My Religion – “Religion of Self”
Some people think funny is when you roll on the floor laughing, others may think it’s when someone trips over their own feet, but what I think is funnier is the fact that I just discovered what my religion is. For years, as so many others, I’ve questioned “what is religion” and “what is God”. But while lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, it was as though I suddenly opened my eyes and found the answers for myself. My religion is “Religion of Self”. No, it’s not being self-centered and ignoring the feelings of others, at least not self-centered in the negative sense of the word. It’s more a self-centered in that you believe in yourself and not believe in what others try to shove down your throat every weekend at a building you call a church or a synagogue or a temple. It’s not reading over and over again scriptures that people from thousands of years ago wrote down on rocks or put into books and after you read those stories they sound more like they were written by someone on a crazy trip with drugs. Those so called people that write that stuff supposedly lived a hell of a long time ago and whatever they were thinking then could in no way pertain to our society nowadays. Besides, if you could check on who actually wrote those books, you may be surprised to find out it was not just one or two people; it was groups of people that gathered over food and drink, probably wine, to find ways to protect their own interests, either monetary or power or both. The situation then was the same as situations are now, where powerful people gather together to discuss the best means to maintain their wealth, power and the control over people in their city or province or in their country. As a society, we’re always put on guilt trips by religious people and it isn’t just a coincidence that so many of them have something to gain, usually a financial gain or a gain of power. We all have that friend or that relative that are full heartedly on board with believing in religion, a God and a bible of some sort and they feel the need to convert us to their way of thinking. I can’t begin to count how many times I’ve tried to have a normal, constructive conversation with those people to find out why and how they can believe in something they can’t see or how they can believe in something they claim has the power to do anything, yet we still have wars, hunger, and homelessness. I’ll ask them if their God is so powerful, why do we still have unthinkable crimes taking place every day but I never get any good answers. When I try to have that conversation with them, I end up getting the same standard answers; “God works in mysterious ways”, “it’s God’s plan”, and of course, “We’ll know the answer to that when we meet Him in heaven”. Sometimes I get the urge to confront that empty, meaningless attitude and ask; “What will you do if you don’t like His answers when you meet Him face to face? It might be too late to do anything to change it then” or “If that’s His plan, He sure isn’t doing a very good job at it now, is he?” Retaliating with those kinds of questions never got me any better answers. I always ended up right back where I started from, with nothing to go on. Some of the time they’d walk away and refuse to talk to me or they’d accuse me of trying to start a fight which was never my intentions or occasionally they would make another ridiculous remark such as, “I don’t know but I do know it’s God’s plan and therefore I must accept it” and then they’d stop talking to me altogether. It didn’t happen often but one of the worse times was when a person broke down and started crying which resulted in me telling a lie and saying, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I understand and I agree with you, just stop crying please”. Regardless of which one of the above occurred in the past, I’d always end up back to square one with no sound answers for any of my questions which resorted to my thinking it just wasn’t worth seeking any answers so better to keep quiet, forget all about it and go with the flow. But then it happened when I least expected it. After living on this planet for more than 50 years, I’ve got my answer and I’ve come to a conclusion that leaves me feeling satisfied. I guess you could say I received a self-revelation and it wasn’t from any invisible God coming to me in my dreams or because I saw his image in a piece of bread or formed in a cloud floating through the sky. The answer was always there, right inside me, the answer is “SELF”. The Religion of Self’s guidelines are so simple they don’t really require having someone write them down for you to follow and if you don’t follow them I can assure you that you won’t go straight to hell and burn in eternity. All you need to do is open your mind and think for yourself, the guidelines are already inside you. You don’t need a spiritual leader or any building or a wall to go to and waste precious time praying or begging for forgiveness like a dog that just peed on the rug because his owner didn’t let him out in the first place. All you need to do is look into your heart and use your brain and you’ll see it’s real. You can become part of this religion by looking at yourself in the mirror and saying, “I take full responsibility for all my actions from now on. I’m the only one in control of my fate and if something bad happens, I must decide if there is something I can do next time to make the outcome better. If I determine there was nothing I could do to make it better than I will accept it as a life lesson and move on with my life. End of story.” Regardless of what happens and if I’m still breathing, I will know it’s doesn’t mean the end of the world and now I must focus on the next step of my life. By the same token, if something good happens, I’ll have only myself to thank and will remember what I did to achieve that favorable outcome and if it doesn’t hurt anyone else, I will try to repeat it when a similar situation comes up. In simple terms, the philosophy of the “Religion of Self” is that everything depends on you, not anyone else and definitely not some invisible entity that’s been invented by a handful of people to maintain control over the multitudes of people. You have only yourself to thank or to blame. Does all of this sound too simple? Well, it is and it should be simple. There is no need to continue the lies that have imprisoned you for so long. Look around and see what those other religions and beliefs have gotten mankind for at least the last six thousand years. Einstein put it correctly, “Insanity is when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results”. In today’s world we can enjoy our lives and live in harmony if we take responsibility for our actions and do our best not to hurt anyone else. Believe in yourself; believe in the “Religion of Self”.