Before I start I feel as if I should add some sort of disclaimer. This is my point of view from information that I've gathered. In no way am I promoting this as truth. I believe it is important for people to develop their own point of views and beliefs about such things. Maybe some of this will resonate with some people and maybe it won't. So here is my take on religion.
I was raised as catholic. I went to a catholic school for a few years. Went to church, communions, confessions, etc. Almost went to a catholic boarding school type thing for high school. That never happened cause there were reports coming out that a few boys there were molested by faculty. This came out right after I spent a weekend there visiting. It made my decision easy about going there.
My uncle is a catholic priest. He devoted his life to the religion. Traveled the world, etc. He never really forced religion down our throats. A few times I even heard him say the F word which I thought was weird considering that he was a man of God. Ultimately though he is now in a nursing home type setting cause he has gotten older and can barely function on his own. He has to ask for assistance to get up to use the bathroom and can't get around without a wheelchair. Basically how I look at it he devoted his life to God and then when his usefulness was gone they took any money away that he had and tossed him in a home so he can sit there and wait to pass on. Funny they help out religious figures who are pedophiles and toss the good ones aside.
I've always had my doubts about religion. All these rules. You have to go to church or you will go to Hell. If you don't confess your sins you will go to Hell. Basically anything and everything that you do will earn you a one way ticket to Hell. Very little can be done to save your soul unless you sit around in your house all day and night and pray and repent for sins that you probably haven't even committed. If you can do that then maybe just maybe you can go to Heaven!
I had a period in my life questioning the very existence of God. If God really existed then why is there so many things wrong in this world? Why do people suffer? Why are people killed on a daily basis? Why is there so much war? Why is there so much hate? I can honestly say that I put a lot of blame of what was going on in my life on God. God allowed this to happen to me, F you God!
The concept of God was/is doomed to fail anyway. Put all your love and trust in God and your life will be great. Except life is not always great. Life has constant struggle. It makes the idea that some invisible force in the sky seem like a total sham. People then stop believing in God, following religion, etc. Why believe in this crap anyway if prayers aren't answered, people are dying, people are sick, etc? Its all bullshit, right? In a way yes.
It wasn't until I started meditating and reading books, which I will share some of the books I've read with you at the end, that I started to get some answers to some of my long time questions. For those reading this is where I may lose you or your opinions/ideals might not match mine but I'm going to share them anyway.
What we've been told over the years is a lie. Religion is based upon control and fear. You get this really long book together of stories and repeat over and over again that God is vengeful and if you don't follow his word you will perish and your soul is damned. Follow my word or you are going to burn in a lake of fire for all of eternity. It is bullshit. Throughout the bible there are stories that promote rape, murder, incest, etc. They also go on in passages that homosexuality is not acceptable. Do people not see the problem here? God gives Moses the ten commandments, one of which is thou shall not kill and then shortly after that it is decided to kill 3000 people. So what it is only alright for certain people to kill? Do as I say not as I do?
Lets even take a look at the Vatican for a moment. We should all donate money for churches and whatnot while our very own pope sits on thrones of gold? I forgot the exact amount of money that the Vatican has but I assure you if it was used PROPERLY it would solve a lot of issues in the world such as homelessness and hunger. Why is it that us common people who lack very little money are the ones who have to keep donating when they are already sitting on more money than we will ever see in our life? Is it because they have so much money wrapped up in their sex scandals or payoffs to elite figures behind the scenes? Did you know that there is Satanic imagery and whatnot right in the Vatican itself? Look it up on google. You'll be surprised at what you see. Even places inside the Vatican are outlined like a snake. Doesn't the snake ring a bell to you? Adam and Eve were tempted in the first book of the bible by what? A serpent. Yet when looking at images of the Vatican you can see what looks like a serpent.
I know it seems like I am just bashing religion here, I'm not. I want people to open their eyes and their minds and start asking more questions. Don't follow blindly here. Figure out things for yourself. I'm not even trying to say that following what is said in the bible is entirely bad. There are many good stories within the bible that promote love, faith, hope, etc. Follow those stories.
I spoke briefly about fear and control. This is a system in place for many years that is not just with religion. You get this with media, government, schooling, etc. I could go on for quite awhile with examples of each but I wanted to focus mainly on religion. As I said it is all doom and gloom in regards to religion. You don't do it this way you'll go to Hell. If you basically follow a life of no adventure and doing nothing wrong then just maybe you'll make it to Heaven. Don't forget to repent though. You'll never make it to Heaven unless you are sorry for everything you've done or everything you could've done. Basically this is how you are controlled and you don't even know it. You get fearful that you might fall off the wagon so you don't experience everything that you were meant to experience in life. When you don't do certain things or fear that the things you are going to do will earn you a one way ticket to eternal damnation you are in fact controlled. Most people don't even realize or recognize that they are being controlled. Now for the biggest lie of them all. Heaven and Hell doesn't really exist in the way we've been told.
I'm a big believer in reincarnation. I think my mom started it out for me. She was a believer in it too. In fact I'm pretty sure she went for a past life regression thing before. My parents were soulmates. In one lifetime they lived in Africa and I guess lived among the animals. In another life she fell off a bridge. These two things explained why she loved animals so much and why she was fearful of bridges. As I've meditated I've realized that I've had many past lifes. I don't know all the details of them but I know I spent some time in Germany during WW II. I'm pretty sure I was an Indian at one point and I've seen Devil's Tower before. It explains why my longtime longing to go see it. I lived in Asia at some point with my soon to be wife Heather. I've also seen the pyramids in Egypt and the Mayan civilization. Point being I've been around for a long time.
