Ok, it’s time or another big post. A controversial post. The kind of post you’re either going to love me or hate me for. But if you ask the questions, I’m going to give you the answers. No matter how hairy and possibly lynch mob inducing they may be (no offense to any lynch mobs who may be reading this. I wasn’t trying to imply that you were hairy. I’m sure you’re smooth as a baby’s bottom. Like, everywhere.) What was I talking about? Oh yes.
Awesome Kathy asks: “I was brought up traditionally going to church every Sunday, but never quite believed like my family and friends did. Law of attraction has really struck a chord in me. From what I have read about L.O.A., and the books by Ester and Jerry Hicks, and from your website, God and the universe and our souls and everything in this world is really all one. I was taught that God was all important and we should pray and confess ours sins etc….etc…. So I guess my question is, does the universe (God, etc.) really listen to us, does prayer help?
If our reality is created by what we think and feel is all that we learned in church completely useless? Now I realize that church and religion teaches lots of good things , but believing that God is all powerful and is our father and we are just his children and that we are to follow the teachings in the bible, heaven vs. hell, is it all a load of crap? I feel that what I have been learning about L.O.A. really makes a lot of sense and that is what I am trying to get a handle on. What can a person take out of organized religion that is actually truth?”
First of all, Kathy, this is an epic, EPIC question. Thank you so much for having the courage to ask it. I’d like the preface my answer by stating that I have no problem with organized religion. Anymore. That isn’t just a covering-my-butt disclaimer either, I truly have made my peace with Religions. Having said that, yes, Kathy, a lot of what you’ve been taught is a load of crap. A lot, but not all. Let’s separate the good from the bad and ugly, shall we?
I realize that this is a potentially very volatile subject. I am expressing my own views here and no one will be forced to read them. If you disagree vehemently, and if these words are causing you to become upset, please do yourself a favor and stop reading them. I’m not asking you to agree with me. If these words make sense to you and you resonate with them, great. But if not, please disregard them and go and focus on something that feels better to you.
Also, since I have the most experience with Christianity & Co., I’m going to write this post from that point of view. But the principles can apply to other religions as well. I’m just not well versed enough to talk about them as specifically.
A wee bit of history
The first thing we have to realize is that there’s a huge difference between the spiritual tenets of religions and the man-made rules and regulations that were added by politicians (church and politics used to be the same entity and I still consider organized religions to be political entities) hungry for more power over the masses. A lot of the “crap” actually falls into that second category, while the core of the spiritual stuff actually lines up quite nicely with LOA. A lot of the rules of the Catholic church, for example, were created out of economic reasons and had nothing to do with God or Jesus’ teachings.
The other variable we have to consider is the rising global vibration. A lot of the information that religions are based on is more than 2000 years old (some, much older). This is a fact often cited to demonstrate the validity of the information. If something is important enough to have been handed down over that many years, it must be good, right? The problem is that people’s vibrations and therefore their clarity and belief systems were in a completely different place than they are now. People believed that the devil could snatch your soul when you sneezed. Self-awareness was unheard of. Survival was the number one concern. Every once in a while, society or an individual would rise to a level high enough to bring forth some truly enlightened (for the time) clarity, but as a whole, the masses were just trying to get through the day without being eaten or succumbing to the plague (or you know, something).
The point is that someone aligning with higher frequencies in that day would’ve been coming from a much lower starting point. “Higher” is relative. And any information brought forth would’ve come through the filter of an individual living in that time. They translated the information using the imagery and words that suited the masses at that time. Then, that information was written down, not by the original translator, but by others, who ran that information through their own filters, subjecting it to their limiting beliefs and various levels of understanding. They used metaphors, just as we use them today and trying to apply today’s logic to the dated visions of thousands of years ago makes little sense, especially when someone tries to take them literally.
Some of these beliefs were present long before organized religion came along and are a sign of the lower vibration of early human life. They may have been exploited by religions later, but they actually stem from outdated belief systems that can be traced back to the earliest of humans.
