Just recently I got a few emails asking me where do I stand on religion, or if I’m an atheist.
Well here it is: Those of you who know me personally know I do not believe in Religion. I am what now days is call an Omnist, or spiritual.
For those who don’t know what the term Omnist means, here is quick definition:”one who believes in all religions”.
I don’t usually call myself an Omnist out loud as most people would misunderstand my meaning. I don’t believe in any religion but I do believe in a greater power. Personally I see all religions as small pieces of a big tapestry; a tapestry which I believe is also made of atheists and all races without prejudice. I feel God is everywhere; to me God is a force. I believe it chooses to expresses itself differently in everyone in order for us to learn. I also believe each one of us is on a specific place on our spiritual growth.
To me all Religions hold a piece of a much bigger puzzle. I find all the teachings within each religion beautiful. So why then am I being asked if I have something against those who practice any type of religion?. Well to be fair, I have written and been vocal about my sadness and disappointment towards many people who claim to be of a specific religion and who feel they are defending their religion by hurting others in the process. Those people belittle others and seldom don’t live what they preach at a core level. They follow doctrine because is the acceptable thing to do, was raised into it, or for personal vanity and glory.
My “beef” as some would say is not then towards the “teachings” of a religion but rather the very “doctrine like stand” many “religions” have taken and by doing so forgetting the actual meaning of what their religion teaches.
I have spent many years of my life studying, exploring, and getting involved with different faiths. The combination of my research along with personal life experiences and that of others ( I like to analyze, dissect and pay attention to what happens around me.) have led me to the same conclusion.
The teachings of pretty much all religions are beautiful and productive to the human soul and its development; however there are many who have twisted and changed those teachings in order to fit a personal agenda.
The moment a Religion has to teach you to hate another human being or to see them as less or feel pity for those souls who do not practice the same way as you do, then that religion is no longer beneficial.
Many people like to state their religion does not teaching them to hate, however they do not seem to understand that looking down at your neighbor because he or she does not practice or share your beliefs, dresses differently than you, etc, does not make you a good human being.
If someone is going to use a particular creed to make themselves feel better than the other person, then that person in my personal opinion is following religious doctrine without understanding the actual meaning his/her religion is trying to convey.
I have met many people from different religions who claim their religion preaches love, they claim to love being helpful to their neighbors, however at closer inspection I noticed they like to do so not from the heart but rather from the ego. They like to show everyone else who they are helping and why. At best they show pity towards the person they are helping; “Savior syndrome”; that to me is not love nor what the teachings of that religion were trying to get its members to understand.
Of course there are many people who are excellent human beings from many walks of life and different religious backgrounds who do in actions show their religious teachings have helped them grow into beautiful human beings. They are very open minded and loving towards others of any background without a desire to convert the other person; the moment you want to convert you are not loving your neighbor.
To love your neighbor means to accept them as they are, unconditionally. These people do not pretend to be perfect, and DO practice their teachings in every aspect of life. They don’t pick and choose from their teachings whatever is convenient for them. Their life is in coherence with the teachings of love that every religion has at is core.
Those who truly believe don’t conveniently interpret their religious teachings or core values differently depending on which way the wind blows or what they can get out of the deal. Those are the ones that do understand its teachings and its love.
My believe is this: We are all human, and life is a school. I personally believe understanding and illuminance is born out of search, learning and embracing all spiritual teachings. To me your desire to understand your maker, God, Universe, Universal Teacher, etc, should surpass the limitations of your religion. It is my believe that a person’s desire should be to learn more and more about self and the universe, as I believe God and your love for him become more real as your understanding of it all grows; because the better you understand the better you can relate to it. It’s no longer a concept outside of you but a personal one. I believe one can’t truly love that which you don’t know or understand, much less if you don’t have a deep understanding of self. Yes you can have faith, however there are different levels of faith, and personally I believe these degrees vary as you seek deeper, learn and understand more.
I can’t understand it when people fight over religion. Those people don’t seem to recognize they are not fighting over God/Love, but over a set doctrine. That bothers me because I feel they don’t seem to recognize that God is love and God/the universal force is not about war and hate.
I also don’t believe on those who twist the meaning of these words and think love means subjugating one self to abuse. Many people seem to miss the teachings of so many wonderful prophets, spiritual teachers from so many different backgrounds.
Love starts with self love, when you self love you don’t allow others to mistreat you, neither do you hate.
There is a great quote that summarizes this and which may be difficult to understand but if you can learn it, research its meaning and get it, you will see that it truly does summarize many of the greatest teachings: “When you can look at a pile of Gold through the same eyes as you do when you look at a pile of nothing then you are seeing accurately; only then can you make the right choice”. I believe it means you transcend your mind’s limitations and start to see through your soul eyes. Differences can not be avoided, and if having to respond in order to protect the innocent, it should be done not through the eyes of hate or anger but at a moment of calmness.
I sometimes say that if I had to retaliate those who have hurt me while I am deeply involved in my anger, I believe that given my life’s history, I would either have murdered some people, and put others in jail. If I chose to take what is not mine every time I felt hurt by another I probably would be rich, but very poor of spirit and a hypocrite.
I am not rich nor do riches impress me in the least. I do get angry, I do feel pain, frustration, resentment, and its okay to feel that way; its called having emotions. I have made many many many mistakes and others have hurt me deeply but all of it is part of the human experience; including feeling super pissed off when someone hurts me or those I love. It is not natural or healthy to not ever feel any negative emotion. That person does not exist as we came to this world to conquer those parts of us which are what some call our darkness.
When someone attacks me or offends me, I don’t pretend it doesn’t hurt or that am not upset/angry. As I already mentioned, I don’t believe such attitude is healthy; denial never allows for healing. I don’t care what others think of me when am upset, because I know at the end of the day I felt the emotion and learned what I can from it. I know at the end of the day I can look at people straight in their eyes including those who have hurt me, and whom I have hurt (either because I apologized or because their retaliation outdid my offense)and know that although I could have retaliated in the exact same way, or worst I did not. I am no saint, nor do I care to be!.
We are human, its time to start accepting our humanity and by doing so embracing our divinity; none of us are perfect!!!
I find it very beautiful indeed to see more and more people willing to openly accept they are not perfect and drop all pretenses.
So there, those are my beliefs and they work for me. If your beliefs, your religion makes you a better person, capable of being open minded, where your values are in coherency with your actions then all the more power to you. If on the other hand your religion excuses your hating or hurting others, if it excuses your taking your neighbor’s sustenance because you felt hurt then I believe you are following doctrine, not the actual teachings of whatever religion you claim to follow.
Finally let me just say that I often come across a quote which I tend to discuss with my daughters as I personally believe it states well how things should be: “Love should be our Religion, Humanity should be our race”.
It is indeed a beautiful quote, we are not there yet, but if we all saw through those eyes, imagine where we would be.