Are there aspects of your religious doctrine that you struggle with?

Love illuminates and unifies - This photo was included to illustrate my belief that love illuminates and unifies. In its absence there is often judgment, bigotry, self-righteousness, fear and condemnation.
Canada
March 2, 2008 10:35pm CST
This is a topic that I have been considering as a discussion for awhile...but wanted to make sure that we could explore it within a spirit of respectful dialog rather than polarized positioning. So I would appreciate if we could do that. In my view there are spiritual people who are do not subscribe to any religious doctrine...and religious people who do not walk their talk in terms of living a spiritual life. I had my own struggles with this earlier in life. Our family attended the Anglican church and later changed to the United because of there were aspects of the religion that they could not accept. Mostly unloving behaviors to anyone who did not think as they did. It seems to be more common these days for people to switch religions. A survey came out in the last week that shows that 50% of those questioned admit to changing religious affiliations. Jay Leno was making light of it by jokingly asking; "Does this church or that become like shopping for an insurance company..one providing higher dividends than the other?" However, I am sure it is no laughing matter. While growing up we lived in a French Canadian community and all my friends were Catholic. They admitted to struggling with some of the teachings. However, they lived in mortal fear of being doomed to hell if they ever vocalized how they truly felt. Do any of you feel that way...or did you? After studying many religions the only thing I ever take issue with is a religion that does not teach love. If there are polarizing aspects of an 'us versus them' dogma or ones that claim they are the only pathway to God...I tend to honor their right to promote it...but absolutely do not subscribe to those types of doctrines. Beyond that people have a right to believe whatever they choose. However if many of the religions that tend to divide could promote more love think what a wonderful world we'd have. If all religions taught that when love is at the heart of everything we say and do we'd probably be able to resolve all our human rights concerns. Like John Lennon said..."Imagine!" I included a photo I took that typifies how gentle and honoring love is when we give a smile to a stranger, assist those in need, encourage rather than condemn. The figure is illuminated from the inside..holding a flower with a butterfly resting gently beside her. I will leave you with a quote from Dale Carnegie that summarizes my views on this topic: "The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them form Chesterfield..borrowed them from Jesus...and formulated a view..If you don't like their rules...who would you use?" So here we go...open mike...anyone willing to stand up and offer their 'perspectives?' All I ask is that we share views with love, honor and respect...whatever you do or do not believe. Thanks in advance. Raia
11 people like this
17 responses
@youdontsay (3503)
• United States
3 Mar 08
You sure know how to open up a can of worms! I've seen more heated responses on this topic than on any other. I guess it is because it is so much a part of our core identity. I struggle with the limitations religions put on God. I see God as boundless and religions try to box God into rules and laws that exclude rather than include. As I've matured my view of God has expanded and expanded. I struggle now with what name to use when addressing that boundless Spirit. Every name is too small and too common. I find myself addressing my Creator with traditional terms that really have little relevance to my current spirituality. But I don't have words that fit. Sometimes I go through lists of names searching for what seems to fit. Usually I end up using "Great and Holy Spirit", knowing that there is even more than that contains. So, now, will I hear condemnation for not fitting someone else's idea of God?
• Canada
3 Mar 08
Hello again...brave soul that you are! I know what you mean about opening a can of worms...I have had this idea on my mind for awhile now. I didn't want to post it until I had been here awhile and established a circle of like-minded others. Within our sharing circle there are many that I chat with who view things as we do. You and I have had discussed so many things in the past and I know your are a very spiritual person. I completely understand how words and religious definers box beliefs in. Your description of God as boundless and not 'contained' is so valid. Like you I use Creator...or Source but accept that even those do not in any way express the expansive energetic Presence in our lives. I am not sure whether either one of us will be condemned for not having our views fitting into someone else's idea of God...hopefully not. I requested respectful, honoring dialog. If there are those incapable of sharing ideas that way...all we need to do is remind ourselves that it speaks volumes about who they are...more so than what we choose to believe. Free will...Source gave us that and we are simply choosing to use it...like it or not! Thanks for having the courage of your convictions...I am standing with you dear one! Warm, loving, light filled regards, Raia
@magikrose (5425)
• United States
3 Mar 08
I am one of many who have switched religions because I couldent quite grasp things that were being said. I learnd about other religions and picked one that did and does everything in "Perfect Love and Perfect Trust" and I will not switch religions again. The things I have learned in this religion are all things I have always believed in but were told were evil and there for pushed aside. I dont have to hide part of me any more I cam fully express myself and get introuble because of it.
