Sunday, October 6, 2013

Empathy Not Religion!

"You don't need religion to have morals. If you can't determine right from wrong, then you lack empathy, not religion." This quote came from a social media post from one of my friends who struggled for years to come to grips with the difference between a good, spiritual human being, and the person within who had been scarred by old time rigid religion. Old religions pull for allegiance to outer doctrines and rigid dogmas. Inner spirituality leaves one free to be a naturally empathic and spiritual being.

Parents tell me quite a bit that they're thinking of getting into religion so as to pass on morals and values to their children. I have to echo the words of this anonymous writer that what needs to be passed on is human empathy, modeled by the parents, not religion. We can't look to an outer source for something that needs to come from inside the human heart and from inside the family.

Depth psychology is about turning within and cultivating sensitivity without in the realm of relationships. William James, the father of American depth psychology, wrote of God as intimate soul. Spirituality is instinctual, God as intimate soul. God seeping into the exquisite realm of love and loving. Empathy, not religion, cultivated in the home and in one's life brings forth the fruit of intimacy with soul and those that we cherish and love.

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