I firmly believe God came to earth wrapped in the clothes of Yeshua (Jesus) to live life as a human, to experience what it is to be human, and to demonstrate, to live out, what is possible. I believe no one is on this earth by accident, all are on a journey (whether we realize it or not) and no two journeys look alike, nor should they. I believe Divine Love dwells within to lead, guide and share the wisdom of the Universe, and angels intervene when we invite their presence. I believe there are Universal Laws that operate whether we agree or not. I believe religion to be man’s creation, not God’s, and people are waking to the realization.
We are divided in our beliefs; we have separated into those who seek God through religious means, ritual, and tradition, and those who have chosen other means to seek God. We divided ourselves into camps set up on opposite shores. Why do the camps need to exist? Simply put, our spiritual journey stories are compilations of the information we derived from the camps we chose, and there really is no need for division, but humans seem to have the pesky need to be right. We like to draw lines in the sand and dare others to cross, we confuse opinion with fact. I have lived in both camps and found the religious are more likely to draw lines in the sand. My church experiences taught me the lines were necessary. We seem to believe if we are right everyone else must be wrong but does that need to be so? I don’t think it does. Instead of adopting an “I am right and therefore everyone else is wrong” mindset, we could choose to remain open to the ideas and philosophies of others, allowing opportunities for discussion. When you think about it, not everyone in the church can be right either. There are many different interpretations of scripture and flavors of doctrinal belief and all can’t be right.
For the past few years, I have read with growing interest, people are leaving the church, and young people are not joining in the numbers they did in the past. No longer are families attending just because they grew up in a particular faith where attendance was expected. Journey with God no longer equates with church membership. Many have awakened to the reality God is pure love and does not require unquestioning obedience, blood sacrifice, and perfection. God loves each of us as extensions of the Divine Love from which we came. We are free to make mistakes, learn, grow, and love ourselves and others without condition. There is freedom in being loved and loving others.
Outside the church walls we hear about awakening, but what are we awakening to? The answer is simple, really. Our spirits, long since lulled to sleep by religion’s promises of unwavering obedience equaling entrance into heaven, are waking to the reality that each of us is unique and therefore no cookie-cutter one-size-fits-all journey will work. What resonates with me may be similar but not entirely the same as what resonates with another. Awakening need not be shrouded in mystery; it is merely the dawn of new realizations about God, about who we are, and about what it means to love and be loved.
Mentioning spiritual journey outside of traditional religion to some and fear rears its ugly head. In my lifetime, people within the walls of the church have criticized the “New Age” movement, the practice of yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, and all manner of modalities and practices outside the traditional simply because they chose not to understand, fearing to do so may mean changing longheld doctrinal beliefs, or worse, that anything outside of church teaching and doctrine is of Satan. Can that be true? I don’t believe so. If you think about it, Jesus challenged the traditional thinking and practices of the day while walking the earth, and was even accused of practicing Satanism.
As I have said before there is really nothing new about “New Age” philosophy. What is there to fear? In truth, New Age philosophy is simply a collection of beliefs, many of which are from Eastern philosophies, and a means to label its beliefs separate from orthodox religion. Many of the principles found within New Age philosophy can be found in Jesus’ teachings. Shocked? One needn’t be. What did Jesus mean when he said we can have what we say if not the practice of creating one’s own reality? The Bible says our thoughts and words are powerful; is that not the principle behind the Law of Attraction? I am not fond of labeling anything, really. As soon as we label anything connotations arise; positive or negative, good or bad. For this reason, I have chosen to call the path I am on a spiritual journey, and myself a spiritual seeker.
Spiritual journeys are simultaneously individual and collective. We each walk a personal journey understanding Divine Love from our vantage point, yet many of us are walking similar journeys, thus the collective journey. When we are open to other ideologies and philosophies we have the opportunity to learn from one another, and in so doing we can decide which ideas, teachings, and methodologies resonate within. Certainly not all will, nor should they. Individual spiritual journeys and the teachings that resonate are indications of where we are on our paths. Some just beginning their journey will interpret teachings and ideas differently than others who have traveled a longer time with the Divine. Since coming out of the religious system and getting in step with spiritual teachings I have had to put some ideas on a shelf, metaphorically speaking. I may never take a particular idea or teaching off the shelf, and I may pick others up to reexamine at a later date. I have chosen to remain open to teachings and ideas so as not to confine God and the wisdom of the Universe to a box.
As sentient beings we carry the wisdom of the Universe within our spirits, aware life has a deeper meaning than the work-a-day world we live in, and we are all connected. We needn’t be divided by differing ideas and philosophical belief. There is common ground to be found. Herein lies the premise of “Bridging the Divided”…..
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