Religious rituals

QUESTION: Masters, some people have left behind the dogmatic teaching of their religion as they embrace freedom to think for themselves, as you encourage us to do. The rituals and music of church, synagogue, and mosque are hard to give up, however, especially those celebrating birth, coming of age, marriage, and transition. Is it good for spiritualists to revise or re-invent such rituals, or do they represent some kind of threat to our freedom of thought?

ANSWER: In each case, you must ask what the ritual means to you. If you are partaking in the process out of allegiance to the rite, i.e., the sect that tells you to perform it, you are giving up your freedom of choice and allowing yourself to be controlled by another. If you perform the ceremony to proclaim to the world your beliefs in the stated purpose of such ritual, it is by choice and an exercise of that choice.

An example is the ritual slaves used to proclaim to others that they were united and wished to set up housekeeping with another: they joined hands and jumped over a broomstick. This was invented out of necessity since their religious leaders were not present and they wanted a sign to give to the world of the sincerity of their pledge.

To invent a ritual and instruct others that it is the only way to do something correctly is a judgment and a demand put forth by the human ego. This would be a control platform used to ensnare doubting souls. You cannot and should not even try to make decisions for another person.

These rituals of old you find hard to give up because most remind you of emotionally happy events wherein lie lots of promises for the future. The music calms and soothes you, incense takes you to the comfort of a home fire, and the camaraderie makes you feel accepted. If these symbols of physical comforts are what you seek, create for yourself a place where your senses obtain the same treatment, but don’t make that a religious experience.

Going into your heart space and basking in the unconditional love from Home that resides there will more than satisfy any soul who is open to the experience of self. If you only feel safe in a herd, make that the basis of your choice. After all, in the journey of the soul through physical life, nothing is right or wrong.