Integrating Spirituality and Religion

Religion in general has received some bad press in recent years. The sex abuse scandal has rocked some sects of Christianity to its core and caused many of its devout members to leave the establishment. On the other hand, many people have begun turning to religion for answers and consolation in these turbulent times. We would like to point out to all those who seek to traverse the path of God that everything in life serves a purpose. There is a great separation factor amongst all of life’s peoples. Many people involved with religion separate themselves from those who are not part of their belief system. At the same time, people not involved with religion separate themselves from those who are. This same disparity is present in all peoples. Many new age folks who study the teachings of the ascended masters and communicate with extraterrestrials also think they have it and separate themselves from everyone else. Some place their faith in, and even go so far as to worship, the ascended masters, which is no different from the Christian religion teaching that worship of God must be done through a priest or Jesus. People separate themselves from others for a great variety of reasons, including race, color, and nationality to name a few. People have become quite adamant in thinking that their individual beliefs are better than others, regardless of whether those beliefs are religiously oriented or not. This perception is one of pure illusion instigated by the human ego. In short, people, in their perception of self-centeredness, think they have it and no one else does.

The Christian religion is divided into literally thousands of sects, which means that there are thousands of groups or movements with differing ideals. Whether one realizes it or not, this is a good thing because, if nothing else, it provides for diversity and uniqueness. It is counterproductive when a sect stands in opposition to another sect, thinking its belief system is right and all other sects have it wrong. In this respect, the religious sect itself stands as a barrier to understanding God. We mentioned earlier that the University of Spirituality is universal to all, and that any kind of biased attitude must be left at the door. If you are biased toward other people because of their religious beliefs (or for whatever reason), you impede your own spiritual development. Spirit knows no differences. Spirit is as the innocent child who knows only neutrality and harmonious interaction, and welcomes anyone into his or her sandbox to play. The bottom line is that it doesn’t really matter what your perceived faith is as long as you have it. The most important quality for Individual Spirituality is to have faith in you.

Many religions will have to widen their established belief systems, and this certainly is not an easy task by any means. Religions must begin to promote the spirituality of each individual and recognize that individuals all have equal potential in the eyes of God. Religions must learn to relax their stronghold beliefs and practices which, in turn, maintain a grip on their members. We are not implying all religions; however, some are overly strict with a set of established belief system that cannot be proven. Some religions are changing. Slowly but surely, members are being inspired to integrate new trains of thought into their established beliefs and ways. This is the work of higher authority in an attempt to facilitate unification. Some Religions, however, are notorious for practicing ways that have been in effect for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Some of those practices are based on erroneous interpretations of scriptures that resulted in erroneous belief patterns on a mass level. The perceptual belief pattern of most religions (as is with most people) is the worship of a God that exists somewhere “out” or “up there.” There is usually a saint or savior at the head of the belief system that one must “go through” in order to get into the Kingdom of Heaven. This sort of practice is worship of a fictitious nature. Some religions also believe that realizing one’s spirituality and becoming closer with God is something for the afterlife. This form of belief is erroneous and causes a great barrier to the enfoldment of Universal Spirituality.

Three things must happen in order to even begin to facilitate change. First, religions should begin to be open-minded to change. Change refers to a change or shift in the conscious understanding of our beliefs and values, and the way in which we perceive ourselves. Religious heads should be open to the possibility that what has been practiced under their roof for a good long time may not be entirely accurate. Since there are so many “different” religions, how can anyone hold the one and only truth and way to God and enlightenment? Religious heads may not even have to change their entire belief systems; only parts of it should be modified. The establishment of an open-minded and receptive attitude is a strong prerequisite for the following two changes.

First, religions should recognize and accept the Spirituality of the Individual and promote its development. This priority must become first and foremost on its agenda for daily practice. We do not have to go “through” a saint in order to be permitted access to the Kingdom of Heaven. Most Christians believe that you must go through Jesus to attain the Kingdom of Heaven. This belief is not only false, it is irrational. People will “believe” just about anything. Let’s start believing wholeheartedly in ourselves. Let’s believe in the Love, Light, Power, and Potential of our Individual Spirit. We can do anything for we are all children of God with the innate ability and potential to mature into full-fledged Sons and Daughters of God, just as Jesus did. That is Truth.

Secondly, religions should begin to accept the fact that death is an error, a mistake, something that happens when humanity fell from the cradle of God. Some religions believe in immortality, but that is something for the afterlife, which doesn’t make much sense. Jesus demonstrated that death can be risen above and conquered. This demonstration took place on the physical plane of existence. Therefore, immortality is not something that God permitted for only Jesus. Everyone has the innate ability to conquer death, although to even begin the process of working toward and actually experiencing this great transition, the first step is to believe that it is possible. Because the greater portion of humanity has been deeply conditioned to believe that death is inevitable, the shift in belief will take generations to take place, but we must begin sometime. The education on Individual Spirituality will serve as a most effective front runner in bringing about this shift in believing that immortality is something to be worked toward here and now.

You don’t have to accept religious dogma or doctrine; however, accepting people for who they are as spiritual beings is required. Spirituality is one’s individual pursuit of God, the Divine, the Absolute. Religion is a group effort to find truth, but the group is comprised of individuals. As with many group activities, regardless of the central theme and intention, egos have a tendency to clash and original intention loses focus.