Finally, I’ve come to a little understanding of how my former religious faith was killing me…
I raised the words/writings of 40 men and women and gave them godly status. I then raised a leader and trained him/her to keep those writers status as divine and holy before my eyes.
Furthermore, I gave those leaders godly status, evidence by my adherence to their doctrines and interpretations. I made it a point that my attendance to these leader’s establishments, loyalty to their teachings and practice of their disciplines, equated to my loyalty to the divine, thus deserving of the exclusive entitlement of their “so called” salvation.
However, salvation is not elusive or exclusive as the many religious camps proclaim it to be; as every single one claims ownership of its franchise. Salvation, I discovered, was finding the freedom to be myself; the ability to live my own life. It meant escaping from the narrow mindedness that life belongs to one person and attaching myself to him, confessing his name and loyalty to his message is the only way to have access to real spiritual life.
Jesus, however, did not pretend close adherence to his person (whether divine or human), his message or his faith. Rather, he provoked me by rebelling to those principles and showing me the path to attaining like-life as his, as available or at hands reach by everyone. The core of his message spoke about unity. Not to a set of beliefs, writings or doctrines, but ONENESS with the creator himself.
There’s wholeness in this oneness. There’s freedom to be oneself without loosing sight of the fact that we are a “chunk” of god himself. In that oneness, we have freedom to walk our god-given life, not as mere partakers of the divine, but rightful heirs and owners of it. We are owners of our present, and our futures will be as bright as our divine lives and creativities is allowed to BE.
But our oneness is not limited or reserved for the beautiful, the pleasant and the pleasure evoking beings of this planet. Is neither a reward for our moral compliance, our pious living nor our devoted adherence to a set or principles, laws or scriptures.
If Jesus ever evoked this oneness, he meant it to be for the needy, the poor, the desolate and the outcasts of this world. He made this connection with us outcasts, by identifying himself with us: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt. 24:40).
In fact, his life’s purpose wasn’t to die for the sins of the world, but to display our common divinity. The life we all possess that’s been hidden away beneath our mundane lives, our religious performance, and our pretentious success. But he was not the only person to ever display this life. He was only one of many witnesses to the Jewish people. One that we have raised above other men and made responsible for that which we were commissioned to do: rule and reign in life.
You and I are also faithful witnesses of the divine. We’re god in the flesh. From the moment of our birth, to our last breath in our fleeting existence, we are displaying the image and likeness of our creator. Jesus himself pointed to this truth: “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods”’? (John 10:44). This is the life he spoke about, the eternal Zoe we have inherited.
Unfortunately, just as we have made Jesus our god to follow, we have also taken god’s witnesses to other cultures, and given them divine status above other men.
The truth is that we are all divine humans. We were all created in the image and likeness of our creator and each other. We are all divine “chunks” of this life and we have the responsibility to honor and respect each other’s.
There’s a Hindu word that perfectly describes this oneness: namaste. In its simplest definition, it carries the following understanding: “The image of God in me, honors the image of God in you. I recognize that you and I are equal in god’s eyes, and I greet you in that place where you and I are one.”
Now, that’s oneness! One that can only be seen and experienced outside the box of religion…of which we all have full access an open invitation to enjoy…
~ José Arroyo
Love, Life and Freedom, my only religion
~ Namaste ~