2 people like this
• Canada
3 Mar 08
How wonderfully refreshing! When people are really comfortable with their spiritual beliefs there is usually a total lack of defensiveness and acceptance of others. To me that is very loving, honoring and a reflection of living by the Golden Rule. Do you have a particular affiliation to your beliefs...or is what you have come to a culmination of teachings? Whatever they are...I love what you said in your closing comments.."I don't have to hide part of me any more I cam fully express myself and get in trouble because of it." In my view..that is as it should be...but so often it isn't. Thanks for sharing...wishing you much love and light! Raia
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
3 Mar 08
I am 110 per cent anti-religion. I don't believe in any of them. However... thanks to my catholic background... I had to struggle all my life with believing in God... or not. I was forced to do my communion at age 12... in order to not bring shame to my parents. That the way it was in those days... thanks to religion. But I have not set foot in a church ever since. 1) I believe in the Big Bang Theory. Not Creation. 2) I am still not sure where man comes from. Evolution or Extra- Terrestre? Was God an Astronaut? 3) I believe in God because I am not brave enough to dismiss him without proves. 4) I don't believe in the resurrection of Jesus. 5) Religion does not represent God. The simple fact that people switch religion does highlight the fact that religion is a joke. If religion represented God... there would only be one religion. I don't regard myself as spiritual. I prefer the word "enlightened". However... I believe in destiny and gardian angels... I guess that makes me spiritual. I cannot get out of my head that my grand-parents are my guardian angels. Go figure! John Lennon and his bloody song "Imagine". Yes... beautiful song. I love it. But 20 years down the track... I realised that it was that song which did screw up the whole Western World. It was that song which gave birth to our politically correct world. Where everyone had to be treated the same... regardless of race or religion... etc... We lost the plot! We all are different. Nobody is the same. When you try to force the issue in making us all the same... you are going to have more trouble than you can handle.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 08
I hoped you'd reply...and glad you did. I know we have chatted about some of this before..on your site and mine so I had some idea about your viewpoints...especially about religious doctrines. Your perspectives are well stated...and I appreciate that you are open minded and leave yourself some wiggle room. I chuckled at your comment that you believe in God because your are not brave enough to dismiss him without proof. Good one! Your ambivalence about not viewing yourself as spiritual...but then again...'maybe' is also interesting. I am curious though..how do you define enlightened versus spiritual? Most spiritual people are seeing enlightenment..so if you see yourself with that...aren't you spiritual? The idea that your grand parents are your guardian angels seems natural to me too. I am convinced my grandmother on my mother's side had a hand in how David and I met...even though she passed on when I was around nine years of age. I am not sure I agree with you that we have 'lost of the plot.' We are works in progress for sure...but I am not about to give up on the humanity..or the fact that everything is always working towards the greater good beyond the appearance of all outer circumstances...YET. Maybe someday..but not right now...life is good..and I see everyday heroes transforming their lives in large and small ways. In my view they more fully represent where we are going than the ridiculousness of political correctness and some of the 'idiot-ocracy' that gets all the air time. I do not believe anyone will ever succeed in trying to force 'sameness' at this point anyway. There are too many critical thinkers with strong voices...maybe if 'they' can silence THEM...it might happen..but hopefully not in our lifetimes. Great talking points and another enjoyable discussion. Thanks for your input. Raia
• Australia
4 Mar 08
The way I define "enlightened" is by observing the world and its people. I use a great deal of logic in order to judge everything and everyone. I am not interested in excuses... I am interested in reasons... Because there is a reason for everything. In most cases... it might not be a good reason... but for a specific individual... rightly or wrongly... it was a good reason at the time. I think like a judge in a court of law... Before sentencing someone for murder... I want all the facts as why he did it. That is why we have that say... "He got away with murder" Most people see everything in black and white... no middle ground. But except for a few psyco... people don't usually murder people for no reason. Their reason might not be politically correct... but that's another story.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Hmmm that is a different meaning than how I see it...but good to know just the same. I appreciate your position of gathering the facts before sentencing someone. Yes, people make their choices for different reasons at different times. There is also a tendency to 'do what we know' and until we awaken to the fact that something nees changing or re-framing people's mindsets tend to remain the same. Good to have an addendum to the discussion. The more we chat the more we know...so lets just keep on keeping on discussing ideas whether we agree or not. It is always enjoyable bouncing ideas around...and we do it with mutual respect and I value that a lot. Raia
• United States
3 Mar 08
hey all~ i don't know that there are aspects of the beliefes per se that i struggle with, as much as there are aspects of how people act w/ the doctrines.....namely being so bull headed that they become extremists and overlook that we should be LOVING one another, not trying to condem one another! that's why i don't become a 'memeber' of any church i attend...and if the leadership even seemingly 'endorses' actions like that, i'm out the door (even if its mid service) as i believe that actions and attitudes like that have NO PLACE in Christianity ~j
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 08
Greetings and welcome to Mylot. Thanks for dropping by...and staying for the whole topic. I really respect the strength of your convictions and the courage you have in sticking to them. I would love to see the expression of the 'condemning ones' as you walk out in the middle of their service. Good for you. We share similar views here...that whatever religion or spiritual beliefs we have...we should be LOVING one another..without condemnation. Really excellent. You said it all! Best regards hope to chat again.. Raia
• United States
4 Mar 08
hey~ yea sometimes they didn't even notice (so wrapped up in themselves) and others they made a huge to do (calling me out by name form the pulpit...saying we'll be praying for u cuz we know u need it [w/ the implication i was doing evil) its saddening how some people twist religion :( it's kewl to meet others with the same view! u should check out my post about churches cooperating i think you'll like the reading :) ~j
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Hello again.. Sorry it took awhile for me to get back here. I value the way you look at things and your honoring position within this discussion. Yes, it is great to meet like minded others. It is just one of the many reasons I keep coming back to chat with people here. I love this site...and the people within the community. I'll drop by to your site and check out the discussion you mentioned. Hope to chat again soon. Raia
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
3 Mar 08
Oh my another one!! TO me the golden rule always goes" do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I have gone to seeral church other than the one I grew up in and to me they are basicly the smae just some twist and turns on different ideas. I have some tell me my religion is a cult well if uya look at them all are in away. I mostly just enjoy nature and beleive that some day I will be united with my loved ones that have gone on . I just dont think I have to attend any church to do this. I prance to my own drum.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
After the many talks we have shared on line and on the phone we know by now that we share very similar perspectives on our spiritual path. Like you...there is a lot of bigotry and judgment in some of the organized religions. That does not fit with who we are and that is fine. I have come to know you as a very spiritual person and a woman of faith...and yes, you sure do prance to your own drum...and I love that about you! Thanks for adding your input...I miss being here and hope to catch up this weekend. Looking forward to finally connecting by phone! Warm, caring hugs... Raia
@Lakota12 (42794)
• United States
8 Mar 08
yup I really do prance to my own drum. and will be great to talk to you on the phone hugs
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Mar 08
Yes...and you have a unique and powerful resonance as you do. So keep on keeping on... So we are on for tomorrow? Sometime between two or three PM our time? Look forward to it. Hugs, sleep well...signing off soon. Dropped over to your site..and finally made my 2,000th post. YES!!! Raia
@skinnychick (6937)
• United States
3 Mar 08
I don't really follow one doctrine or another. I'm into Buddhism and I have been learning and practicing that. I take a little from this faith or that faith. There is something beautiful about every religion or faith system. I go with things that I can relate to and so I have adopted that. I really feel that I make me what Iam, no religion can give me that. I look inside myself for guidance and acceptance. Buddhism is my guide but I have been known to take a little from Wicca, Hinduism, and even Christianity. Religion for me is a way to gain a little more knowledge about the world I live in. Not necessarily to give me something higher to believe in..the power that I believe in most, is the power I hold within myself and the power that is the good in other people around me. Have a great day!
