Ask Erin: What religion do you follow?

Question: Your experiences suggest you are closest to Hindu beliefs yet you don’t seem to follow all their tenets.  Can you explain to us what your religious beliefs are so that we may better understand where you’re coming from? – Allen

Answer:  I am not at all religious.  I follow no religion.

I was born into a Jewish family, but we rarely went to Temple, except occasionally once a month, on Children’s Night when they handed out coloring books and crayons.  My mom would sit us in the back of the temple where the Rabbi’s sermon wouldn’t disturb our coloring.  Afterwards they served bread and cookies.  I thought it was a nice place to visit, but I had no understanding of its true purpose.

My parents were not religious so I and my brother and sister didn’t know anything about being Jewish.  We celebrated Hannakah and Passover and other Jewish holidays but more out of a desire to have a party than for any sort of religious observance.

Although I do not consider myself Jewish or religious, I do consider myself spiritual.  As I got older I began learning about the various religions currently practiced on our planet.  I noticed that there were a few things they all had in common.  For example: to be nice to each other, to love each other, to take care of each other, and to learn and grow.

To me, religion is a culture’s way of attempting to get in touch with Source and understand the meaning of life. I don’t feel I need to belong to a structured religion in order to ponder the nature of the universe and the meaning of life.  I can commune with Life itself and get answers when I need them.  Walking into a building and kneeling down in prayer once a week doesn’t seem like the best way of connecting with Source.

There’s a great quote I’d like to share but I’m not sure who said it.  It goes like this: “When we decide what is, we close our minds to possibilities of what could be.”

To belong to a specific religious group and follow its tenets to the letter seems too limiting to me.  Why do we need a label?  Why do we have to be Jewish or Muslim or Christian?  Why can’t we just be spiritual beings on a human journey to reconnect with Source, God, the Universe, and Love?

Religion suggests that one group is right while another group is wrong.  I don’t think that promotes goodwill among all of us humans.  Spirituality, on the other hand, allows us to explore our own beliefs through our own experiences so that we may draw our own conclusions.

If you are currently a member of a specific religion, did you decide to be a member of your own free will or were you automatically indoctrinated because of your family?  Do you believe everything your religion tells you to believe or have you considered that perhaps another religion might suit your spirituality better?  Have you stopped exploring the meaning of life because someone else has already told you what to believe?

There are aspects of every religion that I find appealing, which is why I adopt the aspects that ring true for me and throw out the rest. 

I encourage you all to explore your own spirituality, your own heart.  To connect with Source you need to open your mind and your heart to the truth.  Then act on what you learn.

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