I receive a lot of email from people that goes something like this:
"But what you say is not in the bible, which afdter all is the word of God, so it cannot possibly be true".
"The religious beliefs I have grown up with do not agree with what you say".
"If you continue, you will suffer the wrath of God and go to purgatory, hellfire and damnation for all eternity".
And so on.
I also receive messages from well meaning religious people kindly offering to "save me".
I always reply and thank these people for their concern, and ask them what they wish to save me from. Some do not know, knowing only that I "need to be saved", others are more specific and wish to save me from "the wrath of God", going to "hell", "damnation", "purgatory" and similar fiery fates, and so on.
But by far the greater number of messages received go something like this:
I know deep inside that what you say might be true, but it goes against my religious upbringing and I therefore find it difficult to accept, and do not wish to risk upsetting my family, friends and of course God, who might not allow me into "heaven" for my "sins".
This group of people wishes to know and embrace the truth, but their subconscious mind has become so programmed with the beliefs currently held, that they feel considerable mental pain and discomfort whenever they question those beliefs, or worse, and this is very common, believe they will be "punished" in some way.
In this newsletter it is not my intention to analyze individual religions, cultures or belief systems, but rather the causes and effects of religion and how to address them.
We must first differentiate between two distinct types of religion.
The first type is more of a tradition or culture than a religion, including, but not limited to Hinduism, Buddhism and Taoism. I would define these as systems of "learning" rather than "systems of belief". They set out to teach Universal truths in understandable ways; often my means of stories, plays and song. In fact all of these great and ancient systems fundamentally teach the same truths but in different ways according to the audience, and all
fundamentally teach the same reality; the true reality; differing only by extent and method.
The main difference between these and the orthodox religions is that the above seek to teach, while orthodox religious seek to control.
Dogmatic, orthodox religions, for example Christianity, usually have similarorigins; a "prophet" or "chosen one" who delivers a "book" from "God", purporting to be the "word of God", and to which book people are told they must believe and adhere to for fear of some terrible consequences if they fail to do so.
Another powerful instrument of threat is that unless the doctrines of these "books" and/or "chosen ones" are followed "religiously", the person will not receive a ticket to "heaven" and might even have to spend all eternity stoking fires for "the devil" in "hell".
I would instead like to speak generally on what can be done on a practical level to escape the influence of these doctrines, in order that greater and true progress may be made.
The first question is; where do people acquire their religious beliefs and fears in the first place?
This is actually a very important question, because once a person is honest about the answer, it becomes a powerful catalyst for change and the basis for moving forward.
The fact is, and no one can deny this, none of us are born with religious beliefs. In other words religious beliefs are not a part of our DNA; the building blocks of our physical body and brain.
None of us are born into the world with an "instruction manual" from "God" that must remain with us during our physical life, as for example the manual received when purchasing a new car.
So where do these beliefs originate? how does a person become religious and "God fearing"?
First let me say that some people, a very few in fact, do adopt religious beliefs during the course of a physical incarnation due to major life events. "Born again Christians" are just such an example. Other people "convert" from one religion to another for various reasons, often for convenience of marriage. Yet others still, and thankfully a minority, get caught up in religious cults, often with devastating consequences.
The overwhelming majority however gain their religious habits at an early from just one or two people; their parents, and to a lesser extent family and schools.
I should point out that it is not only religion that people acquire from parents, it is almost everything that can shape their physical lifetime, including for example attitudes towards other people and other prejudices, choice of foods and diet, "work career" etc..
Why is this?
We have previously discussed at length the power of the subconscious Mind. The subconscious Mind will always, without question, accept everything presented to it; as if it is total reality.
This is why we can make such profound changes simply by bypassing the logical, analytical, ego driven conscious mind, and "programming" the subconscious Mind with our Wishes as if they are true now.
A child, until the age of between 5 and 7 years, is constantly in the alpha-theta brainwave state, which means they are extremely impressionable and open to learning. This is a natural provision of the Universe due to the fact that a child needs to establish him or herself in the physical world as soon as possible as a matter of survival and preparation for later life experience.
A child, like the subconscious Mind will never question what he or she is told by their parents, relations, school teachers and other authority figures; they are simply accept everything on trust as fact.
By the age of 7 years a child is programmed, and is generally running on that program for the rest of their physical life, unless the program can be "updated".
This programming also includes the basics of survival as "nature" intended, but also included are the beliefs, ideas and prejudices of the childs parents and other influential people around them such as older siblings and friends. A child has no way of knowing whether what they have been taught is fact or fiction, right or wrong, good or bad, and would never think to question it anyway.
So a child very often grows up as a version or sometimes even a "clone" of their parents, and their parents before them, and their parents before them and so on.
This is why whole generations live the same sort of life in almost every respect; to them it is "normal".