• Canada
4 Mar 08
Oh my gosh..here we go again Skinnychick..with our attitudes and approach to things running along similar lines. I am not sure that it came up in conversation before but my spiritual beliefs are a mix of all the same ones you are exploring. Like you I find Buddhist teachings so valuable in everyday life. Two of my favorites are the importance of staying in the 'Now-ness' of experience and that all our suffering comes from our attachments. There are so many others...but you know that. When I started studying Buddhism I also was able to keep myself more in observer mode rather than in the polarity of my old belief system. Boy I wish we lived closer I'd sure love to bounce some of this around over lunch. Oh well.. this works for now. Thanks for another great addition. I sooooo appreciate your on-going participation here. You are a great Cyber friend... Raia
• United States
4 Mar 08
Awww thanks Raia..It would be great to chat over lunch. Noone else except for 1 person understands my beliefs, they are just to set in their own. But to each their own. I love your discussions and the friendship. :)
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
You are so welcome. Finding you here and sharing things the way we have the past few months is a gift to me to. Oh well maybe someday when we are rich and/or famous you and your beloved, David and me can get together and celebrate what we have. Or we could let them be and meet for a prolonged giggly gal-pal sharing of ideas. I have also experienced a lot of people who do not 'get' what I believe either...and I keep it really simple and rarely divulge too much until I know where they are coming from. With the mixed bag of ideas you and I have incorporated it is too understandably difficult for those raised with strict dogma to feel comfortable with a spiritual path such as ours. Oh well...choices we have a right to them and lets just keep on doing what works for us. Enjoy the weekend...and we'll keep in touch. We seem to be doing a lot of that lately and I am happy we are. Raia
@Darkwing (21590)
12 Mar 08
Hello again, my friend. I feel you know already that I was Christened as a small baby, and that I spent a few years as a Christian before I started to receive signs that there was a different and more suitable path for me. That went on from early adult life, but after my Grandson departed this World, I knew that I was in the wrong religion, and he was about my turning point. The signs came thicker and faster... even he had unknowingly passed signs to me, and when he left for the Otherworld, I got to thinking, and finally made a decision to change my religion. My new path is much more spiritual. I find myself [/b]wanting[b]to learn and to grow, instead of following others, like a sheep. I'd always had difficulties coming to terms with certain aspects of my religion previously, but I have never looked back from my present beliefs. Why? Because I'm no longer restricted in my views. I have a much larger scope to deal with, and I'm more than comfortable with it. I love to read and learn about others who share my traditions, and I don't have to answer to anybody but my inner self. Therefore, I have found room to grow in spirit and know that I have the knowledge to share with others, and help them on their way, should they require it. I don't have to approach them... they approach me, when they see how happy and content I am with my life path. They become inquisitive and approach me.. and I feel I'm much better accepted and liked by people. I think that says it all. At last, I have found the religion/beliefs with which I'm most comfortable, and I'm enjoying the comfort and peace of mind. Brightest Blessings, my dear friend and soul sister. xxx
• Canada
26 Mar 08
Oh Dear One...sorry it took me three weeks to respond to your genuine response. As I read it I could feel the depth and breadth of your inner knowing about the validity of what you believe. I have some to know you as a person who is able to walk her talk because your inner and outer worlds are congruent within your spiritual path. Like you, the more I pursue my spirituality from the inside out I feel confirmation that I am on the right path. As you have said so eloquently in your closing comments (that mirror mine as well)..." At last, I have found the religion/beliefs with which I'm most comfortable, and I'm enjoying the comfort and peace of mind." Within all great religions...that is the goal...and knowing we have found what works for us does provide a peace that passes all outer understanding by those who look on. It has been said that the best way to 'teach' is by example. The fact that others are asking you about your life path mirrors the truth of within your beliefs. Lovely response as always my friend and soul sister. Raia
@Darkwing (21590)
28 Mar 08
Thank you, Raia. Funnily enough, I have been told two things, both by males, in whom I have no interest but a social friendship. One is about 27 years of age, the other 43 and both in a relationship. The first told me a spiritual story about how he became a really devout Christian, and when I asked why I was the only one he could talk to (he said, he hadn't been able to talk to his parents or friends about the events), he told me I have an aura, purple in colour and he somehow knows that I will listen and believe, and moreover not judge or "laugh" at him. The other, told me that I was a "beautiful woman". (he said "beautiful bird", actually, but I'm no spring chicken!) ha ha ha. I kind of gave him a wry smile, and he said "Do you want to know why?" I said, I thought I knew what he was going to say, and he replied, "You're always smiling, you present yourself well, and you never have a bad word to say about anybody. You radiate love, and everybody loves you here." Awwwwwwwwww, I think I blushed, but those words, both sets, have gone into my Book of Treasured Words, so I'll never forget them. All these things give great acclaim and credit to my beliefs, because they are what formed my personality and my ability to see the spiritual presence in everything. In fact, I think most religions have the same basics; they just differ as to their methods, and their deity(ies). After all, there aren't many religions in the world as far as I can see, who don't use incense and candles in their ceremonies... even water and earth in some cases. These are all indicative of the four Elements. So, why do we all argue as to who's right and who's wrong? Nobody is wrong, if they are comfortable with their individual beliefs, and I will never argue against any religion, whatsoever. Love and hugs, from your soul-sister, Darkwing. xxx