I was always taught that when we die we either go to Heaven or Hell. I always assumed if we reincarnated we did so because we didn't get something right in a past life and had to correct it with another life. I was really off base with this as I've come to find out. Going to Hell reminds me of a scary bedtime story one might tell their kids. I think at one point in order to get me to go to sleep at night my parents would tell me that the Devil would come and take me away. What kid wouldn't be terrified after hearing that? It worked, it got me to go to sleep.
So why is it that we reincarnate? Well we aren't what we think we are. We are all energy. Of course this is something we were never taught in school and you won't really find this in most religions. This energy never dies, it can only change form. This is why when we die we reincarnate. Physical bodies come and go but the energy lives on. Interesting to note that while I may be a man in this lifetime I was likely to have been a female in a past life. I'm white in this life, I could have been Asian at some point. This works with animals too. I was always taught that animals didn't have souls and when they die they are dead permanently. This is not true. Many souls incarnate to animals so they get to experience what life is like as an animal. Ever consider that your current pet could be a parent or other sibling that has passed on? It is entirely possible. The point is we are all energy and we never really die.
Why don't we remember our past lives? We chose this before we do our next incarnation. We are supposed to remember who we are on our own. One of the main ways to do so is by meditation. Sadly meditation is not something that is promoted to us. People are way too busy with their everyday life, their video games, their cellphones, what our politicians and such are doing, etc to take a few days out of their lives to try to remember who we really are. All of those things I listed are a distraction. Constant distractions to keep people in line and under control. I'm glad that for the most part I've learned to let go of some of these distractions.
I could go on about meditating, positive and negative vibrations and frequencies, chakras, etc but I won't get into that.
Where does God and Jesus fit into all of this? There are some truths to these stories but I don't have all the answers myself. One thing I know about the bible is that the King James version was written in honor of a rapist and a murderer. Google it if you don't believe me. Does this mean that the bible is incorrect? No not saying that. What I am saying is stories in the bible can be twisted and turned into making it say what they want you to think and know not what the actual truths are. Like the story of Jesus. He did exist but his name is not the name that we've come to know. The purpose of his death and his resurrection was to tell people that death is not the end for us. There is a life after death. There is also a creator or what some people call source. We would know this source as God. The creator wanted to experience life on other planets so he made us directly from his energy. The energy on planet Earth is what we call humans. Remember in the beginning God created all of man in his image. We are already of God cause God is already in us all. People for years try to find God or claim that they can't find him/her. You won't find him cause he is already inside of each and every one of you. It is our purpose to remember this.
Again if I am incorrect about any of this I am sorry. I'm still researching and finding out things on a daily basis. I felt it necessary to get what I think and feel out to everyone.
Back to Heaven and Hell again. Ok so we are taught when we die we either go to a place of light and happiness or a place of torment and fire. This doesn't mesh with reincarnation. When you pass on you go a place of rest where you meet up with loved ones and friends. You go over your previous incarnation and basically relearn about your own history. You then decide what you want to do next. Yes you plan out your next incarnation. Lets say you were male and were a cheater/pig/etc then maybe in your next life you'll be a female who ends up with a guy who treats her like crap so you can experience it first hand what it is like and possibly learn a lesson on how it makes people feel. As far as the Heaven and Hell thing goes. It is pretty much what your belief system is. If you feel as if you've done a lot wrong in your life and you are going to end up in Hell then most likely when you pass on you will experience a situation where you are in Hell. This does not really exist though. You are actually making it your reality based upon your own fears when you die. When people die and they think that they are going to Heaven it will be like walking into a light and you'll be reunited with loved ones and friends. I guess the way I described the afterlife earlier in this paragraph is a good description of what Heaven would be like? Anyway so based upon your own thoughts and fears you will either experience Heaven or Hell. What about ghosts though? A lot of time I believe people who have passed on get confused as where they are or maybe it is not what they were expecting, remember we've all been misled, so they decide not to go towards the light. They refuse to die so they are in a way trapped here just without the physical body. Now loved ones are a different story. Loved ones occasionally come back to us to visit and make sure that we are doing alright. They come and go as they please.
One of the last things I want to talk about is a thing called freewill. Over the years people have said such things like if God really existed then things on Earth wouldn't be so bad. He wouldn't put up with the shit that goes on. He does nothing to help us. Remember the movie Bruce Almighty? Remember what God tells Bruce in that movie? He tells Bruce that he could do whatever he wants as long as it doesn't mess with people's freewill. Now why does God allow all these things to happen on Earth? I just answered that question. We are all given freewill. We have the right to do things we want, say things we want, etc. This is why he doesn't and won't interfere. The story of Adam & Eve. Ultimately yeah they did eat from the apple and they were influenced by the devil. It was their choice though. They had freewill. I know what people are thinking. Why would anyone actually chose to have to work 40 hour work weeks? Pay taxes? Go to school? Pay bills? Etc? You still have a choice but again because of your fears of what might happen to you influences your decisions. If you don't pay taxes the IRS comes after you. If you don't pay bills your electric will get shut off and your car will be taken away. You don't go to school you won't get a good enough education to get a job. Your fears are being played on to force you into a decision. You still have your freewill though. I hope I've answered the question as to why God won't intervene cause in reality the choice has always been up to you anyway.
In closing. This is my take on religion. We are already connected to God/source/etc and he/she is already connected to us. We don't have to look very far to find him/her. This is something that was never taught to us, we have to find the answers within ourselves. Reincarnation was never taught to us because it totally destroys the whole idea of Heaven and Hell. I hope that I've at least maybe opened up some eyes and people will research some of this further. I could possibly be laughed at, mocked, ridiculed, etc. That is ok too. Most creative minds deal with it on a daily basis. Why should I be any different?
Some books that I've read recently:
"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle
"Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, & Wisdom" by Rick Hanson
"Why We Are Born: Remembering our purpose through the Akashic Records" by Akemi G