This also includes attitudes towards food for example. A child will eat meat simply because it he or she has been programmed that it is right to do so. To most people therefore "meat" is simply chunks of red stuff stacked on refrigerated shelves in attractive looking packaging in the supermarket, to be subsequently turned into "dinner". No thought is given to the origins of that meat, and what suffering preceded its arrival on the supermarket shelves, or of the long-term consequences for the person, the creatures and indeed the human race.
Everything in the Universe is subject to the immutable Universal principle of Cause and Effect. In this case the Cause is eating a lot of meat, often in the form of "junk food", and the Effect is poor health, obesity and diseases such as diabetes.
In terms of religions it is this programming that is the most damaging of alldue to the fact that religion goes against the very reason we are here; to evolve by experience using our own freewill.
When a child is taught that they must follow a set of religious beliefs and practices for fear of terrible consequences, the child has no reason to doubt it, the subconscious Mind will accept it, and the child assimilates the religious belief system into their very being.
The subconscious Mind will then ensure, to varying degrees depending on how "devout" their parents are, that the child "fears" God, reads the bible, says their prayers, goes to church, often going to a "Sunday school", and follows strict religious guidelines as set out in a book or "bible" and enforced by parents.
In some countries this unfortunately extends to attitudes towards the female gender, and various groups of people, often based upon some arbitrary divisions, all of which manifest as "prejudice".
In most countries the personified deity associated with "God" is perceived to be male; usually depicted with a long flowing beard, and as a result the female gender is regarded as inferior and often treated terribly as a result. Male children, from an early age are taught that it is "normal" to treat females in this way due to their programming, and great unhappiness results.
Most sects of the christian church still seek to enforce this erroneous belief by only allowing church "clergy" to be male.
So how does a person free themselves from a "religion" or system of belief, a "belief system", which in reality is a deep seated superstition.
The way to proceed is to start by asking yourself if it makes sense.
Is the infinite intelligence that created everything in the Universe a vengeful, capricious, egotistical being, who demands to be worshipped, flattered and obeyed, handing out punishments for those who defy "him" and favours and tickets to heaven for those who conform?
Or does God, the infinite intelligence, the omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent Being of which we are all equal aspects, the creator of this incomprehensibly magnificent Universe within which we are evolving, only wish the very best for His?her children, just a human parents do for their own children?
Do you not love your children unconditionally? If so, and that applies to most everyone, then why would this infinite intelligence not love His/Her children, us unconditionally?
The next step is to agree to discover the truth with an open mind.
Look at all of the evidence and decide for yourself. Again; Our Ultimate Reality makes that as straightforward as possible by setting out the known facts and what they mean to mankind. Again though; although these are presented objectively; you must always decide for yourself.
Do the religious "books", "bibles" make sense? Do they contradict themselves? Do they mean something completely different?
The christian bible, to the extent it is original and has not been tampered with, is full of metaphors, symbolism and parables that do in fact support Universal truths. But these have been mis-translated, mis-interpreted and mis-understood in material terms, as well as being altered time and again for the purposes of control.
The whole basis of Christianity is the "crucifixion" where "Jesus died for the sins of mankind". What does that mean exactly?
The icon of Christianity the cross upon which Jesus allegedly died, or was "crucified".
Theologians generally recognise the book of the bible known as "Acts of the Apostles" to be a very accurate record of events 2000 years ago.
This is what Acts actually states:
"Now I, and those with me, can witness to everything he did throughout the countryside of Judaea and in Jerusalem itself: and also to the fact that they killed him by hanging him on a tree..."
Religion however tends to be very selective, only preaching those things that agrees with its objectives; i.e. control of the masses.
So if you are a christian, why not read the bible with an open mind, and use your own God given intelligence and freewill to interpret the words in your own way; rather than the religious slant the church, parents, relatives and others place upon them?
After that seek out known information, the wisdom of the ages that is always consistent, and again Our Ultimate Reality sets this out in one text, and ask yourself whether it resounds within your very Being as being true.
At night, just before sleep, as your Higher-Self for guidance.
Simply make the mental request to be shown the truth, and your subconscious Mind will accept the request and communicate with your Higher-Self with Which it is in direct communication. Be prepared to receive the answers in dreams, by intuition, synchronicity and any other way, of which there are many.
The important truth to know is that we are immortal, Spiritual Beings, an aspect of the Universe, Thee Divine, The Supreme Being; The First Cause, The Source, God, Who only wishes the very best for us, always, as we fulfil our true destiny; to evolve back to God in perfection through experience.
Break the programming of your early years, retaining only that which you know, beyond all doubt, within your inner Being to be true, while always remaining an open expansive, joyful channel of the Universe, ready to learn by experience, and never, ever by the religious creed, dogma and indoctrination of others.