STONE FOUR CONTINUED
Discern: It is my responsibility to discern what works for me and what does not, always remembering that what may not resonate with me today may resonate at another time.
Instruction: Be careful of the familiar.
It is easy to fall back into old habits, because we tend to like what we are familiar with and most people don’t like change. If we leave a religious institution that hurt, disappointed, or abused us, we must be careful before deciding on a new organization. Liking the familiar and not liking change is probably the main reason people remain in one particular world religion. We don’t see people flooding from Buddhism to Christianity or from Hinduism to Judaism. What we do find is that people move within their chosen, or inherited, world religion. Part of the reason is based on our culture and circle of friends. Someone might ask, “How would so-and-so react if I told them I have decided to convert to Confucianism?” Peer pressure plays a part in how we decide what we will explore and what we won’t, but it shouldn’t.
If we think of a nation’s religion as water that flows through its hills and valleys and how that water of religious belief comes together to form rivers and lakes, we can get an image of how religion forms a torrent of belief that, if not careful, can carry away everything in its path. Few people want to go against the tide and try to believe differently, but when we stop to consider what happens to all that water of belief, it eventually is absorbed into the earth to water and make things grow or is carried to the ocean where it joins with other bodies of beliefs. We can call one ocean the Atlantic and another the Pacific, but the water has no borders where one ends and the other begins. It is the same. When time has ended, I have no doubt that all religious belief was endeavoring to bring us all to the same destination. Just because something is unfamiliar, it doesn’t make it bad or evil. Those determinations can be made by each individual after they have determined if the message resonates with them — and by resonating we’re not just talking about it being familiar, but does it resonate with what they believe is the highest and best that spirituality and religion has to offer.
Today’s Assignment is to consider what it means for something to resonate with you. Do those who believe they are evil tend to resonate with evil? Do those who believe Love is the highest and best in humanity resonate with the power of Love? Most, if not all, spiritual ideals can be distorted — even Love. Are you able to discern when even Love is used as a force to manipulate and control you?
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