For years, I had this love-hate relationship in trying to understand the whole religion thing. As a teen I remember how I struggled to find what the meaning of religion had in my life. Even though I was raised in a family of Baptist, I’m not sure why I never really had any profound sense of connection with that particular view of the world.
One Possible Theory
As I grew older, I figured the only way to come to grips with the concept was to understand the evolution of humanity and how this whole religion concept started.
Take the experience of being born and emerging into physical reality. Is this when we first began to see all things as external or outside of us? After all, didn’t we just experience nine months of growth from the non-physical (the twinkle in my dad's eye) to the physical? So now instead of being part of the “God” force in the spiritual, maybe we now saw ourselves as physical beings separated from this source. Sort of like being forced from the nest.
If your able to make that leap, then our focus certainly must have shifted into survival mode in the physical world where pain, hunger and the like were more or less the norm. These experiences were more “real” than the environment from which we had recently come, so our focus had to shift to deal with the immediate threats of now being in the physical world.
In making that shift in focus, was there a lost connection from where we came from? Since we were no longer the twinkle in our dad's eye, the physicality of life became very real with very real sources of pain and fear. Maybe this was when man found the need for religion.
Take it a step further.
Just suppose because of our newfound vulnerability, we tried to connect with the idea of something larger than us. A “God" to help protect and defend us from this dangerous physical world. We created idea’s that were stronger than us. A God who would protect us. And as the human condition became stronger, so did the God.
It didn’t seem to me that God, or the Universal Mind, or whatever you want to call it, gave man religion. It’s seemed more plausible to me that man created religion for himself in order to deal with the experiences of the human physical condition.
But the nagging question of who we are kept popping up. When I came from the spiritual world to be born into the physical world, did I just lose the whole concept of greater self? Was that even possible? How could I just forget about who I was and where I came from, assuming of course I even existed in spiritual form.
And that's when it hit me that I never really did forget. That's why I had this nagging, love-hate thing with religion. It's like that feeling you get when you know something just doesn't feel right. I considered the possibility that maybe, just maybe, there was a larger sort of self, attempting to guide me to the point where I could recall and understand this connection.
I began to open up and see things as part of a greater picture and to identify with this “God” force as being something that was inside. I now understood that phrase the preacher man kept saying, “I and the Father are one, " but now viewed completely different. The creative forces of the cosmos resided within. I now felt connected and plugged into where I came from.
And to come full circle, that is why I believe I'm here. To create. In my opinion, that's the purpose of life. Creation. Pure and simple. . . nothing more. Create whatever I want without the permission or approval of any higher force. The very essence of free will. Create my life, create emotions, feelings, a blog, my home, higher consciousness, a career, build a boat, design a building, teach. . . you cannot not create. Even the very idea of not creating is a creation. You get the idea.
It’s been quite a few years since I’ve come to an understanding. I lost the need for religion years ago and began to relax and see life in a totally new light. The weight was lifted as well as feelings of guilt previously held for not being the church going son my parents hoped I would be.
So to answer the original question, “Is Religion Relevant Anymore?” Yes and No. To me, it's no longer relevant. But I am thankful because religion kept prodding me to understand I am the creator of my life, given the gift to create as I please.
I'm made of the same energy and matter that created the stars and I use that power to draw experiences in my life by focusing my mind.
I'm not disrespecting religion. Just the opposite. To others, religion and faith are very relevant. If you feel connected with who you are and to your God, then more power to you. That's your path. There is no right path or wrong path… there are only paths we each walk in our own way by paying attention to those voices we all have inside.
Robert Hunt is the creator of MySelfDevelopment.net - Brain Food For Personal Development