STONE ONE CONTINUED
Assert: I assert that I am responsible for my own spiritual path.
Instruction: Pick one, or two, . . .
In the beginning, there was no religion. Perhaps it would have been easier if the first humans that came into being would have agreed on a religion, but that was not possible because religions had not been created. Religions were created by people, not by The Divine, and religions came later. Some nations built religions based on more than one deity, some based their religion on one deity, and some formed their religion on one deity that seems to have been revealed in three different forms or revelations. Some religions did not create a deity at all. We don’t have to have a religion, but if decide we want a religious belief system to help us, we can pick one. Many people were born into a particular religion, but at some time in their life, they decide if they will continue in that religion, choose another, or live their life without religion. Many people have not given much thought to picking more than one religion, but I ask them, “Why not?” I have more than one store I go to for groceries or clothes. I have more than one restaurant I go to when I want to dine out. What would be the harm in picking two or more religions to learn from? As I said earlier, this doesn’t mean I have to worship with all of those religions. That might not be practical. But, I can learn from the wisdom of those religions.
Some religious organizations want exclusive rights to be your spiritual guide, but that would be like a particular restaurant wanting exclusive rights to what and where I will eat every day. When we sign on with a religious organization that wants to tell us how to run our lives, we are giving our spiritual power to them. In one sense, we are making them responsible for our spiritual path, but, the truth is, each individual is solely responsible for their spiritual path. Those who died in the Jonestown massacre gave up their spiritual rights and paid the consequences, but the blame doesn’t belong with Jim Jones alone. I sympathize with those who lost their lives and their families, but at some point in their life, each victim gave up his or her right to determine their own spiritual path to a man who abused their trust. My suggestion here is that if we decide we want to enjoy the benefits of religion, there is safety in numbers. By choosing to worship in more than one faith, we can weigh the pros and cons of each, decide what agrees with love, and let go of anything that feels wrong or evil. If one institution or person decides it wants our exclusive loyalty, we might want to run from it as quickly as possible.
Today’s Assignment is to consider what religion you belong to and why. If you don’t belong to any religion, perhaps you might want to consider the pros and cons of different religions. Abuse can happen in any religion ranging from a seemingly benign community church, to a movement like Jonestown, or it can be limited to an individual. Someone who relies on a psychic to guide their decisions, especially if that psychic is easily offended when people don’t take their advice, can also be susceptible to abuse. Religions and religious people can be helpful on your spiritual journey, but always remember those people are not responsible for your spiritual path. You are.
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