God is outside of us
For most of our human history, we have been convinced that God or the Gods were all-powerful entities, separate from humans, who, weak and puny and undeserving as we are, are at their complete and total mercy. This is the belief of the omnipotent God or Gods who must be appeased, sacrificed to (literally or metaphorically) and who, in his mercy, will grant us a good harvest, bring us rain for water and basically allow us to continue our existence on Earth. This is also the belief in the God or Gods that, when displeased or angered, will wipe out entire towns or countries (or even the entire population of the earth) with plagues, famine and floods. This is an age old belief in powerlessness. Even as God has become much more benevolent over the years, believing in a deity separate from ourselves still gives all of our power away. We pray to him and if the almighty hears us and is in a good mood that day, we might get rewarded. Or not.
Over time, we went from a vengeful, malevolent God who had all the worst of humanity’s qualities (jealousy, rage, anger, vanity, etc.), to a much more benevolent God who loved us no matter what, and gave us free will. We could choose love and ascend to God upon death, or we could choose evil and go to hell. God loved us so much that he even allowed us to renounce him. The understanding that we are now coming to, as part of our ongoing spiritual evolution is that God is not outside of us at all. Many find peace in the idea that God is inside each of us, a part of us, or that we are a part of him. And the newest idea to take hold in our consciousness is that God doesn’t exist as a separate entity at all, but rather that we are God. Each of us is God and collectively we are God. It is an empowering perspective – you truly create your reality, you get to choose every aspect of your experience, but you also have to take full responsibility for everything you’ve created. It’s the last part of that sentence that still makes many uncomfortable. Believing in an outside power can be much more comfortable for those who don’t yet fully believe in their own power. It’s this feeling of full responsibility absent the certainty in our power to create that causes many to think that LOA is about blaming ourselves for everything that happens to us. But taking responsibility and assigning blame are two different things. One is empowering while the second feels powerless.
You need a middleman to talk to God
This is something that the church perpetuated in order to justify its existence. After all, if you can just dial up God yourself any time you want to, you don’t really need to give the church all that much power. But if the church holds the key between you going to heaven and rotting in hell for all eternity, well, you’d better do what they tell you to… This belief did not originate with modern religions – the idea that medicine men and the like could speak with the Gods was well established well before Christianity and the like were formed. Communicating with deities and the afterlife was reserved for those who were blessed with the gift, or simply had the time to devote to such matters (while everyone else was trying to survive). Religion merely turned the whole idea into a massively profitable one. This is also where the concept of confession came in (confessing to an outside source).
We are now coming to understand that each of us has a direct line to the divine; whether you believe in God or your own higher self doesn’t really matter. We each have access to the clarity we seek and we don’t have to be born into a special lineage or ordained in some way in order to retrieve it. While channels or shamans or anyone else who has trained themselves to access higher frequencies can be helpful to us in translating these energies into something we can understand, the power to discern what part of that information is right for the individual lies within each of us. When something resonates with us, it’s like God or our inner being speaking to us, saying “This way”. And since we’re each on our own path, a path which I believe leads to us all eventually being able to easily access the higher wisdom of whatever frequency we choose, to each of us fully knowing our God and Goddess power, we each get to decide what our truth is.
I’ve heard people say “You don’t get to choose which parts of the bible to believe”. I would argue that yes, yes you do. And in fact, if you want to realize the power of Who You Really Are, you kind of have to.
There’s a Hell
The concept of hell didn’t originate with Christianity, either, but let’s just say that their PR department turned it into a whole new ballgame. A populace kept in fear is easy to control, a concept today’s politicians are doing their best to exploit as well. Back in the day, before we had terrorists and Snooki to be afraid of, we had the Devil and everlasting damnation. But if religions didn’t come up with the concept of hell, then where did it come from? And could it possibly be real?
I can’t really tell you exactly where the idea of hell originally came from (it’s mentioned in writings from ancient Greece and Egypt and possibly much earlier), and honestly, I don’t spend too much time researching history. I’d much rather focus on accessing the most current information at the highest levels possible RIGHT NOW. But since I know that his is a hot-button topic for many who are struggling to create a bridge between a religious upbringing and the Law of Attraction, I’ll tell you what I’ve come to believe, based on channeled information I deeply resonate with, as well as the answers I’ve personally accessed:
There is no hell. There is no source of evil or darkness. There is light and the absence of it. There is consciousness and the absence of it. Where might the idea of hell or evil have come from? If you consider that during this time right now, the time of the highest global vibration we have ever known (we are constantly evolving), many humans are still mired in horrendous amounts of fear, imagine what the emotional level of the world was thousands of years ago. When you access the non-physical (as those who reported of hell did), you do so using the same LOA “rules” that apply to the physical – you can only attract what matches your vibration. If you are filled with terror and fear, then your non-physical forays (often assisted by hallucinogenic plants, widely used by shamans and medicine men to this day) are going to attract energy that feels like that. You could then easily interpret those energies to be demons or evil spirits, especially if you already had a belief that such beings existed.
