Imagine There's No Heaven, No Religions Too

My friend who found herself began the first full day of her life enriched by her new insights.  She reported that she worked with a coach today to help deepen her understanding of what is shifting in her.  She gained some tools to help stay the course of a more positive way of viewing herself.  This is such an encouraging development because this offers hope for true personal freedom.

Freedom is often on my mind lately and has been for some time.  I grew up in a family of good people who believed in a religion that shaped their values.  There were a number of values I learned as a child that I still am guided by today.  I learned of the importance of compassion towards one another and of treating others with respect.  These values are really universal and not tied to any particular belief system. 

There were also values that I have left behind as I became a more conscious human being.  One of these values includes the idea of judging others and myself as either good or bad.  This is more a religious belief that seems based in the human ego.  Another belief was that we should do what an authoritarian organization like a church tells us to do or we will suffer eternal damnation or some other made up consequence to keep us in line.  That is another example of ego seeking power and control.  There are many other values that need to be questioned. 

Today I came upon and article through one of my Facebook friends about a really interesting and positive development.   Nine nations are coming closer to freeing themselves from the influence of structured religions.  Five of the nine nations had the Beatles play there in concert.

When John Lennon sang “Imagine there’s no heaven” in 1971, rock critics called the song “utopian.” But forty years later, researchers have found that religion is indeed disappearing in nine countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Finland, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Switzerland.”

Isn’t this interesting?  My speculation is that as people find themselves they let organized religion go because they live by their own truths.  Spirituality is on the rise and traditional religion is being questioned.  This is a hopeful development in personal freedom from my viewpoint of having to help people feel ok about who they are.  Religious training has too often been filled with negative judgments toward self and that for me as a mental health professional is never healthy. 

We all would benefit greatly by examining what beliefs support and encourage the best human qualities in us and what beliefs hold us back and keep us down?  The limits of religion are human in design and certainly not from the Great Source of the Universe.