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Apr 08
Greetings dear one.. Sorry it has taken me two weeks to respond...but things are really busy for David and I right now. Your examples about how people respond to you reminds me of the expression; "The best way to lead is by example." You walk your talk and I am not surprised people pick up on your inner essence. I feel the brightness of your light each time we connect or when I think of you in your corner of the Universe. I value our bond and trust it will continue. It is why I am so happy we have another way to keep in touch beyond Mylot. David and I are doing great and we've had a good melt. In another month to six weeks we'll be back in the garden. Take care...many hugs my sweet soul sister. Raia
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
3 Mar 08
I do not know enough about this and have a feeling ,am likely to be slightly vague and contradictory in my expression[I do not know how it will come forth].Anyhow, it really doesn't matter between friends who are openminded in their discussions and so I am going to voice a few of my thoughts. I am one of those people who would not question the fundamental beliefs or teachings or literature of my religion because I feel thatI do not know enough-the subject being so vast and complex ]So I have chosen the easy way out.In this context I would like to mention one of my uncle who is a very learned judge and erudite scholar--he has doen a lot of reading /analysis/etcetc..,and remarked once -this was once in again his comment on his daughter's fatherinlaw[who is a very religious, slightly rigid and ritualistic old man and , and he clings to his Acharya/teacher.He is convinced about the path to salvation and has deep faith in his Guru/teacher. My uncle said that he was not too sure where his analysis was leading him apart from the fact that it was agreat intellectual pursuit and satisfied his intellect.On the other hand the other gentleman ,[the one that I referred to as my uncle's daughter's fatherinlaw]was much more at peace .This was his comment. How does this fit in with my thoughts?--here I have to touch lightly upon what my religion says-namely we have to attach ourselves to an acharya who would guide us through the right path to salvation.This brings in certain compulsions like getting a sanghu and chakram [this is the conch and wheel used by Lord Krishna]on our arms once in our life time-[the Acharya just stamps this brand on us--like vaccination. Many rebel against this concept and do not get it done.It is after all a belief and the done thing.That is all.While my motherinlaw protested loudly against this and condemned her inlaws for branding her 57 years ago, I did not utter a word of protest when my husband told me about this. I voluntarily had it done[if it has to ]These are external.I follow whatever is easy to follow [in the text] .This surrender to Acharya demands that I say his name along with our Lord's name and other Gurus who preceded him.I do not mind. I am an imperfect human being and what harm is there to follow the dictum of religion? My husband has also had this ritual done -he broadly believes in the guidance of that Omnipotent Spirit who stands by us and believes only in prayer/NOT RITUALS.[the ritual with the Acharya is something he does not question because our religion has imposed this on us.-]-meaning ,at home he does not demand any ritualistic preparations.We have our style and this is orthodox in a way but terribly modern.He is not too much in favour of going to crowded temples but would recite all the verses that his religion has asked him to.I am nowhere near.But I go to temples and follow other things that my religion has asked me to. But I hate people imposing restrictions and twisting rules acording to what they know and saying that 'that is it'.This is with regard to what I do in a temple. It is very stupid to call one religion as good versus another because it only leads to unnecessary feuds. How does it matter? As I had pointed out earlier I studied in a school run by nuns and my son and husband call me a christian in belief/thoughts. They feel that a Hindu school does not teach so much of Moral Science. Well, all I know is one thing -that whaever religion I follow does not matter as long as my thoughts or actions do not harm others. I may not be a wonderfully benevolent human being who sacrifices all for the general good of humanity but I would not like to harm anyone by thought or deed. That is all. This religion subject is so complex that as I pointed out I have just drifted in the end of my response. The summary of my story is that I do not question/nor like to question the FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS OF my religion because I feel that religion and faith would be defied by rational thinking and would confuse a person.I would endm up nowhere because I won't get enough answers. I would like to carry on in peace with simple beliefs and 'live and let live' policies.I would not question the funadamental faith taught in my religion--to sum it in one sentence-there is a God in the orbit of the Sun and He is --- and He would give us salvation.Our religion calls Him by a name but the basic concept is one of Formless Omnipotence. I have exchanged religious concepts and stories with Catholic friends of mine too and there was no discord whatsoever. There is something that keeps us going and I am thankful to the Lord for this.
