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Re-Wiring the Soul

By Peter Shepherd

Many of us, I suspect, were a victim of childhood religious indoctrination. As adults, we need to heal ourselves and be free of the well orchestrated psychological tyranny perpetrated by orthodox religions. I had a taste of this in my early teens...

“I remember when I was a choirboy, listening to the sermons, saying how I was basically sinful when at that age I'd never done anything wrong in my life. This was a Protestant church, who are worse than Catholics for the Hellfire and damnation routine. Well, the limit was when my mother was in the congregation, and the vicar was insulting her likewise. I didn't know so well about myself but I knew she was a person of pure heart whose every act was loving just as much as Jesus. So I said enough is enough, and I never went back there. I was also into the "Plain Truth" fundamentalist nonsense at the time, receiving magazines from USA, and I chucked these all in the bin and felt a huge release and weight off my shoulders. It was the best thing I ever did. Then I got a book on Buddhism (fortunately an enlightened one, not a dogmatic one, because they can be as bad) and on the Cabbala, and found far more truth in these. The number one difference, they were empowering and talked of God within. Oddly enough, I'd always known that in my infancy... before Sunday School and all that came after suppressed the spark of awareness that I had. I was lucky, I recovered at 12; many people never do.”

That's my story and applies to many of my generation in UK, I suspect (I'm in my 60's). In USA and many other countries it's still going on. Whatever the religion or sect or authority - it's dogma that's the culprit and there's plenty of that even in the New Age movement. The real killer thing the religions do is (hypocritically of course) to invalidate a person for natural feelings. For example, without sexual lust there would be no procreation and no humans on Earth. Yet apparently we're sinful for feeling lustful in our bodies, as though it isn't a necessary part of the beautiful and spiritual process of love-making. That's caused 1500 years of mass psychosis, not to mention a terrible time for women, since the Church identified sin with Eve's temptation. Even now the Pope says sex is for procreation only, not for pleasure - a necessary sin that keeps humans pointed toward hell, without their redemption every Sunday at the hands of the powers that be.

Without wanting to do well competitively, to play and win at the games of life, the world would be back in the Stone Age, yet we're told how our selfish ego is such a barrier to spiritual growth. A misconceived put down - personal growth is about transcending the ego, not weakening it, it's already too weak and afraid, which is why it's immaturely selfish and hateful. So yes, it's not only the Church… New Agers can be hypocritical, dogmatic, religious suppressors too! All the while thinking they're holier than thou.

The real enemy is dogma, per se. Like the Trans4mind motto says, "Minds, like parachutes, function better when open." We each need to discover our own truth, not have it dictated to us by authorities. Truth is inevitably simple in essence but the network of defenses we erect to deny our own truth (driven by fears) and the sophistication of the conditioning we receive to imprint the status quo (much of it misinformation) - these are complex.

We can make a lot of headway by applying some simple principles and disciplines...

  • Firstly, to always be guided by Love, since love is the creative force, the intent, the quality, that is your essential nature. It always leads to truth... it IS truth. So whenever you act, ask "Am I doing this through love?" This is the best way to get in touch with inner guidance, to start to know your true self.
  • Secondly, be mindful before reacting emotionally. Take time to breathe, to get into the present moment - pull yourself in from attention trapped in the past and the future and be grounded and centered in your body. Here and now. Then respond, from love and not from fear.
  • And thirdly, remember that communication is the solvent of problems. When in doubt, or you're anxious, or you feel stranded: communicate. That means to express your feelings and safeguard your rights - but equally to ask questions and listen intently, not just to spout off yourself. So primarily, become mindful.

I think we should remember, though, another side of the coin of suffering from religious abuse and intolerant dogmatism. Imagine if we hadn't had that influence that we perceived as a force bearing down upon us, or if we had just continued to accept it as many do, would we have made the same degree of learning and insights we have today? Or would we have lived "normal" conforming lives of barely conscious awareness. I'm not saying it's the right or best way to go about it - we might have succumbed - but maybe by trying to point you in the opposite direction, to nothingness, the suppression actually served to align you correctly as you resisted its force, and fought back in the other direction, trying to get better answers to your questions, and indeed, seeking to express your inner knowing. Perhaps after all it had a rather dubious role in helping us realize our life purpose. I'm sure it did for me.


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