Despite all appearances to the contrary, this isn’t a Christian post… it’s a post I started that, by the end of the second in the series, allowed me to free myself from the bondage of religion in pursuit of getting to know God/Source/the Universe in a way that feels right and true for ME.
I was raised in the Christian church, so obviously the religious text I am most familiar with is the Bible. The following verses really spoke to me in regard to my topic today:
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
What are children, if not beings entering a new world, learning how to navigate it and communicate with those already there? That’s exactly how I feel. Like a child, newly borne into a spiritual world I don’t understand. Because I don’t fully comprehend this world, I may desire things that aren’t good for me, or be unable to express myself adequately, but that willingness to learn and to grow and to explore is the only way to access the pinnacle of the spiritual world, or in religious terms, ‘heaven’.
I was raised in a religious household, but not a spiritual one. Religion demands, it restricts and regulates. Spirituality is a growth process, an expansion. It is an exploration into an entirely new world. Religion is the square hole in which humanity attempts to thrust the round peg of Spirituality.
Religion is the square hole in which humanity attempts to thrust the round peg of Spirituality.
These verses state unequivocally what I have been feeling, regarding my spiritual growth. Children explore; they test, they try, they go after what they desire, they learn, they grow. Christ is our salvation because he is the light that leads us to the doorway of this new world. He is the son of God, as we are the sons and daughters of God. He is the way, the truth and the light… he was the embodiment of enlightenment.
My last post spoke of the frustration I have been feeling with my inability to express in writing the concepts I am grasping spiritually, and I think that a big part of that is because I am attempting to explain spiritual aspects I don’t actually understand quite yet… because this concept, I don’t feel I have had any difficulty expressing. My body is literally humming. I suppose this must be how Edison felt when, after thousands of false starts, the light finally came on.
For the first time in my life, I feel free to explore my spiritual side without the albatross of religion around my neck, or the shame of wanting to leave it behind. I have always felt a strong connection to God, or the ‘higher power’ part of the Christian religion in which I was raised, and especially drawn to Jesus’ personality. I felt guilty, and fearful, for stepping away from its constraints, for the negative feelings I harbored about it. I feared eternal damnation. What if I was wrong? What if I was being led astray by the devil?
To those not raised in a strict, religious household, these questions, and the deep, very real fears they conjure, are absurd. We are ridiculous or simple-minded. We are laughed at and ridiculed for the angst we feel at even the thought of abandoning our religion. It’s terrifying, and those who haven’t experienced it are unable to grasp why we can’t simply see through the ruse of organized religion, to see it for the cult that it is. To those people I say, it is a process. A process that is ruled by fear.
In the same way that ridiculing a person who fears spiders won’t make them stop fearing spiders, ridiculing a person who fears the loss or damnation of their eternal soul won’t make them fear it any less. It may make them stuff down that fear, or repress that fear, but it won’t make it go away. It will still be there, gnawing, eating away at their sub-conscious, until they find a way to expel it, even if they manage to hide it from those who would make fun of them, the worry that they may be making an eternal mistake still haunts them, floating around in the back of their minds, surfacing from time to time.
This fear has kept me chained, and this series of posts (however many they end up becoming) is going to be my own exploration into these new realizations, and what they mean for me.
Spirituality vs Religion Part II can be found here.
Please note: Questions are welcome. Seeking clarity about my position on a point I have made is also welcome, but rude or baiting comments will not be approved. This is my space, the place I’m recording MY journey. That being said, ping-back are active on this site.