I am in the middle of things that are consuming my attention and do not seem appropriate to post until concluded so I asked my guides to choose from my archives and the choice was Religion and Me written February 11, a little over a year ago.
My maternal grandfather was an ordained Anglican Priest, the Reverend E. E. Walker. He emigrated from England in the late nineteen twenties and became a farmer near Lloydminster, SK. providing in that way for his much younger wife and their growing brood that reached five children, the youngest three born in Canada. Once in Canada, he gave up the cloth although for years, he accepted requests to officiate at weddings or funerals and did so without charging a fee. While growing up, my mother often accompanied him on these sorties.
My mother raised me as an Anglican, including requiring me to attend confirmation classes and participate in that ceremony at the age of twelve. Shortly thereafter, an internal epiphany soured me on organized religion and my church going thereafter, other than for ceremonial reasons, was under duress. Even then, I felt the concept of sin to be contrived and chose the guilt free route of relying on my intuitive sense of right and wrong to guide my behaviour.
Like many of my generation, I believed God was irrelevant to my life and lived accordingly, following the golden rule, but ignoring religion and religious ideals. I trusted my nature, trusted that what felt good, was good. I rebelled against authority of all kinds. ‘Don’t give me rules’ I said, ‘tell me why and I will make my own choices.’
Aside from a vague emptiness in my life, this worked fine, until I began working my way through A Course in Miracles in 1997. The student’s portion is an affirmation a day for an entire year and about half way through, I began to have personal experiences with Divinity. Subtle things, nothing overt, but I now recognized that Divinity was interacting with me and I began looking for ways to strengthen these connections.
Perhaps I could do that by returning to church, returning to organized religion. For a short time, this worked as I became a regular church goer of the local Anglican Church and became friends with the parish priest. However, their depiction of Divinity did not match my personal experience and bits and pieces of their service began to grate on me.
Most of all, I resented their closed shop approach to religion, their insistence that the Bible was the authentic word of God and updating it was certainly not an option for anyone who wanted to remain in good standing with the church. I had read the Bible, cover to cover, and much of it I considered seriously flawed. My experience of God was of a living entity who loved me without conditions and who loved me for who I was, after all, deep down; I was as God created me. God was not this fearsome authority figure. God loved me. God was my friend. So I visited my human friend, the parish Priest and gave him the bad news. I was leaving the Church. At first, he wanted to talk it through, but when I said, ‘I don’t think that would serve you right now’; he agreed and we parted, each to our own way.
Walsh’s Conversations with God struck a deep chord within me. Here was a loving God who talked sense and acknowledged that organized religions the world over misrepresent what God is all about. Trust your experience was a central theme. Now that I could embrace.
This led to my experience with the Ishayas and to deepening my connections to Divinity; and to becoming ever more reliant upon my personal experience. I discovered what mystics have long known. Divinity is more than willing to have a relationship with anyone who asks, with anyone willing to do the work necessary. After all Divinity is everywhere and in everything, me included.
Freedom for humanity…