When People Refuse To Believe

     There are times when people have grave concerns about the salvation of their mates, a friend or a member of their family.  When it comes to religious faith and practices, people seldom enjoy equal levels of awareness, so such thinking is bound to take place in the minds of countless people.  When those about whom the faithful are concerned have no such faith-orientation and have no desire to subscribe to what others hold as sacred and precious, what happens to them?

     It is difficult for concerned people to let go of their worries particularly when their love for others is rooted in fear that if their loved one does not subscribe to certain beliefs, they will perish.  On the simplest level of understanding, God has the same plan for everyone’s life. Secondly, it is God’s love that allows people to advance according to what each is capable of doing.  Thirdly, we are not saved by anything we think, believe or do. We are saved by a process that we cannot understand or control while in our solid forms. Many people have labeled this process the grace of God.  This understanding allows us to be free of fearful thoughts about the destiny of others.

     It is a person’s belief system that has established the criteria for how individuals are judged by God.  This is where religious beliefs venture into areas that are not in its purview.  If anything, such religious beliefs provide nonbelievers with a reason for holding religion at arms-length.  When a religious belief prevents people from wholeheartedly accepting others just as they are, those believers are making a statement revealing to the universe the judgmental quality of their inner world.

     Many nonbelievers are only nonbelievers in the belief systems held by others who attend various churches, temples or mosques.  Their agnosticism toward a belief in God is more the result of how God has been characterized by believers who base their faith in the images and the nature of God found in the Scriptures.  Even thoughtful believers have difficulty with God as imagined by biblical writers.

     Since there is strong resistance to changing the meaning of the sacred icon the Bible has become, the wonder and awe of the unknown must track in other directions for nonbelievers. Thinkers are most unwilling to prostitute their minds by subscribing to the ideologies of writers who lived thousands of years ago.

     People holding both extremes of thought, each believing that its truth is valid, have little they can discuss.   Ironically, the issue is near identical to conversations between Christianity and other religions.  Faith traditions can have talks but, by the nature of where their faith traditions are grounded, few talks will ever produce substantive results in terms of arriving at a commonality of thought.  For example, any perceived misrepresentation by individuals to the words or concepts featured in the Qu’ran may be met with death in some parts of the world.

     There is a broader universe of thought that might encourage highly substantive communication among agnostics, atheists and other faiths that have belief systems quite foreign to that of Christianity.  That universe is represented by Spirituality.  The study of Spirituality is not exclusive to any particular belief system and is universal enough so that it opens more doors to effective communication across a broad range of faith orientations.

     Spirituality studies the flow of human energy and its results. It subscribes to the autonomy of each individual who becomes the creator of his or her own reality while in physical form.  Spiritual thinking moves away from defining individuals as beings that will eventually be judged by God when each transitions from their solid forms.

     When the concepts of divisiveness are removed from religious dialogue, more people will find the study of Spirituality an attractive venue for negotiating the challenges facing human life.  The reason for this is obvious.  Even typical non-believers recognize the presence and importance of the spirit by which people live.

     For example, atheists would much rather work for a supervisor who welcomes creative ideas and suggestions, who takes criticism gracefully and who supports those in subordinate positions.  Atheists readily recognize those who are boring, talkative, self-absorbed and overly opinionated.  The spirit that conveys a person’s attitudes and personality is vastly different among people.  No one can deny this.

     What is spirit to those without a faith orientation?  Can the spirit of an individual expand and evolve?  Can such an invisible source that governs the expression of human energy become a tool for effective leadership and governance?

     Nonbelievers could be communicating a message to the world’s religions that if their systems of belief are designed to teach others about their own invisible world, it will either have to change or die.  It may take a considerable time, but a unique, more universal thought system will eventually prevail over the barrier-ridden faith traditions that prevent one of their major tenets from being expressed – the creation of community where loving energy is freely given without reservation or restraint.  No other vocational category or discipline has such constraints and barriers to the progress of human thought like that confessed by most religions.

     There will be confusion until the wheat can be separated from the chaff.  Truth that needs no defense will triumph over belief systems that use labels that teach believers to perceive others without love.  The universe is big enough to accommodate everyone’s journey no matter how creative or destructive his or her choices may be.  There can be no greater environment to evolve our values than dwelling temporarily in a world filled with illusions with which to interact, illusions that appear extremely real.  Even when people refuse to believe anything about a world the existence of which they cannot prove, nothing unfortunate will happen to them.  What would be the point of treating ignorance with eternal punishment?  Love does not need to judge ignorance.  If anything, love learns better ways to communicate and teach about the world that lies beyond our senses.