Tuesday, May 21, 2013

How To Start Your Own Religion

If you’re one of the growing number of young adults who identify as “other” when asked about religious affiliation, this is for you. Unlike those who claim to be atheists, you are honest enough with yourselves to realize that as a human being you are hardwired to be religious, but at the same time you don’t like the standard choices on the menu.

The best thing about being a young adult right now is that you, more than any previous generation, have the freedom and the resources to create your own religion. So, let’s get started.

1. Create your own scripture. Every religion needs its holy book, It’s easy to create one. You already have one, actually, but just haven’t organized it or acknowledged it. Make a list of all the quotes, passages, entire books, songs, poems, whatever, that have the weight of ultimate truth for you. Once you have finished you will have your own personal Bible. One of my favorite “verses” in my personal Bible is, “It is better to be hated for who you are than loved for what you are not.” –Andre Gide  The realization of the meaning of that statement set me free, many years ago.

2. Create or affirm your own rituals. A set of sacred rituals is the structure of religion. You can create your own rituals, but you can also look at your life and observe what rituals you already follow without realizing it, that have an empowering, transformative effect. When I left Christianity, I started the ritual of going to the art museum on Easter Sunday. It was my way of celebrating my own return from the dead, in a place that was sacred to me.

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