I was raised as a Christian Scientist and love the spiritual truths and metaphysical ideas that I have learned through studying and practicing its teachings.
Recently I was talking with a friend (also a Christian Scientist) about some spiritual concepts and he referred to me as being relativistic. This was not intended to be a compliment, on the contrary it was intended to suggest that there was something not quite right in my spiritual approach. I should be more absolute in my religious loyalty and beliefs. According to my friend I am apparently too accepting of diverse perspectives and alternative paths.
For some reason this comment has bothered me and I have considered it a lot over the past few months. While I am absolute in my spiritual beliefs I probably am rather relative when it comes to religion.
I think it is interesting how quickly religions claim that their leader or founder is the “one true voice of God” and has the one true explanation, or that their religion is the one true path. As if infinite Mind is “talking” to one person rather than another; one person is more “chosen” than another, one religious or cultural group is God’s chosen people.
Now I think it is clear that some people are more receptive or tuned in to “Truth”, but there is no chosen person to the exclusion of any other. In fact the suggestion by any religion that theirs is the one chosen path is, I believe, an extremely limiting and rather egotistical and flawed idea. Jesus said that the way is narrow that leads to eternal life but he certainly did not say that only one religion had the answer. When Jesus said that “no man cometh to the father but by me”, he was not referring to a religion, he was referring to the Christ Truth which was so completely expressed in him, but is also within all of us, irrespective of the religion, philosophy or belief system we follow.
The way to more fully understand who we really are can be found in many spiritual paths when we go past the dogma, the ritual, the words and the traditions and are free to find the underlying spiritual truth of the Christ that is within each one of us.
Now, there may well be one path that appeals to you or to me, for whatever reason. It may be that you were born into it, or found it at a time of great need. It may be that you were inspired to study a particular teaching, and fortunately for all mankind, we are eventually led through trial and tribulation, blessing and glory to the realisation of our true inseparability from God; our oneness with divine Love. However, someone else’s discovery or path can only take you so far, eventually you have to make your own path, you have to make your own connections, realise your own truth. Spiritual revelation is not an intellectual exercise and does not come from reading books or quoting from the writings of others; it is a humble surrender and receptivity to the omnipresence and omniscience of God. It is in every one of us when we listen.
Thankfully there are those who can see further than we can and who often sacrifice themselves to take us a few steps further on our journey. Too often, through ignorance and fear we reject and attack those who would help and guide us on our way. We should do our best to cling to the hem of their garments as they gently lead us to make our own discoveries.
No, spiritual enlightenment has nothing to do with a particular religion, or “one true path”! Eventually we must outgrow religion to realise our true spiritual nature.