Fleeing from religion

I have been sharing here my own experience of the long journey that so many of us take, each in our own way, as we seek the experience of God in our lives--what I have come to call The Holy Experience.

In my case, it did not take long for me to realize that I was not going to find it possible to remain devoted to God through organized religion. Many people have, of course, and so this is not an indictment of religion. It is simply that I could not find my own way to the Holy Experience, I could not get in touch with the Transcendent Reality, through this vehicle.

Religion, to me, presented too many complications, and in my heart I experienced what I would now call the Transcendent Reality as being Without Complication. Indeed, it was Utter Simplicity.

Religion, to me, generated too many conflicts, and I experienced the Transcendent Reality as Without Conflict. Indeed, it was Total Peace. Religion, to me, offered too many contradictions with my own inner truth, and I experienced the Transcendent Reality as Without Contradiction. Indeed, it was Absolute Harmony.

Utter Simplicity, Total Peace, Absolute Harmony. Without Complication, Without Conflict, Without Contradiction. That is how I experienced God. Religion did not experience God this way. I soon found this out.

The how's and why's of my personal experience do not seem so important now. It seems sufficient to note in broad general terms that the singular difficulty I had with religion was its insistence on teachings of a needy God--indeed, an angry, vindictive and violent God--who was going to punish me for my sins. And, to be sure, was going to punish all the world.

I simply did not experience God in that way. Chalk it up to my mother's early teachings, perhaps, but for some reason my internal guidance system kept steering me away from such an idea of God.

I searched everywhere within the religions of my culture, but could find no place of comfort. Then I explored the religions of other cultures. Still not much simplicity, peace, and harmony. A little here and there, but not the totality for which I yearned. Still no God without complication, without conflict, without contradiction.

Finally, I left religion altogether.

It would be a quarter century before I returned to a deep and abiding faith in God, born of a new understanding of God that changed everything in my perception of who and what God is.

How that came to pass is described in Conversations with God-Book 1 and in the semi-autobiographical Friendship with God. The simple and peaceful and harmonious answer I came to is articulated wonderfully in What God Wants, and will be even more fully in a book I am working on, with the title: A New Theology.

And, next week, we'll take a look right here at just what I have learned through my conversations with God, my friendship with God, and my experience of communion with God. Join us, if it pleases you to do so.

Love and Hugs,

Neale

Comments

gloriagene33 6th September 2011 8:49 am

A week, a month, a year, a decade ago, if anyone had told me you are going back to the church and you are going to be shining your light for God. I would have denied it vehemently. No way am I going back to the organised chaos of mainstream religion. But you know what? I feel called to go there and simply be, to shine my light quietly and show the immense love I feel for God. I dont know if I can participate in the bible study, I dont even know if I can handle hearing the interpretation of the scriptures with peace in my heart. But Im going to give it my best shot.

gloriagene33 6th September 2011 8:51 am

I look forward to next weeks continuation, Thanks Heaps.

Bob 6th September 2011 9:46 pm

Even though I find it a beautiful and peaceful way of thought, I have found that for some people accepting a simple, uncomplicated harmony with God frightens them. That God wants nothing and expects nothing from us, that God is totally perfect and serene, is an alien concept. It is so far out of the context of what they have been taught about God by traditional religions that it leaves them feeling exposed, without an anchor. This often leads them to become angry and abusive in response.

I am sometimes terribly discouraged by this reaction, even though I have experienced it to various degrees for years in conversation with others.

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Author Information

Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.

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