Religion? For some or for All?

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

Further Reading:
What is true religion?
Organised Religion versus True Religion
Religion – a separative force or a healing power?

127 thoughts on “Religion? For some or for All?

  1. I completely agree with your personal relationship with your soul that you describe as being your religion and that this is something that can be tangibly felt and experienced.

  2. “I brought religion back to me…”. In these few simple words I feel you have summed up the first and most crucial step in understanding what religion truly is. It starts with our relationship with ourselves and from this foundation we will grow the dedication we have to living in a way that benefits all those around us. This way is not found in a book, written by those who seek to control, but within our inner heart, the doorway to true religion.

    1. And the simplicity of this is absolutely exquisite. No hoops to jump through or rules to adhere to, simply a willingness to access our heavenly nature (innate within us all) and embrace the relationship with God that is always there.

  3. ‘knowing that I am bringing more to the world than just function’ yes, going beyond the to do list for survival and function is life changing. At school the thought of a job Monday to Friday 9-5 just filled me with dread, but only because I overheard people saying how much they hated their job and only lived for the weekend. I felt a deep despair that that was all life was so to avoid it I did shift work – talk about finding a solution to a problem and not resolving what was at hand: a lack of connection and purpose. I’ve been inspired by people like yourself who are bringing divinity to the world in the everyday things that we do.

    1. All of life is a blessing, but without purpose we’re often unable to appreciate what we have. We fight rather than live in a way which allows us to be in the flow.

  4. The Way of the Livingness is the realisation we come to when we stop looking outside of us for the something more to life we know exists, but have never stopped and looked within.

  5. ‘Religion is about my relationship with me and ultimately with my Soul, the Universe and God.’ This is very beautiful. It knocks comparison out of the window.

  6. Religion is for all, it is our natural living way and we shall return to a time when each and every one of us is living religiously together as One until such time as we condense to such a point that there is no such thing as religion.

  7. In my oh-so religious family, I was the outsider, the one who questioned and asked ‘But if God is love, why does the church discriminate against non-Christians? “Why does the preacher wear gold chains, wears expensive clothes and owns a private jet? “Why do people go to Church on Sundays and live in an un-Godly and unloving way?’ Without answers to these questions, I remain the outsider.

    1. The inability to answer these sensible questions simply exposes the level of abuse we have been prepared to accept in return for feeling like we belong to something. What we ‘belong’ to however is shown to be false as the love we know to be true is devoid in its living way – it might be preached, but it is not backed up by anything corroborative.

  8. I gave up on religion years ago because I could see, feel and hear the different agendas organised religious institutions had, from wanting to control populations to carrying out severe injustice, I wanted none of it. I could feel this was so counter to the true teachings of Jesus, Buddha and Mohammed. When I realised that true religion is about re-connection, and for all equally so, I was back in and wanted all of it!

  9. As a kid I had worked out there was one God… one God, and we were all ‘his children’. It didn’t make sense to me that all our siblings were arguing over who loved God more, who understood God more and who had the right version of God more.

    1. Absolutely everyone wanted to be the one God loved most or was proud of most, but I see a pattern here because kids constantly want to know who the parents love most as well!

  10. When I was young and growing up I had a lot of common sense about life, something was either true and made sense or it didn’t, and religion for me often didn’t make sense, amongst many other things in life. As a child I felt the connection to God in my heart, it was beautiful, simple and pure, and it still is. Religion to me is simply returning to that and living from that connection

  11. There are so many things that I absolutely adore about living religiously but what I am really relishing right now is that there is no end to how deeply we can delve into true religion.

    1. I too have come to know there ‘is no end to how deeply we can delve into religion’, and with this knowing comes the joy of becoming reacquainted with what I have always known but chose to bury in reaction to the world around me. How wonderful it is to finally have the joy and beauty of religion out in the light of day once again.

  12. We have bastardised so much here on earth and religion is one of them. True religion to me is our relationship with ourselves and connection to innate divinity we all hold within, equally so. No one is greater, no one is lesser. It really is that simple, so why oh why do we make it so complicated and so hard?

  13. There have been a few times in my life when I encountered something, an experience perhaps, that just felt right and more importantly true. Finding ‘The Way of The Livingness’ was just like that. A moment when everything just felt like it came into alignment and my whole being said yes. In my experience it’s always a good sign when that happens. Then I know I’ve found something true in life.

    1. 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.

  14. It is an awesome thing that living each day in all the Livingness brings order and rhythm to our lives, and closer to understanding who we are and a greater knowledge of the innate wisdom inside of us. It opens us up to embrace all that is presented to us. When I say awesome I mean that in its deepest sense, in awe of what is there to be lived in this gift of life.

  15. Every one of us is unique on this planet, and we are all accepted as part of the human race. There are many religions on this planet, but there is one god irrespective of what we call him or her. So, how can we fault someone else’s beliefs?

