According to the dictionary religion is as follows below.
Etymology: Middle English religioun, from Latin religion-, religio supernatural constraint, sanction, religious practice, perhaps from religare to restrain, tie back —Date: 13th century
1 a : the state of a religious <a nun in her 20th year of religion> b (1) : the service and worship of God or the supernatural (2) : commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance
2 : a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices
3 : archaic : scrupulous conformity :
4 : a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith
Just a few comments from me.
I find it interesting that even the dictionary agrees with me about religion being about constraint. For many years I read, and pondered different religious thought in an attempt to find one that "fit". The common thread for me was that if I accepted at face value each componant of religious thought.. I was limited as to what and how I believed. Each religion adopts and protects with great fervor the idea that "It" is the ONLY right way to GOD. How, I wondered could each be the only right way, when all religions differ in so many key points and ideas?
I spent years reading and praying and trying out different religious beliefs.. I guess you would call them Ideas, as I discarded one for a "better" idea. I reliazed early on that a belief was hard to let go of. It held on with hooks to the emotional part of humans with fear of what would happen if it were let it go of for another thought. I decided years ago that thoughts of religious ideas were better for me that beliefs.
My thoughts have changed many, many times over the last 30 or more years. I read mountains of books, listened to a brain full of sermons and finally came to realize that what I was looking for was not "Out There".. it was inside me all the while. What a laugh I had on myself. The sweaty palms I experienced years ago when going from "Baptist" to just ideas has left me with a open road of possiblities. I can enjoy rituals of my choice.. or no ritual. I can sing songs from any thoughts.. I can experience GOD in each flower, breath, cloud, in love and love alone. Love for me doesn't include threat or limits. That's not Love, it's condition.
Just the other day coming home I was awed by the beauty of the world around me. The trees were so green, the sky so blue with fluffy white clouds filling the sky with Animals On Parade. I could hear a song being sung by Creation.. a song of joy and celebration.
The Thought entered my mind.. "What a glorious creation of Manifested Thought".. in just a moment I realized that I too, was a glorious Creation of Manifest Thought.. and I continue the Works of Creator each day as I create my thought in manifested form.
My Ideas give way to Creation.. as I create based on my expectations and fear. When expectations are positive and lined up with Love.. these creations are pleasurable to me and those around me. My Fear Creations.. are no fun for anyone.
I don't hold onto my Ideas with fervor or zealousness.. I allow them space to come and go.. to be let go of or to grow. I have found a place of contentment and peace within myself.. what a wonderful Idea!
September 1, 2004