Have you ever heard the saying, “Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver, one is gold”?
I always interpreted this phrase to mean that all friends are valuable and precious to us but are different in what they offer. When you make new friends, don’t discard the ones you had before because each will add something special to your experience through the richness of friendship.
This has been my experience with integrating my original religious beliefs with my new age, “now wave”, spiritual beliefs. My indoctrinated vision of the archetypal, wise old man, sitting up on a cloud in the sky, was my old friend, who now has some interesting new friends. Some of these new friends include Buddha, some nature gods and goddesses, and of course science including quantum physics, not to mention the entire host of angels, and souls that share these levels of consciousness currently, in the past and future. It’s getting crowded up there on that little cloud in the sky, and I’m beginning to feel an umbrella of eyes watching me from above (not just the proverbial “big brother” of constant surveillance).
At times, the idea of an army of amazing spiritual/religious/scientific support in the sky can feel overwhelming, but it can also feel like an unstoppable team of support and abundant love. I’ve questioned the moral ethics around having more than one “idol” on the cloud, repeatedly. My indoctrination was “Thou shalt have no other god besides me.” I have felt guilt and fear, that I’ve “cheated” on my original religion and that God will punish me for my lack of unquestioning faith and loyalty, but then my creative consciousness comes in with all the justifications for why having expanded beliefs is a good thing. This goes well, until my religious education mind says, that’s not going to matter on Judgement Day. Ah, religious guilt… Reliable and ever evolving.
Making peace with my beliefs has been a lot like the lovely saying I began with. I haven’t thrown out my beliefs or vision of God; that is definitely precious to me. However, as I have grown, I have made some new friends in the religious/spiritual world and I would love nothing more than for everyone to play nice and get along so we can be one ginormous happy group of beings. In order to reconcile the guilty, fearful feelings, I have come to understand that it isn’t my faith or beliefs that have changed, but that I have added to the richness of my spiritual life and even developed a more defined vision of what God is.
To me, God is comprised of all the beings that have gathered and merged on the cloud in the sky and within all of existence. It is simply the various visual representations of God that are vibrantly multi-coloured peering down from the cloud on any given day. My experiential relationship with God is multi-sensory, more rich, more full, and deeper because of the many ways I have been gifted to see and experience the divine in all things. And isn’t that the greater truth that really does bind everything together? There is divinity in every single thing, being, you name it!
God is in all “things”. So really, no matter what image I find the most comforting in a given moment, the reality is that it is all the same divinity I am honouring. This is extended to people as well. My heart triple flipped when I found out the meaning of the concept (because “word” is way too limiting) of Namaste, which basically (and I mean very basic), means the divinity in me, honours the divinity in you. How beautiful and fully integrated is that? And, it aligns with my original beliefs! God in everything and everyone!
I guess the core of what I’m trying to convey, is that I am proud to be a being that has been exposed to so many beliefs and philosophies that have added meaning and understanding about the significance of presence, and our existence. The cultivation of wisdom requires an evolving set of teachers who can offer us the variety and spice of life that is available to us in this realm. Expanding, then integrating new awareness with previous knowledge has made me a deeper, more enriched person, which allows me to relate to, connect with, and inspire others who may both share and disagree with my beliefs.
Thanks to all the beings on the cloud, above it and below it for being present!
Namaste (in the truest sense of the word) xo