STEP TEN CONTINUED: Seek tolerance and, when possible accept all religious faiths without judgment.
Instruction: Open to new possibilities.
For some, accepting other religious faiths goes deeper than merely tolerating their existence. Some choose to welcome religious information and insights from a variety of sources, religious and non-religious. The New Age movement has ushered in a different way of looking at the world and at religion, and there seems to be no specific agenda, creed, or criteria as to what makes one group of people New Age in thought. It almost feels like an extension of the hippie movement of the 1960s. Certainly there was a lot of positive things that came out of that time and that mindset of “make love not war,” and their focus on love as being the ultimate goal helped mold many lives in positive ways. I’m not proposing we wear tie-dyed shirts, let our hair grow out, and carry peace signs, but I am saying that we can find many positive things in their goals.
We also believe there is a lot of good found in most religious organizations. Some had high standards and great intentions at the start, only to come into bad times for one reason or another. Perhaps it’s difficult to find the good considering where they are now, so we go back to their roots, and, hopefully, we find the good that they originally tried to accomplish. We do not mention any religion by name because of our guideline that we do not judge. Even those who seem to have lost their spiritual direction and have abused people’s faith in them and their doctrines might still have things to teach us even if those lessons are negative in nature as in “how not to live your life.” Many people, after deciding to leave one religious group, often find themselves drawn to another religious group that is similar in many ways to their former group. This is not unusual and not necessarily a cause for alarm. Evidently there was enough good in their former beliefs to want to maintain much of the familiar structure. Others open their hearts and minds to religious beliefs that seem almost alien to them. Some of these come from world religions that they were formerly taught to avoid because they were wrong, evil, or even “of the devil.” We applaud those who open to new possibilities and who investigate new ways of connecting with The Divine. We encourage them to listen to their emotional wisdom and spiritual intuition.
Test the limits of your ability to accept other religious beliefs today. Some things might resonate with your spirit while others might not. Can we hold to the positive and set the uncertain beliefs aside for a time. We might return to these beliefs and find meaning in them, or, some beliefs might never resonate with us. We are allowed to agree or disagree.
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Our purpose is to help individuals to heal who have been injured by religion or the religious. We welcome your comments and questions.