1 person likes this
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
3 Mar 08
Except for the vagueness caused by the Abstract element in the topic I think I have not been too ambiguous .I read through what I had written and I thought my thoughts came out clear.Perhaps, they are a bit naive and totally simple.This is because Iwant to keep the matter of religion like this and find peace.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 08
Hello Kala...and thank you for your open, honoring sharing once again. I am going to respond to your second comment first. In my view your presentation here was clear and from your heart. You offered a wonderful example of what I call 'heart/mind' communication. I see you as a highly intelligent woman with an insightful, contemplative/spiritual nature. What you presented here with your comment; "Religion and faith would be defied by rational thinking" speaks volumes to me about why many struggle with some of their doctrines. The fact that you have chosen not to question the fundamental beliefs of your religion so you can as you cay..."carry on in peace with simple beliefs and live and let live politics" sounds like a wise approach. Your wise-woman ways about your basic premise of Source is a lovely term..."Formless Omnipotence." That is a term that I also embrace...because of the vast expansiveness I experience within my connection to God as well. The one thing that jumped off the screen for me is your eloquent summation of your spiritual/religious bath..."Well, all I know is one thing -that whatever religion I follow does not matter as long as my thoughts or actions do not harm others. I may not be a wonderfully benevolent human being who sacrifices all for the general good of humanity but I would not like to harm anyone by thought or deed. That is all." If more people could embrace their own belief...and while also allowing others to do the same as long as their doctrines do not cause suffering...we'd have a lot more love...and less hate in this world. Thank you for another powerful, insightful and honoring discussion. I love having your for a friend...and as a regular contributor to Perspectives topics. Raia
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
4 Mar 08
Hi thank you! I cannot agree more with your saying that it would be wonderful if people just carry on with their individualbeliefs and live in peace instead of so much of hatred.I have a feeling that the uneducated are more fanatic in their approach.It does pain me a lot when I see the stupid bigotedness .
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
9 Mar 08
First let me express my appreciation of the time and effort you put into this thoughtful and well written Post. By way of introduction- I spent some time on Manitoulin Island in 1991 as a government bee inspector. Yes Religion and Spirituality cannot abide each other, for one collects money, and dispenses fear, while the other has no use for funds and teaches Love. I grew up in a strongly Religious Family but gave it all up as soon as I began to think for myself. Soon after that I began a study of Spirituality. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love is all there Is, God is Love, and Absolute Love demands Absolutely Nothing! I believe God is Absolute Love and demands absolutely Nothing! God is Love not Fear!
• Canada
9 Mar 08
I greatly appreciate your comments about the way this discussion was written. I took a deep breath and prayed for spiritual clarity before writing it. My hope was that this topic could be discussed with emotional maturity and with a respect for each other's views whether we agreed or not. So far that has been the case. When I read your response something I do my best to live by came to mind..."In quietness and confidence shall be my strength." Whenever you stop by that is the energy that comes through. I value exchanges with you whenever they occur and that is certainly the case again. Your views are aligned to mine in everything you said. I particularly support your powerful statement that..."Yes Religion and Spirituality cannot abide each other, for one collects money, and dispenses fear, while the other has no use for funds and teaches Love." So very true! We also share in the belief that God is Absolute Love...and the more we strive to know God and emulate the essence of what Source the happier and more content we become. At least that has been my experience and living without fear is a gift that truly does bring a peace that passes all understanding. Wonderful addition..thank you Barehugs..sending you a big, warm spiritual hug! Raia
1 person likes this
@barehugs (8992)
• Canada
9 Mar 08
Thanks for that! I feel the Warmth and the Spirit! And I'm returning the same, with Love! " A truce to your volumes, your studies give o'er; For Books cannot teach you love's marvelous lore." -Hafiz of Persia
1 person likes this
• Canada
10 Mar 08
Hello again...and thanks for coming back..and your lovely message. I am going to make a point of dropping by your site more often so we can continue this spiritual love-fest. I am feeling it too!. Love quotations...thanks for yours! Raia
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
3 Mar 08
I agree with you 100% on the "mine is the only way" belief and behavior. That's always been something that's bugged me. It's interesting for me because I grew up being one of very few people with my beliefs where I lived... or any belief other than Christianity for that matter. So I grew up looking at the major religion of my area from the outside (usually in a negative light because of how people claiming that religion treated me) and learning my own beliefs in a very non-pressured way. While my actual spiritual training was sometimes a little straining, it was all training I asked for and even insisted upon, so I never felt pressured by people of my own beliefs. In order to decide if I have problems with any of my religious doctrines, however, I have to figure out what those doctrines are. It's not as obvious as it sounds to people who are part of "organized" religions. The Irish historical and mythological cycles, the Welsh Mabinogion, various historical and literary resources, oral tradition, family folklore, personal revelation... all these things tie into my personal beliefs. While "Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism" is a title used by others as well as myself to describe our beliefs, no one has exactly sat down and written one complete resource for it. Nor should they, because the personal research involved now is very much in the spirit of "thirst for knowledge" that the ancient Celts possessed. Since, however, the beliefs do come out so personalized, it's hard to say there is anything I don't agree with. There are parts of ancient Celtic culture I wouldn't agree with, but those are cultural rather than religious aspects, and wouldn't really apply in the modern world anyway. If I widened the scope in which I am talking from "Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism" to "Paganism" there are lots of things I could say bother me. But they mostly come down to the actions of individuals, not the beliefs themselves.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Hello again Lecanis...how are you and your son doing? Thank you for dropping by and adding your perspective to this discussion. From other ideas we've shared I have a grasp of some of your spiritual beliefs and respect your dedication to them. To me your open, honest way of communicating here is something I respect about you. I really liked what you said in your final comment...that what bothers you is not so much about the beliefs your group has..but the people themselves. Yes, there are those who get pretty big headed and dogmatic about how enlightened they are. To me we were given free will to choose...to learn...and become more enlightened. How a person does that is of less importance than whether they do it in loving or unloving ways. The one thing that most religions have at their foundation is love...for each other, for Source and for all living things. What a wonderful world we'd have if everyone functioned from love, honor and respect rather than bigotry, judgment and self-righteousness. Oh well...their choice. Good input as always...thanks for being here. Raia
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
8 Mar 08
