Have you been let down by your religion? If your answer is yes, it is probably because you are an old soul and your soul remembers its status as an eternal being, rather than a limited one. Old souls demand the truth! The old soul has experienced different bodies and historical time periods, and even if they don’t understand why something is missing in what their religion has taught them, they sense in their subconscious mind there must be something more.
The physical world is the illusion, and the soul is real. We come into a physical experience over and over again to refine our souls, and practice love and forgiveness. Then we return to spirit to either plan the next life or to ascend.
(Ascension means we don’t need to return to our physical body. We have learned all of our lessons, and our spiritual team has released us from the physical experience.)
Because we have this deeper understanding of everlasting life, the man-made religious experience seems to have omitted some important information. Remember, religion is a man-made construct. There are all kinds of churches in the world and they have interpreted great religious books and teachers differently.
What is the missing piece in organized religion? It is the understanding we never really die, and when we do “cross-over” to the non-physical realm, we start planning the next physical experience. The church speaks of everlasting life. However, they stop short in defining what this means. We should be told our time in heaven is limited, and there is a need to return to a physical experience in order to perfect our souls. ( for proof of everlasting life, read Journey of Souls 1 and 2 by Michael Newton).
Spiritual practitioners have been chastised by organized religion for beliefs not fitting the norm of the established church; however the Bible mentions spiritual gifts. 2 Corinthians 12: 1-11 says, “Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.”
What does the Course in Miracles say about spiritual gifts? In the teacher’s manual-- Are Psychic Powers Desirable, Jesus says, "the limits the world places on communication are the chief obstacles to direct experience of the Holy Spirit, whose presence is always there, and whose voice is available but for the hearing. These limits are placed out of fear, for without them the walls that surround all the separate places of the world would fall at the holy sound of his voice.” Jesus goes on to say it is very natural for individuals to transcend these limits. There’s nothing unusual about communicating with the Holy Spirit or the other side. He also goes on to say, “those who develop psychic powers have simply let some of the limitations they laid upon their minds be lifted.”
If we go back to the Bible in the following passage in the New Testament: 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.”
We see the reverse in the Old Testament, Deuteronomy 18: 10-13 “let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or cast spells, or who is a medium or spiritualist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you. You must be blameless before the Lord your God”
So you can see the Bible gives us mixed messages. If you want to believe what spiritual mediums or psychics do is evil you can find evidence in the Bible. You can also find the reverse.
I accept that there’s only one spirit because as The Course in Miracles says there’s only one of us! We think we are separate but we are really connected. The Course in Miracles talks about this connection which exists at the level of the mind.
In 1 Corinthians 14:1-2 we are encouraged by Paul to use our spiritual gifts. To quote,” follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts, especially the gift of prophecy. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God.” The writer goes on to say when we use our spiritual gifts we do so for the purpose of encouraging and comforting others.
Religion is often about separation and Jesus Christ is about connection.
Let’s talk about the separation. In most churches a lay person is not encouraged to share their spiritual gifts. An exception being Spiritualist or Unity churches. Secondly, there is this unspoken understanding that my church is better than your church. Whether my church or your church is better boils down to insignificant areas of difference that should not cause separation. Even in the Eastern religions there is separation. To study an advanced level of Kriya Yoga through the Self-Realization Fellowship requires one commit to only one Guru or spiritual teacher. I believe the way to the truth is through many teachers not just one. When I look back at my life I’m grateful for all of the great teachers who helped me along my spiritual path.
So why do churches discourage their members from exercising their God-given rights to use these spiritual gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, and prophecy? I believe the answer is fear. Mystical gifts belong to Saints not to regular people. At one time Saints were just like you and me! Even St. Padre Pio who was a Catholic priest was ostracized for a period of time because the church realized he had spiritual gifts.
How do we handle this? We should refuse to be stigmatized as intuitive’s, mediums, psychics, or spiritual healers. Our attention should be focused on what is most important which is loving God, spirit, all that is, etc. and respecting all the teachers that helped us along the way.
I was raised Catholic and when St. Padre Pio came into my life I returned to the church. I am focused on the essence of my faith which is the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This is the reason I attend Mass. Saint Padre Pio said the sacrament of the Eucharist is a living experience of the Last Supper. I also have a very strong relationship with Jesus and I know he would not design one’s search for truth, love, and God based upon a church structure. We are all one in Christ.
Religious organizations are not perfect. It is helpful if you have a minister or priest who has an open mind regardless of whether your belief doesn’t match up perfectly with church doctrine. Religious institutions were designed by human beings. I believe priests and ministers should avoid telling folks who make their living helping people through a spiritual path to refrain from criticism and to be open-minded about all roads that lead to healing. On the other hand, I don’t think spiritual practitioners should avoid organized religion for fear of being unwelcome.
And in closing, I would like to add a reminder that meditation is a form of prayer and connection with God that supersedes the institutional church.
I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this piece. It’s a much bigger subject than what is portrayed in this short post, but hopefully I have communicated the essence of my thoughts. Love and blessings to you all, Jane