Christianity has a lot to answer for. Not all of the clergy of course, or Jesus Christ himself, but the political institution of Christianity which has kept our souls in prison for close to two thousand years.
As retired bishop Shelby Spong recently admitted on camera, the Church invented hell ‘as a control tactic’. It has been an extremely effective strategy.
Then there is the suffering of all the priests who have been – and still are – forced to be celibate all their lives, so that the Mother Church inherits their worldly goods. Followed by the even greater suffering of thousands upon thousands of children and young adults who have been and still are secretly raped and violated by the apparently ‘celibate’ priests.
There is the fact that the Christian religion has been not so much a conduit between ordinary people and the divine as a block to prevent people from having their own direct connection with Source energy.
Then there’s the guilt – Jesus died to save you. The shame – we’re all miserable sinners. And my own personal bugbear of the moment: that suffering is noble.
What is embedded in our consciousness, whether we believe it or not, is that we’re supposed to suffer, suffering is good, and the more we suffer the better people we are and the more chance we have of going to ‘heaven’.
Christianity has turned a whole civilisation into martyrs.
And while we may not buy into any of these ideas on a conscious level, the beliefs are still alive and kicking within our unconscious minds, which are many times more powerful than our conscious minds, and so they always win hands down. We may choose something wonderful for ourselves, but if our unconscious tells us that we have to suffer, then we’ll sabotage any wonderful plan and end up having a difficult time.
Walking around town today, I see this suffering everywhere. I see it in the doctor’s surgery. I see it in the supermarket. And I see it in myself. I have spent most of my life suffering partly because I believed deep down that this is what God wants. If you have Christian ancestors, and most of us in Britain do, this martyrish conditioning will be hardwired into your psyche.
What I am interested in how we clear these toxic beliefs out of psyches – how we dissolve the invisible chains that even now still sabotage us, preventing us from being happy, feeling free, having fun and creating wonderful lives.
Techniques such as EFT – Emotional Freedom Technique – can dissolve both the beliefs and the emotions that keep them locked in place, for example: fear of being sent to hell, fear that God doesn’t love me, anger with God for abandoning me, shame about being a miserable sinner, fear of being punished for connecting directly with God (especially true for women who in medieval times were deemed not to have souls), and then beliefs such as I don’t need God, suffering is noble and I’m supposed to be a martyr.
It’s not surprising that, given such a destructive philosophy, the majority of people in the UK now no longer identify as Christians. Who would consciously choose this life-sapping belief system?
But the problem isn’t only that we have been tied up in knots of shame and suffering for millennia, the other tragedy of this situation is that we have also missed out – collectively – on the incredible love, support and guidance that comes from having a deep personal connection with Source energy. We are primarily energetic beings and connecting energetically with the world around us and with the divine energy of the Universe is what sustains us, whether we believe in it or not.
Divine Love is pouring down on us all the time from the Universe, and pulsing up all the time from the Earth. We have been denied our spiritual birthright – which is to feel cradled by Divine Love. Indigenous cultures in some parts of the world still have access to this Divine Love, and as a result their societies are much saner than ours.
By dissolving the stuck feelings and limiting beliefs hardwired into our psyches by almost two millennia of Christianity, it is possible not only to feel much more internal freedom, but also to reconnect with Source energy – to uncover our innate direct connection with the divine. Having this sacred connection is the single thing – and perhaps the only thing – which enables us to feel truly safe and free. It is also what guides us towards fulfilling our life purpose.
I occasionally run workshops focused on dissolving Christian conditioning. What one participant wrote afterwards was: ‘I experienced a profound shift in my understanding of the influences that have shaped my earliest perceptions of ‘GOD’ and ‘SPIRIT’. It is hard to convey in just a few words how much I appreciate that and the incredible release, and relief.’
My own experience of doing this work was of that my internal image of God as a wrathful punishing deity literally collapsed, and what emerged underneath this false god was a simple luminous awareness of the sacredness of all of life – a divine intelligence that infuses all of life.
What has especially fired me up recently was reading something by Christiane Northrup (interesting name!): ‘Many people have an upper limit to their joy, success and happiness. This upper limit of what is possible is generally set in place by age 11 or so. We learn in childhood what we can expect in love, success and freedom. And when we surpass that ‘upper limit’ with more success and love than we thought possible or thought we deserved, we tend to get sick, pick a fight or have an accident in order to bring ourselves back below that subconscious limit.’
Now some of this upper limit is to do with what we experienced in our families as children. However, much of this conditioning is collective – it colours all Christian culture.
We are collectively prevented from increasing our limit of happiness because to do so would go against the collective belief system of the entire Christian world. We are supposed to suffer, suffering is noble, if we suffer we’ll go to heaven, the more I suffer the better person I am…
Unpacking and clearing this stuff in myself I found that deep down I believed not only that I’m supposed to suffer and that suffering is good, but also that ‘I have to suffer because it’s all I have ever known – and who would I be without my suffering?’ Even though, on a conscious level, I am committed to being happy and joyful, deep down I am terrified to give up my addiction to suffering because my whole identity would be threatened. I would no longer know who I am.
Dissolving this conditioning is very straightforward using EFT… and with each layer that you dissolve more happiness is possible. Things just start to go well. You feel lighter and more joyful. Life becomes increasingly effortless. You feel more positive. You suddenly realize that actually… you can do what you want to do, and all is well.
When we let go of our – generally invisible – attachment to suffering, and consciously choose happiness and joy, our lives magically transform. There is no need for suffering. And it certainly isn’t what God wants.
Next course dates:
Taster Session: Oct 23
Weekend workshop: Nov 12-13
See – Manifesting Joy Page