We're all still sick here. Turns out Dusty has RSV at the moment, yuck, but he's starting to feel better. I'm happy to be drinking coffee and hoping I can eat breakfast and keep it down, which makes me better than yesterday anyway. :P I'm glad that you can tell my sincerity here. *smiles* It's usually the vehemence with which some people in my religion argue against eclecticism that bothers me. I can understand the value of tradition, and I am very devoted to my Celtic path, but at the same time I do believe that all people are free to make their own path. It doesn't bother me at all that some people follow some Celtic deities and some from other pantheons, or that some people follow a Celtic deity using more modern ways than my own... but I know some Reconstructionists who freak out over things like that. In my opinion, all that sort of thing is between a person and "The Source" as you put it... and no one else's business really. You're right, though, it is their choice to live their lives of bigotry and self-righteousness just as it is my choice to live my life of tolerance and honor. All we can do is be happy with our own choices. :)
1 person likes this
• Canada
9 Mar 08
Hello again. Sorry to hear you are still under the weather. David and I are doing our best to not let what we sense is a cold develop beyond the point it is. The friend who helped him move our fish tank had a sore throat and was coughing...time lines are right and we are feeling a little sluggish. Our approach is to take it easy, drink a lot of fluids. I am sipping on a big pot of ginger tea with clove and cayenne. Anyway, one thing I always appreciate about you...and value immensely is how authentic you are in all your posts. I respect how you think and that you have the confidence to state your position the way you do. The dynamics you describe within your spiritual affiliations is a common thread. To me is is rather arrogant for anyone to demean another's path. If Source did not want us to be able to choose our path we would not have been given free will. The bigotry within many organized religions has turned out to be a gift to many of us...through that we were able to seek another path. Even though some of what your study is new to me I have many Pagan/Wicca practices that have significance for me. David and I also have gained valuable insights from Buddhism and Native Spirituality. We do not 'fit' with many people's beliefs...but we walk our path in quietness and confidence and I sense you do the same thing. Wishing you and yours many light filled blessings and I hope you feel better soon. Warmest regards, Raia
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
3 Mar 08
I have no qualms with the doctrines and dogmas of the Religion I subscribe to. I believe them all, completely -
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 08
Hello again Modestah.. It is good to know that you have found a religious/spiritual affiliation that affirms your beliefs. If you don't mind me asking...what is your Religion? It is alway good to learn more about those we chat with on a regular basis. I enjoy discussions about religion and politics...when they are conducted with mutual respect and a willingness to accept differences. We are all students and teachers to each other here...and sharing is part of that. Thanks for your input again, Raia
@Modestah (11195)
• United States
8 Mar 08
I am, Perspectives, Catholic to the Core
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Thank you for coming back. It is always wonderful when people are solid in their beliefs and find it gives them all the invisible/visible means of support they need. That is all that matters. Wishing you many light filled blessings...I appreciate our connection. Warm regards, Raia
@roniroxas (10576)
• Philippines
3 Mar 08
religion, and cultural beliefs is a very delicate topic. and i am proud of you being courageous to start a discussion like this. when it comes to religion topic for example with friends or classmates (during college days), co-workers.... i just listen and never contribute anything. because i know this kind of topic always end up with a misunderstanding or sometimes causes feud. some people not just because of a certain church or religion but some people tends to be very upset or angry if the person they are talking to are not the same as what they believe in. people always tend to disagree when you tell something of what you believe in but not the same as what they believe at. i respect all religions and beliefs as well. i have friends who are christians, born again, protestant and others. i alwasy believe that it is not your religion who will save you but your faith. i dont have problems with my religion. i was born and riased with this. i pray and go to church, help people if i can and pray for them too. i also light candles for people i want to help with special intensions. some people kept on changing their religion for the reason that they are looking and searching for something. i think searching should start with the heart. this is a very nice discussion raia.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 08
Hi Roni.. I really appreciate your feedback about the courage to post this...and that you feel it is a nice discussion. You just gave me a big 'whew!' Thanks for that. I centered myself before posting it. I alos asked for spiritual direction and clarity. It is a delicate subject alright. However, as I have said before it is my hope that we are emotionally mature individuals and should be able to engage in respectful dialog...even about religion. Your comments reflect who you are...and that you truly do have respect for differences. Your view that it is not religion that will save you...BUT YOUR FAITH..that is a very powerful statement and so true. You have always come through as not only a person of faith...but a spiritual person who walks her talk. Your position about people changing their religions because they are searching is also true. Your parting comment is beautiful..."I think searching should start with the heart." So do I my friend...thanks for a touching response. I will be sending you a couple more close ups...with one of Fionna...glad you are enjoying them. Fun to share...Shrek to religion..I'd say we have a good thing going here. Take care...all the best to you and your kids... Raia
@roniroxas (10576)
• Philippines
4 Mar 08
hi there again Raia, different people has different views. i have read some of the myloters response and thank God ( whether they believe or not ) that they are all very vocal but matured on how to handle this discussion of yours. dont worry just like i told you i am a patient person i will wait patiently for the photos. wink wink.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Hi again..yes, I was also impressed with the polite and respectful way people responded to this discussion. Helps to have a great circle of friends though! Hopefully we will get the photos to you this weekend or early next week. They are on my to-do list! Enjoy the weekend and we'll chat soon. Raia
• United States
3 Mar 08
I was raised Catholic and consider myself non-practicing Catholic. I have begun to raise my children in the Catholic faith but I'm not sure how much I will "push" at them. I have sev eral problems with some of the teachings of the Catholic church. I feel that there is a drastic difference between our faith and our church. I feel like most of the things that bother me about my religion where created by man. I went to Catholic school till college. One of the biggest problems I have is that according to the Catholic Church i shouldn't exist. My parents had their marriage annulled for multiple reasons that really don't have anything to do with me but in the eyes of the church an anulled marriage should never have happened and so therefore any children from that marriage should never have happened. A priest told me this in 6th grade in front of my whole class, nice! Another problem I have is confession. We are only forgiven if we tell a priest our sins. Who cares if you are really repentent, or if you've told God, etc.. only forgiven when you tell a priest. Does God really need a go-between for a confession? Another problem is the church and their "wealth." You know the only reason priests can't get married is because ages ago priests would get married and have children and their children would not pursue an advocation with the church but would inherit the fathers estate therefore taking away wealth from the church. The remedy, childless priests so the church can keep their wealth. That same priest who told me I never should have existed, that took a vow of poverty, also had a brand new car every two years along with all the other priests at that church. And one last one. Infertile couples can not pursue medical means of fertility treatments because God is the only one who can give children. In my opinion if God didn't want you to have children fertility treatments wouldn't work. I know there are people that will disagree with these things but it just some of the things that bother me as an individual.
