I recently came across a book by Sankara Saranam entitled God Without Religion: Questioning Centuries of Accepted Truths, in which a chapter of the book is titled “Worshiping by Wondering” where he is saying that religion so often offers answers to questions that you -the follower- may not have even asked yet; thus eliminating the true path of a seeker searching for God. This means that when a person chooses to follow an already organized religion of followers who have a similar faith, they are leaving behind that inquisative part of them that is truely what yearns to know God.
Think of it as buying your vegetables at a grocery store rather than growing your own. Sure, the store-bought vegetables are ok, prepackaged, and require little maintenance, but when you grow and prepare your own it is much more fulfilling and you seem to enjoy them that much more. Seeking God is kind of like that, in the sense that finding God on your own, discovering first hand what you believe through life rather than accepting the beliefs of other people and their prepackaged religion is more fulfilling and to eternally seek out God is much more enjoyable when you do it without boundaries.
In recent weeks I have unwittingly been buying my vegetables at the grocery store, when for so long I had been growing them myself. When I first abandoned my Catholic religion some seven years ago I had set sail for a new world I had never known or even perceived before. Questioning my faith was extremely difficult when I was surrounded by strong willed believers who would never contemplate their religion’s teachings. But realizing, now, how important it was for me to find my own faith, to discover what I believed on my own away from the barriers of organized religion, I am so glad that I found the courage to continue questioning the validity of a 2000 year old religion.
I know first hand how bitter it is to consider how such a well packaged religion could possibly be outdated for today’s world, when it has existed for so long. But when one considers the fact that when they convert they accept the doctrine of that religion, all the beliefs, writings, teachings and laws, they are bound by those things. Their minds are limited in the ability to understand God because they are expected to accpet that religions teachings on God and not ponder its validity. Seeking the truth of God, even if its against the rules of organized religion, is what faith is all about. Therefore I ask, “What is faith if it is limited; how will you ever come to know God if your religion has created a wall between you and He?”
In these recent years of seeking God outside the walls of organized religion, I have found so much evidence; so many things that to me says there is a God, all the while accepting the evidence of science and evolution. Thus, any viable faith must also intertwine with science. Science explains the things that we cannot yet understand around us that we can see, touch, smell, taste and hear; while God explains the spirit within the things that we cannot understand with our five physical senses and yet somehow are able to perceive.
So many of today’s young religions are beginning to understand these things, that more and more people who have already come to understand that discovering God and seeking the truth of His nature is a life long process, which requires many questions and a lot of doubt about the foundational beliefs of many of the older world religions, are now acknowledging the limitlessness of God and how easy it is for so many different people to believe so many different things and yet hold within them the singular truth of God’s existance.
All the people of the world have come to practice many religions, but have many the same beliefs. This similarity in faith could bring mankind together. But it is the laws, dogma and doctrine or their organized religions that keep us from doing so. Some have suggested the complete unification of the world’s religions, but I ponder the numbing affect of such a unity. Rather, I propose that tolerance be taught instead of a religious utopia. To blend the world’s religions together as one, would create the dryest era of faith the world has ever seen. Therefore implementing peace and tolerance between the faiths would remove the need to establish one single world religion for all of mankind. The greater the diversity – the greater the balance and beauty, the greater the similarity – the greater the imbalance and ugliness.
As we head out on our own to discover God we come to realize that there is a kind of inner satisfaction in knowing that in all things there is God, and in God there is all things. Therefore, in every man and woman there is God, regardless of how they appear on the outside. I thoroughly believe that when we see this for oursleves our attitude towards others will change, the negativity will be replaced with a positive outlook and attitude. This of course is not easy and it will not be spontaneous. We are free willed beings and as such we must make an attempt to do so. As others see how we have changed, they too will come to change; as one can never force another to change, but one can allow themselves to be changed.
Be brave in your quest for truth, be steadfast in your search for God and remember that He is everywhere, including in you. Find encouragment in others who seek enlightenment, find peace among the humbled and find beauty in the diversity. Come to know the truth of life and God’s purpose for you, come to know the brotherhood of humanity and thus you shall come to know God.