  16. There is something beautiful about being reunited with God and love, ‘the feeling of knowing that I am being looked after and prepared for anything that comes my way which comes with that connection…’ I have often feared living that connection in full and without apology as I experience very, very few people living their truth in truth.

    1. Given that connection to God is something we all deeply crave, it would be prudent to ask why we fear it too? This paradox doesn’t makes sense at all until we ask what we are so invested in that we are scared to let go of in our surrender to the connection.

      1. I definitely feel we all crave or want connection, to be truly met and accepted for who we are. To not have to strive or struggle to be ‘something’ and to get of the treadmill that we have made for ourselves and within society. I feel when we start to do this, including deeply accepting ourselves and allowing ourselves to just be. It is in this stillness and connection we then start to feel our connection to the divine which really is quite simple, no drama, no fuss, no stress.

      2. Yes – when we begin to connect to that which we have craved for so long it is like coming home, but so so normal. As you say – no drama, no fuss, no stress – it just is.

  17. I used to think it was religious to go to church once a week, but it didn’t ever occur to me that it is the way we live life on a daily basis. However we live our lives is our religious way, people say they do something religiously, meaning they do something regularly and have a consistency with it. The Way of The Livingness is a knowing of something greater than this life, and bringing this into our practical everyday lives.

    1. In my own experience of religion, Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, New Age spiritual teachings, none brings it to the cellular level, how we breath, move, express, relate to self, humanity, nature and universe. The Way of the Livingness is practical and magnificent.

    2. I can relate to the version of religion you describe and remember the feeling of dis-connect it gave me. After church, then what? To Know The Kingdom of God Lives Within us, dissolves any need to follow mechanistic and prescribed forms of religion.

    3. I was told that to be religious you needed to go to church every week, but the hypocrisy I witnessed put me off entirely. No wonder so many claim to not be religious today if that is what they believe. Coming to The Ageless Wisdom opened my eyes to truth, my body aligned and I knew I had come home.

  18. That so many of us accept versions of religion so far from the truth, without question is a damning reflection of how low we’ve fallen. The fact that many of us are not concerned enough about our own experience of religion even when faced with evidence of abuse, bullying, corruption, violence and lies, shows we are part and parcel of the same rot.

      1. Yes I agree, inspiring to know, no situation or state of being ever too great or too late to pull ourselves out of and live a truer way.

  19. It doesn’t make sense that religion we have been brought up with is so divisive, that it has caused war and trauma for generations. If we are all God’s children and he does not favour any race, colour or creed then why are we all fighting? I love the fact that The Way of The Livingness is for all without any distinction.

    1. We get hooked onto the collective safety a religion brings and feel comfortable in the concept that ours is the true one, but how can it be true if it is not collectively for all? We are taught to abide by the religion we are ascribed to/ascribe to through fear, not by love.

  20. “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”. A change in our understanding of something has the ability to change our relationship with that thing or indeed person and equally a change in our relationship with either a thing or person has the ability to change our understanding of it/them.

    1. So often when we recognise a truth we come to understand that we have been living it for a while without realising and appreciating the fact.

  21. “I saw how exclusive and separatist organised religions had been throughout the ages”. By it’s very nature, if something is either exclusive or separatist then it can’t be true religion. It’s simply not possible.

  22. I have spent so much of my life in reaction to religion, whereas now it feels so spacious to re-connect to my inner knowing of what we are all offered when we are willing to be open to the divinity within.

  23. I loved reading how you, as a child, said you were Jewish because you liked what you felt and didn’t have any notion of how difficult it is to get into certain religions and sometimes never actually be fully accepted unless one is born into it. I love the openness of this, the freedom to be who we are without question or doubt. Then you discovered the dogma within organised religions. I remember being shocked at how menstruating women were thought of as dirty, this greatly disturbed me.

    The curtailing of our natural exploration and evolution is all around us. I remember living in LA and, after having been used to walking coastal paths in the UK which are public land, being shocked and angry that many of the beaches were private, reserved for the few. I’m inspired to ask, am I excluding myself from love?

  24. ‘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.’ When people ask me ‘do you believe in God?’ there is such a chasm presented between the ideals we create from the head and the reality that there is to live and feel from the body. When we can come out of the head and live from the body, understanding what this means by experiencing it (not by intellectualising it) we will know that God is fact – no beliefs necessary.

  25. When Serge first presented The Way of the Livingness as religion, I faltered, resisted, because of previously held associations of conventional religion as corrupt, false and separatist. Awakening to true religion and The Way of the Livingness was a breath of fresh air, a homecoming that allowed me to re-connect to something I had always sensed, but not known how or where to express it.

  26. What you share Michael is that without an awareness of true religion, many denounce outright the version of religion that is out there. The simplicity of religion as expressed here brings us back to truth: “Religion is about my relationship with me and ultimately with my Soul, the Universe and God.

  27. ‘…what happened was my understanding of true Religion completely changed.’ When I came across The Way of The Livingness I can say the same was for me. My understanding hit a new level and it was something that made complete sense to me.