1 person likes this
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
3 Mar 08
Hi castratton, Just a quiet note here - I don't believe that a vow of poverty is an automatic condition of priesthood. Some priestly orders may require it of their members, but I'm not sure that they all do, or even that the majority do. In other words, as I understand the matter, priests from most orders are quite free to become wealthy if they and/or their parish choose to make them so. Not that it's a particularly good look for a man of the cloth - but that's the way it is (I think (?)).
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Hello castratton...and thank you for putting such an authentic offering on the table for discussion. I respect your views and have observed many of the political/dogmatic examples you presented here. This occurs not only the Catholic church but many others as well. It is just one of the many reasons I do not follow any organized religion either. Everything you have stated here is representative of how incongruent things often are within church settings. My hubby went through a similar situation with the church and in school when his parents divorced. It turned him away from Catholicism as well. What I hear you saying echoes much of what I believe...I trust those who walk their talk and lead by example. Your experiences with the church does not appear to have had much of that. I value that you have the courage of your convictions and choose to state them here. Your perspective is welcome here anytime and I respect your input. Raia
@Aingealicia (1906)
• United States
4 Mar 08
Raia, I have practiced most every religion known to man before I settled into my beliefs now. I will be posting tonight about my fasting because I will be starting that today. OH JOY....however I am thankful for my faith and my beliefs. I believe all should practice as they wish as long as they are not hypocrites. It seems there are a lot of topics about faith and religion and beliefs lately with is very funny seeing that it is Ester tide or Easter depending of the faith of your beliefs. I always love your words and topics, thank you for sharing. Happy Ester Tide. Ainge Sorry I have not been on much, this GitMo story is draining me.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Hello again.. As I mentioned in your other reply I have been keeping up with some of what your work entails and I respect the work you are doing on the GitMo story. I hope you are taking some time to recharge your batteries when you feel drained. You can only go so long on empty...and then your body may force some 'me' time. I know you will be back as time permits..and we will keep in touch here..or on your site. Thanks for offering your views about your religion. Good to know that you have found a path that works well for you now. The line that jumped off the screen for me is this one: "I believe all should practice as they wish as long as they are not hypocrites." I guess I like it because it resonates with how I see things as well. Thank you for your feedback about my words and topics. That means a lot because I respect how you write and your ideas as well. Mutual admiration society here! Anyway wishing you a blessed Easter Tide as well and may the Light of Truth continue to illuminate your path. Hugs and bright blessings... Raia
@dodoguy (1297)
• Australia
3 Mar 08
Hi Perspectives, You're a brave little vegemite for starting this thread. If ever there was an invitation to a blitzkreig, this would be it. Anyway, for what it's worth, IMO religion is either a hobby or it's reality, one or the other. There's no middle ground. And I think that, to most people, it's just a hobby, the same as most other social obligations that our respective communities choose to burden us with. I personally subscribe to the Catholic view of things, not the least because no matter where I look, everything keeps pointing back to that one particular line of Christian faith as the only one that fully reflects reality. Not to mention the many saintly persons, among them many mystics, who have inadvertently borne testimony to the singular authenticity of the Catholic Church by the prodigies of their lives. I do have a gripe, and that is that the Catholic Church has largely failed in its responsibility to educate its members on so many matters that can help to clarify just what we're doing here and why everything is as it is. The smoke of political correctness and ethical convenience has long ago entered the Church, in my view. Everyone has freedom to choose, there is no doubt about that. And everyone has a religion, whether they know it or admit it or not - it's their view of reality, whatever that might be. And that might be entirely different from the positions asserted by their publicly acknowledged denominational affiliations. I might mention here that I have particular respect and admiration for the Eastern religions, which in my view have progressed knowledge of the nature of our reality to the maximum extent possible within the limits of mere human faculties. They embody a great deal of truth, wisdom and understanding, but are nonetheless constrained by the shackles of humanity which are ultimately rooted in the material realm. A key tenet of Christian (and related) beliefs is that we've had some outside assistance - we've been given the inside Word, so to speak, to obtain an understanding of who we are, where we've come from and where we're going that just isn't achievable using human resources alone.
