The Secular versus The Religious Space.

Angel painting
Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

In my early teenage years, I was so confident in myself. I would carry the bible in my hands and walk to church. This is something that was embarrassing for my age mates, but I saw no reason in hiding that I was totally engaged in what I was doing. Whenever I could, I also carried a notebook and a pen. I was ready to learn and digest whatever we were being taught in the house of worship.

In my early twenties, I thought that I knew so much. This was for the mere reason that I had read the scriptures, and adhered to the teachings from the religious leaders. Religion for me had to be a lifestyle, and once one was in, they had to be in it fully. Not having one foot inside, and the other foot outside. I did not even see the reason why anyone would walk in the outskirts of religion, per se. I used to look at the life led by some of my extended family members, and say to myself that I would not want to turn out like them.

Back then, I did not understand how a secular lifestyle and a religious lifestyle could ever mix. To me, they were like petrol and water. Even if you shake them, they still do not mix at all. Well, it was not long before I had a taste of the so-called secular lifestyle, and for a moment I forgot all the principles that I had protected myself with. Is this not what is termed as backsliding? It is like one has lost faith in their belief system. That is exactly what happened, I mean the latter.

There are two things that I should put clear though. Losing faith in my belief system did not necessarily mean that I had to lose faith in the Creator. Oh, my belief in the Creator was just alright. I believed in the Creator even more as I began to question what this shunned secular lifestyle was. What is this that causes a rift between the ‘secular space’ and the ‘religious space? Does the difference lie in the belief, and recognition of the existence of the one true Creator? I came to learn that majority of those who are termed as secular, also have a belief in the Creator.

So, the question is, why can’t the secular and the religious come together, on the accord that both groups believe in monotheism? Wait, is this not the main role of religion, to remind us that there is one true Creator? This creator is ‘the Source‘ of all that Is. I know that some people have benefited from the confusion that arises from separating ‘the religious’ and ‘the secular’ world. They keep teaching that some are destined to go into some eternal punishment, while another group will go into some eternal bliss called, paradise. Well, is this not propaganda and the biggest scam of all, if you stand in the middle and look at it from a higher perspective, that is?

Let us assume that words are pointers ( I got this term from The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle, check it out ) to certain things and events. Words do not necessarily bring out the true meaning of things. Considering also, that most of the religious texts are written in metaphors. Moreover, there is a lot of pedagogy in these scriptures. Those who take it verbatim could be easily misled, or they are already misled. Maybe what I am driving at is this, when you subscribe to a belief system, you must know exactly what you are getting into. Do not just follow the crowd. At the end of the day, however, there must be something that shows that there is no separation between those who subscribe to your belief system, and those who do not. This must be present. If not, then most probably there is an absence of truth, and the only possible reason for this is that someone is withholding this truth. Is it for ransom? What do they want you to do, so that they give you the truth, which I suppose would be fabricated to benefit them again?

The biggest loss to most of us is that we keep looking for a reason to separate ourselves from the rest, who are supposedly doing what we are not doing. To make it worse, the labels that we use are what blind our eyes more. As I have said here before, the way that the Creator works with us is the same, but the way that we work with the Creator has changed. Consider that everyone has a unique way of working with the Creator. Also, to consider is the fact that at no time are we not in service to the Creator. Even those that are labeled pagans. Drop the labels, my friends, and put a face on these people. Are they also not created by this One Creator? The fact is that they have free will to express themselves as they wish. This does not make any one of us different from the other. We are just unique.

In fact, what I found out was that it was easier for me to understand the Creator while I was ‘secular’. The reason is simple. This platform that has been labeled ‘secular’, has more freedom to the art of self-expression. This is unlike the restrictions and the strict rules that are put on religion. It has been said already that he who has no religion understands the meaning of having one. Why? One who is not bound by rules expresses themselves freely, and can easily understand the Creator, and their role in this lifetime. Of course, after understanding their relationship with the Creator, then they will understand what the role of religion should be. This way, one appreciates the true role of religion.

I wonder why most of us think that to be saved, you need to be under the wings of a certain religious group. Why does everybody want to take someone into their belief system, with a corrupted belief that only their belief system will take them to ‘heaven’? Of late, I have come to adore the teachings of the scriptures, and the reason is that I understand what it is trying to teach us. This, of course, is devoid of another person’s interpretation. But, of course, I understand that some texts are biased. That said, it is always interesting to hear other people’s interpretations. For now, it is not a war about whose interpretation is wrong or right. I believe everybody is guided in the discernment of what resonates with them.

I once realized that the secular space is where spirituality thrives. As much as I have used the labels, I only mean to use them as a pointer. I am sure, dear reader, that you can discern what I mean. Life would be so unfair if it was all about the comparison of one group against the other. This would make life to be like a war. Are we not all winners in this life though? None of us is a loser, in any case, those who think that they are losing are in fact losing to win. It is always a win. Remember this the next time you lose hope, just because of a challenge that makes you portray yourself as a loser.

If you still consider yourself a religious person, give thanks for what you have before you. I hope you understand that there is no difference between you, and that person that is in a different belief system. Understand that we are in unity, but it does not necessarily mean that we do things in the same way. We have free will in expression. Well, isn’t this the beauty of life? It is a game. Don’t too many rules make the game boring?

After standing in the middle of this ‘secular’ and ‘religious’ platforms, I decided to not be bound by either of those titles. And guess what, I still see myself as highly spiritual. Well, I know spirituality is another common label, but in it, there is no form of organization or bureaucracy. There is a lot of freedom for one to express themselves. I prefer to have my way of doing things, and in this, I still honour our unique characters. To me, no matter the number of labels that we put around us, we are still One in the Creator.

Indeed, we are creators, so let us continue to make beautiful creations in our unique forms of art. Remember, there is free will for everyone. Remember that regardless of your decision, you are still loved by the Creator. Remember that we all have our spiritual guides who are ready to guide us through life, that is if we let them in. This is through the awareness of the connection that you have with them, regardless of whatever labels we give them. Please remember that regardless of whatever belief system you subscribe to, you are already eternal. There is nothing that you should do to be granted eternal life. Don’t we all have a Soul?

Well, the Soul is eternal. And this is your true self, regardless of being ‘religious’ or ‘secular’. The Soul is not bound to any labels. The labels are things of this world. So, are you of this world? Remember that things begin to make sense once the labels are dropped. I was listening to one of Alan Watts’ lectures sometime in 2019, and got some very valuable information, and so I would like to ask the following questions: Don’t we all know that scaffoldings must be removed when construction of the building is complete? Don’t we also know that once you use a boat to cross to the other side, you must leave the boat so that other people use it to cross? You do not take the boat and go with it wherever you go, either way, you do not remain in the boat so that you do not alight at either side of the crossing. What are you remaining stuck in the boat for, dear one? You are loved dearly. Namaste.

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