    1. I knew the truth of Religion at heart and why I questioned other conventional religions. The Way of The Livingness confirmed and deepened my understanding.

  28. The Way of The Livingness has helped me to make sense of the other religions out there, as in how they came to be and how man has put their own stint on the original teachings.

  29. “I brought religion back to me, and found that there is not one ounce of the aforementioned included . . . ” Is it not that what most of us has to do – to bring the true religion back to us and to experience the space that comes with it. I for myself love this way of the livingness as it offers me all the space I need to return deeper and deeper to god and my soul and to let go of all of the pictures that come with it.

  30. This is written with such sweetness and beauty so I was convinced that it was written by a woman and was very surprised (but not really) to find your name at the end, Michael. Absolutely gorgeous.

  31. As I dabbled in many religions over the years there was a knowing in me that there must be more, and these religions missed the mark when it came to feeling a truth within them. For me religion is about a relationship and a communication with God, and nurturing that deep knowing from within.

  32. “…. Religion is about my relationship with me and ultimately with my Soul, the Universe and God.” I love the simplicity of this – the truth of Religion beautifully expressed.

  33. As kids our relationship with God is effortless but then because of how we’ve lived in between childhood and adulthood and then as adults, our relationship with God is something that we have to work at getting back to. Such a waste of time. If we didn’t mangle ourselves in the ‘growing up process’ then we wouldn’t have to put ourselves back together again later on. Bring on the day that we recognise, acknowledge and preserve the natural relationship that children have with God.

  34. Something that struck me as quite tragic when I re read this blog is how children, who are the most naturally religious beings on the planet are often put off religion by their exposure to the bastardised and twisted version that we adults doggedly pursue. Gone is the joy of religion, gone is the ease of religion and gone is the truth of religion. Tragic.

  35. I can remember studying religious education at school and being fascinated by the many different religions but they felt quite distant and disconnected from life, and I never related to any of them the way we can relate to living very moment of our day with The Way of the Livingness.

    1. True religion is vibrant, it is alive, it is interactive, it is responsive, it is a moment by moment relationship with ourselves, with God and with Life and yet what gets dished up at school is often a flat unresponsive greyed out topic that has not an ounce of true religion in it. A tragedy.

  36. Just this morning as I awoke to the dawn chorus full of vitality for my day I deeply appreciated knowing God in my life. Not as anything outside of me but those simple knowings within, and also those who have held up a mirror to me so that I could see this for myself as something I too always knew.

  37. Gorgeous blog Michael. When we live from the knowing that we are ‘bringing more to the world than just function’ we are content and at ease with ourselves. We do not feel the need to want anything or be anything else; life is complete.

  38. “… 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.” So true and we know him through The Way of The Livingness.

  39. OMG you brought back really sweet memory and song … I used to love this ‘This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine’ ✨ See we are so aware … we have always known the light is within us.

  40. A truly stunning article Michael. Relatable, down to earth, full of wisdom, very funny but most of all it has the power and the ability to bust the myth of religion wide open. Brilliant stuff.

  41. Reading this about our soul being there guiding us back to God and to being who we truly are, I feel to ask myself, am I really allowing myself to be guided? I hear that when things get complex all I need do is surrender, but I realise I’ve been trying to surrender to something unknown which causes me anxiety. But if I’m surrendering to my Soul, to me this brings a settlement to my body.

  42. Michael, I resonate with everything you have written. We have allowed ourselves to be taken in and blinded by what I call false religions. Like you, I believe that true religion is about my relationship with me and my soul and the universe, which to me is the body of God.

      1. Yes, exactly so. If it’s not for everyone and in our everyday but reserved for special occasions or people perceived as special or entitled in some way through means such as wealth, birth, ritual or behaviour, then this exclusivity makes it more a members club.

        I’m very aware that this could be said of ‘The Way of the Livingness’ because it could be seen that there are practicalities to it that makes one a member. But what I’ve learnt is that, for all my efforts at setting myself apart from people as different, as an individual, I’m no more or less than anyone else, unique yes, so equally able to connect with God and have a relationship unique to me with Him – just like everyone else, no-one is excluded from this. For me the practicalities are simply ways to support this connection. Equally I can do things that sever this connection just like we all can.

      2. The great thing is, we can’t ever sever our connection to God because God is fundamentally who we all are. We can however interfere with our connection so substantially that we totally lose sight of who we all are.

    1. I too love the practical nature of The Way of the Livingness and knowing we are aligned to something much greater, our universality, the stars and planets, makes life glorious not mundane.

      1. I, like so many other people in life used to feel that everyday life was incredibly mundane. A repetitive existence that needed to be spiced up with drama, eating, travel or clubbing. All of those things now would hamper the fact that life for me is now is a fascinating magical multi dimensional experience.

      2. In the mundane we experience life as ordinary, aligned to something greater, we experience its extra-ordinariness and wonder.

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