The Road From Judgement To Freedom

There is no harmony between spirituality and religion. And the juxtaposition of clergy and scientists creates cognitive dissonance at its finest. But since the beginning of time, the meaning of life has been a thought-provoking phenomenon, itching to be explained. Whether spiritually attuned or religiously sound, it is safe to say that the acceptance of a “higher source” is something we all yearn for. However, the avenue in which we pursue this higher source is ultimately where duality collides with judgment and rejection.

Recently, I denounced my Christian faith, and during this process, I came to find out just how judgmental people can truly be, especially family. Christianity has always been my religious vice because like many, it was automatically handed to me by previous generations; and like many, I naively accepted. But throughout the years, an unsettled feeling within my intuition began to jar at my consciousness. I knew there to be something greater. Therefore, I decided to give up my seat in the “sanctified” pews for a more in-depth journey through meditation practices. I also ceased my contribution to collection plates for a deeper offering of spiritual rituals and cleansings. And the messages of sinners versus saints were replaced by the energetic communication of the Universe. Now, the judgmental spews directed towards my newfound beliefs, which were clearly unrelated to Jesus, were expected. This wasn’t an easy decision; embarking on it was quite scary, to say the least. Furthermore, the insinuation that I don’t believe in an “ultimate” Creator or believing my spiritual practices are nothing more than pure evil only furthered my rationale to leave Christianity. Being open, free and able to accept the limitlessness of Creation, leaves no room for closed-mindedness.

In my opinion, traditions often leave the door open for judgment, which can also leave one in a constant state of ignorance. For me, religion is patriarchal and full of dogmatic doctrine established to impose fear. Relationship plus God should not equate to fear. To simply reject someone’s choice to initiate a Divine relationship through a holistic approach creates nothing but division and is based on, ironically, fear. When I explain my spiritual practices, many people automatically refuse to listen. They don’t want to hear about the power that is in all of us to access the Divine, or how we are all made up of the main elements of the Universe. And I get it—the study of true spirituality is fairly unknown to most, but to dismiss an experience because of its unfamiliarity leaves no room for growth. There is so much we can learn from each other, and who we are as a human race.

Whether you refer to the Higher Source as God, Allah or another divine entity, one thing is for certain: we are all an extension derived from the same Creator. I believe there is no wrong or right way to access the Divine; it is purely subjective. Individual spiritual paths are designed to accompany specific purposes meant to be fulfilled in this lifetime. Simply put, what works for you works for you, and what works for me works for me. Just think, how mundane would this world be if everything were the same? If we all looked and spoke alike, and everyone possessed the same hobbies, goals and talents? What if we all thought and believed the same, and no one could offer anyone else moments of enlightenment? Tell me: where would the evolution in that be?

People fear the unknown. As a result, they become stuck in a complacent state full of resistance. Why do we allow fear to limit our experiences? And what will it take for all minds to travel the route of infinite knowledge, lessons and possibilities? In the meantime, I will continue to meditate, cleanse, and practice my rituals, all while embracing the laws of the Universe. And when asked about my “religion” I will simply respond, “Look at the trees, the sky, the sun, the moon, and the stars. Take a deep breath and exhale. That is my ‘religion.’”

Fatima Manson