Imagine that you had a nightmare. Since our dreams are manifestations, as well, that nightmare might’ve been scary, but it was also showing you something useful. The purpose of the nightmare was completely benign. It’s the same in the non-physical. Whatever monsters we may see, they are always representations (sometimes quite literally) of our own fears and limiting beliefs. The energy behind these “entities” is actually the same stuff that we’re made of. It’s as if our guides, who love us unconditionally, put on a monster mask because it’s the only way that we’ll be able to hear them.
I’ll write much more about this in an upcoming post about guides and communicating with the non-physical. The point I wanted to make is that we can have “negative” experiences, but they are still to our benefit. The source behind these “entities” is completely benevolent. But if one doesn’t understand that, it would be easy to conclude that one had encountered some kind of hell. Then the logical mind would scramble to justify the existence of this hell. It being a place created to punish those who do “bad” things just makes sense, doesn’t it? Or at least, it used to.
The power of prayer
This is one concept that religion got right. Well, sort of. Praying, when done “right”, can be a powerful way to raise your vibration. When you pray to God with a sense of gratitude, you are definitely going to feel good, because you’re aligning yourself with the high frequency of gratitude. When you pray for what you want, coupled with the appreciation for already having been given it (which many forms of prayer teach), you are doing the exact same thing that we teach in LOA.
When you pray from a place of utter desperation, and you give yourself over to God, you are releasing your resistance and surrendering to the flow of energy of Who You Really Are, allowing the manifestations you’ve been blocking to finally come flooding in. You may then attribute all these wonderful changes to God, which is fine, but in terms of LOA, you simply finally shifted your focus off of what you didn’t want and onto what you did want, because it became too painful not to. This is the “surrender” we often talk about.
Praying can be way for us to communicate with God or our higher selves and access clarity. Many forms of prayer induce a meditative state, free of resistance.
If, however, our prayer causes us to focus on what we don’t want, as in “please God, strike my stupid co-worker down with the flu so that I don’t have to deal with his arrogant ass tomorrow”, then it will cause us to give more energy to the problem, causing it to grow. This is why prayer sometimes causes miracles and sometimes doesn’t seem to work at all. The feeling behind it, the intention and how it aligns us with the energy of what we want (or not) is what causes the results. In short, if praying feels really, really good, do it. If it feels horrible, obligatory or causes feelings of unworthiness, shame and guilt, stop it.
Religion can be very beneficial
While a lot of limiting and disempowering beliefs have been perpetuated and even cooked up by the church over the years, there a lot of people who find great peace, support and yes, higher vibrations through their religious activities. There are many churches that preach love and downplay or even completely forget about the more outdated tenets of their religions. Belonging to a church can be incredibly beneficial in many ways, especially when members reserve the right to believe what resonates with them:
- Belonging to a church gives many people a sense of community and belonging, which feels much better than loneliness.
- Spending time with other like minded individuals can help to give us confidence in our beliefs, causing us to become more stable in our vibrations.
- If the church fosters a high vibrational environment (through loving rituals, etc), than merely spending time in that environment can raise one’s vibration.
- Many churches offer vast opportunities to help others and support not only the church members but the community at large
- Religious services can be a place of great joy and celebration, causing a raising of the vibration of everyone present.
What to take out of organized religion
So, what can you take out of organized religion that is actually the “truth”? Well, you get to decide that. You are waking up to the knowledge of your own power, and that means that it’s time to stop looking for outside validation. It means that you should adopt as your “truth” that which resonates with you, that which feels good and makes sense, and leave the rest. And you should re-evaluate often. As you raise your vibration higher and higher, as you wake up more and more, those things that resonated with you yesterday, many no longer resonate with you today. You are evolving and so must your beliefs and perspectives.
The question used to be “What is true?” It evolved into “What is your truth?” I’d like to offer a new, updated version “What is your truth RIGHT NOW?”
I look forward to reading your thoughts in the comments.
Also, if you resonated with this post, please share it. You know. If you dare. 😉