How often do you hear people, and by people I include those of my own family, who profess not to be religious? And yet they will say, almost in the same breath, that they do something maybe quite mundane like the washing on a Monday just like my Granny did, ‘religiously’!
Then in moments of surprise, disbelief or horror: ‘Oh my God!’ though never having set foot in any kind of Church or Temple. Perhaps not even realising that the bricks and mortar are of no consequence and the only temple worth concern is the one that is their own body, which is why it is so important to revere, protect and cleanse themselves.
Religion in most folk’s minds will include the big three and all the other cults and offshoots spawned by them over the centuries. Yet the number of expletives that include the name of Jesus or God, which those of the establishment or born-again fraternity would class as swearing and taking the Lord’s name in vain, must be legion!
I believe that the unseen Legions who minister to us would rejoice at the name of the Lord spoken or repeated with silent words in the mind and consider swearing of any kind as an uneducated lack of vocabulary and possibly of a vulgar turn of mind depending on the words used, but as to any effect on the Lord, swearing is considered an Earth bound cultural consideration and nothing more than that. It therefore only offends humans and certainly not God!
Naturally it would be considered as such by teachers, priests and popes who see it as their duty to instil in the young and old alike a seemly way of behaviour and speech, one to another as part of education. But in my view that should all start at home, continue in school and not left to the preachers of this world.
Being religious implies a faith in something which most would refer to as an unseen deity or at least a belief in an idea. I am a firm believer that we are what we believe! If we analyse what we do we must believe in what we do otherwise there would be no point! Wouldn’t you say?
If what we do makes us unhappy then we need to change what we do.
Most of us would agree that wherever we find ourselves we all try to make the best of what we have and try to improve our lot as best we can, hopefully in higher consciousness causing no harm to ourselves or to others in the process.
Many would also relate meditation as a religious ritual which I see as a spiritual practice that need not be associated with any religion, however I also see a belief in the self as extremely helpful although many suffer a feeling of unworthiness which I am sad to say has only been enhanced by the many religions on the planet.
As many have tried, but do not meditate finding only frustration to begin with, as far as they are concerned not getting anywhere and even fear, thinking they are less than others, are obviously in need of help. But I have to say that on knowing themselves they would see their work, whatever it is, as their spiritual ritual and equivalent to meditation in the accepted sense.
Of course there are as many forms as there are cultures on the planet and whatever ritual suits you from as diverse a form as running, walking in the woods and communing with nature, cleaning the house, weeding the garden, concentrating on your work, in fact any pursuit that makes you happy, all enabling you to reach a level of consciousness similar in every way to meditation.
With practice and growing awareness of mindfulness you may become aware of what exactly is happening within and you will realise that any or all of these forms have become your own form of spiritual practice and that level of consciousness, above, transforms into a constant feeling of happiness.
You may realise that we have taken an almost 180º turn from the general rules and regulations to do with the rituals of religion! You may also realise that all of the above will fit nicely into any religious format and as your awareness grows you will realise the presence that is within you and surrounds you.
There are no words to describe the presence or the different feelings experienced by the multitude of seekers after truth, but you can rely on those feelings which will lead you to your beliefs that determine who and what you are, which only you need to know and no priest or pope has the right to tell you other than your own experience.
Religion has its place and brings comfort and joy to the many millions of followers around the world. If it is your way then so be it! Having been brought up a Christian, read the lives of Mohammed and the Buddha and travelled through India and Nepal following the Lotus Path, although moved at certain points, I could not find what I was looking for.
Only when I chose a personal connection to the Divine, almost Gnostic in that respect, did my life come to its proper place and purpose. Now I work in the service of the Lord Logos through service to mankind under the given name of Hanukah and of course the Angel.