Most religions and spiritual teachings place great emphasis on what it means to be "good." Everyone is supposed to be trying to live up to Boy-Scout-like ideals such as being: kind, generous, reverent, helpful, loving, cheerful or obedient. Following the Bible or other important spiritual book is the prescribed path for all. The rules for everyone are the same and what it means to be spiritual or religious is applicable to all.
But what if you are not supposed to fit this common path? Perhaps your soul has other plans for you this lifetime. Perhaps your soul prefers you to follow the skeptic's path rather than the path of unconditional love and acceptance. You will have great difficulty recognizing your skeptical path if you have already sold yourself out to the ideas of a religious or spiritual system that prescribes unconditional love. Other soul choices such as being powerful in the world, or being repressed, or being dominating, are other possibilities that are frequently not considered to be OK for those following many religions and spiritual paths.
Beliefs in idealistic paths usually result in critical negative judgments of those who are not living up to the ideals. This result is the exact opposite of unconditional love. People often disguise the negativity; they tell themselves they are feeling compassion or they condescendingly decide, "I'll pray for them."
People do not realize that the prescribed ideals are the problem. Most religious and spiritual paths allow the freedom to be a clerk or a doctor or whatever, but that is not freedom to pursue "unspiritual" or "irreligious" paths. One-size-fits-all predominates today (though each group defines the prescribed ideals somewhat differently). One-size-fits-all leaves little room for you to follow paths that are out of the ordinary or that do not fit the ideals of your current religion or spiritual teaching. I think the majority of New Age people are unknowingly trapped by one-size-fits-all teachings.
© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
|Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "It is only recently that major segments of the women's movement and the African-American movement have challenged the notion of being perpetual victims. These people are now choosing to take more responsibility for their own happiness and for their own lives, instead of remaining stuck in the blame game."|