What is religion

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What is religion

what is religionWhat Is Religion

Do you remember your college days when a conversation had already started about religion and your friends and roommate were so engrossed they were sitting in the hall?

Some were wearing their pajamas and slippers and their hair was pin-curled. Others were still dressed. Perhaps there were six or seven gripped in a conversation of real interest and you decided to join them on the cold, hard floor.

They were interested in coming to an acceptable definition that would fit all the major religions of the world—Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, Muslim, Jewish and Christian.

Some felt that religion meant dogma, the beliefs that people in a church held. Another wanted to include the rituals and ritual meanings.

Another fixed on music, another on the significance and importance of the priesthood, the training of the priests, and so on.

Clearly for the majority of the young women, religion depended largely on outer expressions that had some kind of repeatable form which made people feel good.

But is religion based on the emotions and upon emotional expressions that are often visible to others?

One or two wanted to claim spirituality and include its opposite which they called churchianity. “I grew up as a __________, but I feel I am attracted to the spiritual, whatever that is.”

Another was able to put that dualism aside and claim, “I really think there is a lot of spirituality in psychics. They seem to have developed a path for themselves.”

Clearly a spectrum of beliefs was present. The young ladies were trying to go about the discussion in an intellectual and objective, or, at least, non-subjective way.

The session went on well past midnight and somebody realized it was late and everyone had classes in the morning. So one of the toughest subjects in the world had been broached and dealt with, accompanied by a certain amount of success, meaning that there was little judgment and no fighting or harsh words.

faith belief religionThe roots of the word religion are closely related to the word “reverence” according to Webster’s Seventh Collegiate Dictionary. Physicist, Erich Jantsch, comments that the word ‘religion’ can be traced back to re-ligio, what he calls ‘linking back to the origin’: the consciousness that humans are endowed with and the possibility of sensing the dynamics of evolution at its origin [and which] also makes morality effective”[1] in the various departments of human living.

Real religion lives in the light of minute by minute, hour by hour and day by day living well; i.e., with a kind and compassionate heart. It is simple as most really spiritual things are. It is direct. It is loving and accepts things that could be upsetting. It is in finding the good, the presence of something higher in every person, experience and event.

It lies in accepting what is, even age and infirmity, and treating it with humor and seeing it clearly. It shows up in seeing world affairs and people on the world stage as situation and actors in a Divine drama. There are moments when it seems beyond human capacity to live that way. Yet it is not—not at all. It is knowing it is all Good and necessary!

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[1] Jantsch, Erich, The Self-Organizing Universe, Pergamon Press, New York, 1980; p. 264.

© 2017 All rights reserved. Rebecca Field

One Comment

  1. Very lovely, and so true, Tebecca. Thank you for the clear, and warm, words.

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