• Amaya

Soul Orientation - Self v. Others: Why Religion Might Not Work For You

I hear a lot from people who feel that their religion may not be the right place for them, and they typically feel really badly about it. They enjoy the community aspect of their faith, but the teachings don't resonate with them in the way they feel like they should. What I've found is that the reason religion isn't right for some people has to do with their level of soul development.

As the soul goes on its journey, it starts out (much like a child) being perfectly self-centered. As learning and growth occur, the soul goes from being overly self-centered to being overly other-centered and back again, with the object of reaching a point of perfect equilibrium between the self and others, which is necessary to complete the soul's journey.

Most of the world's major religions are, to my knowledge, structured to support the soul's swing from being self-centered to being other-centered, and indeed, most of the beings on Earth are in this stage of development, so this makes sense. However, for the relatively smaller number of souls who are already overly other-centered and are struggling to become more self-centered, following a religious practice can feel just plain wrong.

So, where are you in your stage of development on the self-centered vs. other-centered continuum? While I don't think it tracks exactly with the levels of development described in this blog post, a good rule of thumb might be that the "Love" level is the apex of the swing toward being other-centered, and the swing back toward self-centeredness (toward a balance of being self-centered and other-centered, to be more precise) begins at "Joy".

But really, if you're already overly other-centered, you probably know it. Simply recognizing that religion is teaching you things that don't apply to your specific situation (but may well apply to the other members of your family and friendship circles) can help you to retain the community aspect of your faith without making you feel crazy.

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