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Hi and sorry it has taken me a few days to respond here. I posted a couple of discussions and then got busy and couldn't get back. Hopefully I'll make some inroads on the weekend. It is going to be really cold again here in blustery Manitoba...so I expect to be housebound. Anyway..thanks for your comments about being a brave little vegemite. So far so good. As I am going down and responding everyone seems to be having a 'respectful dialog' as requested. I appreciate your views about Catholicism. I was raised in a French Canadian part of Winnipeg and all my friends were Catholic so I am familiar with many of their teachings and the various saints. My mother prayed to St. Jude a lot throughout life...and St. Anthony when I was driving in my reckless lead foot fashion in my youth. I respect your overview on how politics have effected some of the church's policies. Your praise of Eastern religions is something I value because there are many teachings that I have adopted into my spiritual beliefs. To me we were given free will. All great religions have love, compassion and respect for differences as key elements. To me if we all lived with those core aspects it would not matter what other things we used as spiritual guidelines. I have great difficulty with those who get into arguments about their religion being superior to another. If love is at the core of it...the rest seems rather superficial to me. I have studied a lot of different religions and when you get beyond the dogma and judgment most have love as the basic commandment. Too bad so many miss that in the rightness of their convictions. Oh well keeps life interesting. Thanks for you input...and I am not being tarred and feathered...YET! (smiles) Raia
@Pose123 (21671)
• Canada
3 Mar 08
Hi perspectives, You have started a good discussion here, and I hope a lot of people will respond. I like the quote from John Lennon, and he was absolutely right, love is the answer. I too was raised an Anglican, but there is no denomination that I don't have some problems with now. The closest for me now would be the Unity churches. I raised my three sons in the Anglican faith because I was actively involved then. One of them has since joined another church, one is still actively involved in the Anglican, I don't know for how much longer, because of the division in the Anglican church of Canada, and the third attends no church at all. Faith is a great comfort to many people especially when they get older, and I don't think that anyone should take that away from them. Dale Carnegie was right, we all borrow our ideas from others. Even Jesus appears to have borrowed from the great teachers who came before him. Let us promote love as Jesus and other great masters did, and we will not stray far from the path. My personal belief is that the best is yet to be. Blessings.
1 person likes this
• Canada
8 Mar 08
Well my friend..the longer we chat the more similarities we discover. How interesting that you were raised an Anglican...and now appreciate the teachings of Unity. Early in life I was introduced to them and their teachings launched me into a quest for greater understanding of metaphysics. Over the years I have studied Buddhism, Wicca, Paganism, Native spirituality, The Cabal and many others. We are absolutely of the same mind here...that striving to know God and promote love, peace and respect for differences is the foundation of all great religions. I love your parting comment that the best is yet to be...I think so too! Wishing many light filled blessings to you and yours. Thank you for your wonderful additions to perspectives topics and for being my owl-loving, Canadian Cyber friend. We are in another deep freeze here...minus 44 with the wind chill forecast for this chilly Friday evening. Oh well...start of longer daylight on Sunday...and Spring will get here eventually. Take care..chat soon.. Raia
@mclendon (308)
• United States
6 Jun 08
I know this is an old discussion but I wanted to put in my two cents, and maybe someone will read it. I DO have doubts about some of things my "religion" or church teaches. I realize that all religions/religious movements/incorporated churches, etc are man/human created; but I think spirituality and the human tendency to want justice and fairness are from God; that is just one reason that I believe in an intelligent, caring God. I am tolerant of my church's flaws because I believe in community and accountability and government. I myself am not perfect and don't have a perfect attitude or thought life, so who am I to criticize those trying to learn about God and themselves through church or synagogue, etc? I agree with you about love. "Is it loving?" is a pretty good litmus test to determine the rightness of our actions or words. I find that despite a lot of flawed humans and some bad behavior at church, there are also many loving people trying hard to find the best way to live as compassionate, social human beings in community with one another. When it comes to doctrines (church laws and practices based on each group's interpretation of their scripture), I basically take it or leave it as my mind and heart lead me. For instance, I choose to leave end-times and punishment up to God. I believe God can work that all out and I don't have much say in it, so I might as well focus on how I live today and not worry about that. It's not up to me to determine who goes to Hell or Heaven or exactly what the architectural plans are for each. I'm a Christian, but I like the primarily Jewish belief that says each should try to make the world a better place - pick up the broken pieces that YOU can find.
• Canada
10 Jun 08
Greetings again...and thank you for your interest in Perspectives topics and your thoughtful and very insightful comments to them. Everything you presented in your reply echoes much of how I think, feel, believe and endeavor to live by. The 'loving/unloving' question has helped me become a more sensitive, aware and respectful in my interactions with others. It has become a thread I try to weave into any exchanges I have with others be it in person, in my professional life...and now here on Mylot. I opted out of church doctrines many years ago. I was raised a Christian...first in an Anglican church...then later in the United church. I often felt challenged by leaders and people in the church who could not answer my questions. I also find it hard to accept leaders and congregates who were bigoted, judgmental and encouraged others to point fingers or try to convert anyone who did not align to their way of thinking. That did it for me. As I grew up and could decide for myself I began searching for the common thread in all the great religions. That path awakened me to the realization that there are many pathways and teachings...but as long as we are striving to know God, live by right principles, cause harm to none...and love each other as we love ourselves...the dogma matters very little when love is at the center of all things. Wonderful sharing ideas with you...and I look forward to more of that. Another topic you might find of interest was one I posted on Religion and Spirituality. Not sure what page it is on...but you could do a Mylot search. I think you would feel quite at home with many of the respondents who offered their views. Take care and hope you are enjoying your Mylotting experiences. It is great to have people like you among our community. Raia