Religious belief and spiritual belief are two different beliefs.
A religious belief is based on scriptures that contain guidelines and commandments that cannot, read, cannot be changed. Examining other beliefs is permitted, provided that one keeps returning to the teachings of the belief that one has accepted. Religions also try to steal believers from each other.
Many religions have, as a first aid, the creation of fear in their followers. Thus, these followers are very easy to manipulate. In a religious belief one always has frameworks within which one should live life. Within those frameworks, which are actually limitations, one promises great freedom. If one does not live according to the rules, hell awaits in the hereafter. A life in obedience, to an authority, promises heaven after death.
With any religion and / or belief, it is possible to create some structure in what you believe. Any religion and / or belief can initiate you into a more spiritual life. Yet, if one wants to go beyond just believing what religions prescribe, one 'MUST' let go of those religions. One cannot do otherwise if one wants to come to a more spiritual faith!
Spiritual faith goes much further than following guidelines from some book.
It cannot be captured within a framework. It operates within an awareness that is limitless. Something that is limitless cannot be captured in definitions. It is always changing, moment to moment. It demands great dynamism and great adaptability from the believer. Hence, people who believe religiously find this belief abstract. There are no guidelines, there are no concrete indications.
A spiritual believer can use any scripture that can be found. He / she does not have to adhere to limits. And can therefore, without fear, compare all scriptures with each other and take advantage of them.
Comparing requires a considerable effort, one cannot just accept what is written as truth. One "must" always ask oneself whether what is written has been properly understood. There are writings that can only be understood when one resides in a higher capacity for understanding.
Writings for different layers of consciousness
The problem with (holy) writings is that they are usually several books bundled together in one book. Within this book the scriptures resonate on different levels of consciousness. This is very confusing!
A small example: in one and the same book one can read that one should love his / her enemies. Which is a very clear guideline. This should result in open communication and mutual understanding. But the same book also says kill all unbelievers. If one starts comparing both, it becomes clear that one has to make a choice. This choice appeals to the common sense of the believer. Is one going to love the enemy (unbeliever) or is one going to kill him. Dilemma!
In order to come to a deeper understanding of the clearly contradictory guidelines, one needs to be aware of the different layers in which these guidelines are expressed.
- "Love your enemy!" So easy to understand. Everyone understands, with a little effort, the deeper meaning of this guideline.
- "Kill the infidels!" Requires greater effort and is a guideline that should only be given to people who understand its true meaning. Most people are full of conflicting thoughts. Sometimes they believe in themselves and other times they find themselves in despair. This is just one example of the unbeliever who does not deserve his right to exist in your own experience. So "kill the unbeliever" is an inner process that leads to a life in more truth. It is absolutely "NOT" a guideline for taking the life of dissenters.
Fear of dissenters
The collection of 'seemingly' contradictory thoughts and guidelines, bundled into one book, cause confusion and misunderstanding about what it is like to be a truly spiritual human being. The apparently contradictions compel people to make a choice within the framework of a belief that is initially intended to promote Love. Yet many people choose fear.
We have often wondered why people choose the lesser of the two. Could it be because it's in the scriptures? "They will chase you, they will laugh at you, they will want to take you off your faith, they will…". With this in mind, one gets no further than the idea that enemies are lurking everywhere.
While an enormous freedom awaits at the end of the fear.
Eddy and Rita