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Where Do Your Religious Views Come From?

January 18, 2011

Religious views are complex, and their origins are complex.  Yet often we try to make them ever-so-simple…. Understandable, but does this perhaps mislead us?

Have you taken the time to reflect on how a given belief or set of beliefs actually came to you and from whom? What is the nature of “authority” behind them? What is  their credibility or correspondence to reality… a reality broader than the confines of your own experience or perceptions? And how do you integrate what is ultimately more important than conscious beliefs — your underlying attitudes and sense of safety and trust in the world and whoever or whatever has brought you here?

As an example, a person may have a belief in a loving, forgiving heavenly Father or a less personalized Creator or creative Source, but deep down feel insecure, perhaps unloved or not belonging in the world.  In such a case, understanding and dealing with this deeper feeling trumps the conscious belief (or hope).  And accordingly, it is the more important aspect to examine and seek to align with reality… a reality none of us knows with certainity, but which faith and hope give us important clues toward. 

I don’t know about you, but I have spent a whole lot of time looking more deeply into the views I took on early in life and was slow to re-examine in depth.  There have been some difficult aspects of this, and some, in terms of relationships, continue to this day.   But beyond any doubt, it has been more than worth it.  My peerings into reality continue as much now as at any period in my life, and it never becomes any less exciting.

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