Religion- a means of restoring faith, a belief system to follow, a connection to something “above” or simply a means of personal identity?
However you choose to define religion, whether you have one or not, there is one thing for sure that you will believe in- your values. To me, values make up the true essence of any religion. Now if we met today for the first time and you asked me my religion, I would most likely respond “Oh, I’m not religious”, when in reality, I am actually very religious. Is my religion widely recognised and will people think I’m not a crazy wild woman for calling this a religion- probably not. Unless you really want to know me, it’s easier just to commit to this response. What I mean is, I don’t believe in what the mainstream perceive to be “religious”…
Why Am I Not “Religious”?
*Disclaimer* I sincerely hope that when people read this, they are not under the impression that I am against religions which are already recognised and that I have a problem with other people being religious- I am not an activist and only write open-mindedly to inspire others, passively; hoping that by visiting my blog, they can open their eyes to my world and take away just a teaspoon for their own to do with as they please.
To me, there are 3 major common themes in many well-known religions, which deter me from stating that I am a “religious” person:
- THE RULE BOOK
As I was brought up in a Christian community, I soon came across this “book of rules” which told me what I can and can’t do- even though I already had my parents (a child’s true role models), teachers at school and life itself teaching me right and wrong. As I grew up and learned other things such as science and philosphy, this “book of rules” soon appeared to be more like a book of lies. I began to question it at a very early age and right now, I feel that by following this, I would be pushing myself into a box: saying “no” to unique experience opportunities, not learning from mistakes as well as living in fear. It is the latter, in which I hav the biggest problem.
Before you get out the pitch forks and torches, I’m not completely against “the rule book” and I do believe it teaches kids valuable morals; however, I now feel the best way to percieve these teachings is metaphorically and food-for-thought, rather than beleiving my soul with suffer for eternity as a consequence of breaking these “rules”.
2. THE ONE ABOVE
The main theme, I guess in many religions is having something/ someone to worship. Someone who’s word cannot be challenged or contradicted and will end all arguments when quoting from “the rule book”. I can assume you have all guessed I’m talking about a God, here. The problem I have with following one God, is that I myself, have suffered from believing in just one opinion or only one set way of doing things. But more on that in my last theme, identified.
Referring to the God in Christianity, there is constant argument that God is genderless, yet always referred to as He/Him/His. God is always right and never makes any mistakes-taking away any authenticity of being human and finally, my biggest peive is that God is always “above” or “most high”. Ok, so God is a worshipped figure and needs to be at a higher level, but can we not worship something that is at our side? Something that inspires from just living in the freedom of being real? Children are very much confused that there is so much hate and violence in the world, when this God is not suppose to allow this to happen- almost like painting a fake reality.
3. PROMOTION OF RIGID/ INAUTHENTIC LIFESTYLE
Combining both previous themes of rules and a higher figure to follow, to me this just adds up to the most inauthentic, rigid lifestyle inside a closed shell. If all beleivers were to stick to this idea of living, then there would be so much unnecessary stress on your spirit, mind and body. Referring to religions collectively, here are just a few examples of restrictions where natural reactions and common sense are overpowered by some religious beliefs:
- Unable to uncover your hair/ body when overheating
- Unable to eat at a specific time, even when your body asks for it to repair itself
- Unable to form sexual relationships with a partner before committing to spending your life with them, legally
- Unable to form intimate relationships with those of the same gender
- Unnecessary surgical proceedures to male genatalia
- Unable to prevent unwanted pregnancy
- Unable to carry out productive tasks/ work on a certain day
- Forcing yourself to forgive someone, even though they have committed the most unfogiveable act to you
This list only refers to people who would not make exceptions or refuse to open their minds in order to demonstrate their faith to their religion. While this could be looked upon as strength and dedication, it could also be looked upon as fear and weakness. You decide.
To me, you only get one life in this consciousness, so value the protection of the mind, body and spirit. Have the fluidity to make your own choices- sticking to just one set way and believing their is only one set way is disempowering and unhealthy to the mind and spirit. I must say, I have greater respect for the ancient Greek beliefs in more than one God, as there is in life, more than one element holding this world together.
What is My Relgion?
So, all of this anti-religious talk and suddenly I am religious? Just to reinforce the fact that I am now talking about what religion is to me…
I want to beleive in something authentic, something I know exists and something inspirational. To me this isn’t a God or something above, but something that is with me everyday, something here on solid ground with me, around me in the air.
Yes, I’m talking about Mother Nature, herself. If you know me at all, you will have probably guessed this is where I was going. If I were to compare with existing beliefs out there, I guess you could say I’m inspired by Native American and Bhuddist lifestyles.
SO, WHY NATURE?
Nature won’t judge me harshly when I make mistakes, Nature won’t sentence my soul to eternal suffering if I make exceptions or sometimes don’t follow the rules and Nature will always remind me that we, as humans, are peaceful, empathetic souls which belong in the natural world, no matter how much world leaders try to separate us from it.
It is at times like, during my cleaning job, I refused to knock down cobwebs, because that is a spider’s home and fishing net and who am I to disturb this? Also, when I gain comfort from sitting here, writing on the floor, as our bodies were not made for furniture. It’s times like, yesterday, as I sat up high in the branches of an Oak Tree, listening to her heartbeat, that yes, I am religious…
Slightly long-winded and contraversial, but that’s the real me on my own blog- descriptive. Thank you for reading and feel free to comment your views and share your own religious beliefs 🙂