we reconnect to God.
We are all God and He is all of us. We and religion are intertwined, there is no gap. There is also nothing that we have to do in order to be a religious person. Religion is in our everyday livingness, it’s in the way that we walk, it’s in the way that we talk, it is in our thoughts and in our breath. Religion can be in anything and anything has the potential to be a religious movement.
‘We and religion are intertwined, there is no gap” love this Alexis. To walk with this knowing brings new meaning to our understanding of a ‘religious movement’.
Exactly Kehinde. History is littered with examples of religious movements that are utterly devoid of any true religion and yet walking down my hallway can be a religious movement if I am walking in connection with myself.
I love your understanding and expression of what religion is for you
‘These included waking up in the morning and being inspired to go about my day, knowing that I am bringing more to the world than just function…’ This to me is very beautiful. I know when I’m just ticking the boxes and when I’m bringing much more. It may look the same but there’s a communication of something more when I’m connected and bringing through truth and love.
It’s not what we do, but how and when aligned to truth and love. What we bring to everyday tasks is not just ourselves but the universe, planets and stars.
This is great Michael, and may I add to what you have shared, as the way we find our feet in a religious pursuit is fundamental in the way we accept our soul, as our movements, especially the way we walk, can have an amazing effect on our divine connection to our Soul.
I was presented with religion as a small child in the guise of the church of England and I knew instinctively that what was celebrated all around me was not what felt true in my heart – I knew God as a personal friend, as children do, yet everything around me at church was not anything like this true connection that I felt in my heart. As the years passed by I became more and more confused as I looked at different religions until I found again the Ageless Wisdom and all that had been waiting for me to return to all along. God is loving and God is wise and he waits patiently for us to reclaim and live the truth.
I agree Richard, a bodily experience, saying yes to what I was hearing and feeling was my way of knowing here was truth, when first listening to Serge Benhayon many years ago. My years of spiritual searching were over.