Religious tolerance

“The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.”[1]

From my experience, religious tolerance has meant that if I hold a differing opinion on divinity to another, that we have to be in tension with each other or that we cannot be equal or in union with each other, simply because our religions have differing options and views on how life is to be lived in relation to the metaphysical aspects of life.

To bridge the divide, tolerance so far has been the championed way we are to relate to each other that has us maintain a politeness and a surface level of interrelating and working together. But this tolerance, even in its currently accepted meaning, can have us relating to people with a surface cooperation, yet with an underlying criticism and judgment, or an unease and a sense of being held as lesser than another. How then can we ever be in true harmony with one another with this two-sided relationship occurring above and below the water?

When we settle for tolerance, we avoid acknowledging the absence of true acceptance and harmony and we miss out on genuine connection and understanding with each other.

What if it was not religion itself, but the ideals and beliefs we have been taught to adopt when we were young, and that we individually choose to hold on to, that create the separation between us, and not religion in its true meaning – which is simply about having a relationship with the part of life and the part of us as a being that is immaterial and beyond our physical realm.

True religion is the quality of our relationship with the all that includes each and every one of us and not a set of rules to follow. Neither is religion about the right to treat another as less or different for not adhering to the adopted rules that are claimed to have come from divinity, or as we have chosen to interpret their messages to be.

What if true religion was universally accepting and unifying, regardless of and beyond any individual ideal, belief or relationship with religion, ourselves and others? The Lineage of The Way of The Livingness presents that over the ages divinity, when truly represented, has only been about love for all in a way that is fully accepting of human life in every shape and form.

Regardless of our relationship with religion, whichever path we may or may not choose to follow, we each live within a human body, each one having access to an inner-most light that lives deeper than race, creed, belief, culture or nationality. When we connect to this inner-most quality within us, we start to experience and feel that we are all one and the same beyond the outer layers of how we choose to live life.

When connected to this inner-most essence within, there is no need to tolerate something a person does or does not do in the name of religion, as in this connection we learn to develop understanding and observation: in the knowing that we are all one and the same deep within and our actions and words cannot change who we truly are in essence.

And by virtue of this, we can actually understand not only more about each other, but more of the universe, as each one of us brings a different dimension of the one thing we are all a part of. By choosing to understand and observe ourselves and each other, we learn that our actions can at times come through us, not from our essence, the latter of which is naturally one-unifying in expression.

We start to see that there is more at play behind that choice to express in such a way, and we no longer feel the need to tolerate or think we have the right to judge or hate another for that expression. We begin to understand that there is more to us than meets the eye, that there is energy at play that guides this human realm, and that we are the subjects of it.

This is the beginning of the return to true religion – the reconnection to the truth of who we are and where we are truly from.


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  • Photography: Cameron Martin, Video and Photography