Are you open to your personal evolution? Are you willing to look at your beliefs about religion to see which ones still serve you and which ones you might need to change?
The other day we looked at the forces that I believe are at play in the creation of our belief structure (see “Why Do We Believe What We Believe“). It seems to me that many of us move through life without questioning why we believe as we do. We create this picture in our minds as to what is “truth” which becomes so ingrained in us, that we never stop to consider if it’s still valid.
Over the next few days, we’re going to look at some examples of beliefs I’ve heard expressed recently. I’m not judging these beliefs as good, bad, right or wrong. I’m simply offering them to stimulate thought in case you believe something similar and you never stopped to consider if it’s the best idea for you to hold. Today — some examples around religion.
Do You See Yourself in Any of These Beliefs?
- There is only one way to believe about God or religion, what I’ve come to accept. I realize others have different beliefs, but that’s their problem. I’ve tried to help them but they’re not open to the truth. I may love them, but I’m sorry they’re going to be damned for their beliefs.
- According to the tenets of my faith, there are certain practices that need to be adhered to (your marriage isn’t valid unless it occurred inside a “church” or was officiated by clergy from my faith, your male baby must not be circumcised, you must only eat kosher food, your baby must be baptized by a priest or rabbi, you must be vegetarian, you must not eat pork, etc. etc.). It doesn’t matter necessarily if you believe like I do, but if you don’t follow my practices then I’m going to make you feel guilty, withhold my love, feel judgment toward you etc.
- I know it’s your child and you believe differently from me, you don’t believe in religion, but I think you should raise your child so they experience going to church like I did. I’m going to be disappointed in you if you don’t do this. I hope it won’t impact our relationship, but it might…
- I’m an educated person, not one who believes in myth or superstition. You can believe in God or go to church if you want to, and I’ll try not to let it show….but I do think you’re an ignorant fool.
- I’ve really become an enlightened person. I have spiritually evolved to a high level through meditation and my deep spiritual practices. I’ve let go of the old myth of God — the one of the old man in the sky. I’ve also realized that science and accumulating possessions doesn’t provide meaning to life. It’s too bad you haven’t evolved as highly as I have.
So What If I Believe Any Of These?
Like I said — I’m not saying any of these beliefs are right or wrong. What you have come to believe about God, Spirit or religion, if it works for you, that’s great. The issue that frequently arises is that our beliefs become so ingrained within us that we fail to see how judgmental we may become towards others who believe differently.
All I’m suggesting is that you stop and consider whether your religious or spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) still serve who you are in life. Consider how your beliefs were formed earlier in life as I described in the previous article. Recognize your path in life led you to believe as you do. Be open to realizing that everyone else walked a different path which led them to a different belief.
Step back and observe the perfection in the process. Release your judgments toward others simply because their path led them to a different realization. If you had been in their shoes, you would probably believe as they do. Honor them, love them, respect their beliefs even if they’re different from yours. When you can move to that space, you are truly open to evolving.
Check out all of Mark Gilbert’s books—available at Amazon. Click here to visit his Author Page. This includes his recent one Our Spiritual Rights and Responsibilities. In this book, he offers what he suggests are the 5 basic rights we all possess by virtue of our being these spiritual beings on planet Earth — and our 2 responsibilities we all hold in relation to one another! Check it out!