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Gourmet Spirituality

Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors

Gourmet Spirituality

What’s in your belief system buffet?
Dr. Steven D. Farmer
Dr. Steven D. Farmer More by this author
Mar 14, 2010 at 10:00 AM

At this time in human history, we’re seeing an evolution in consciousness—particularly in our spiritual and religious philosophies and practices. More people have developed an individualized and experiential approach to the questions that traditional religions have attempted to answer.

For the last few decades, we’ve been exposed to a wide variety of approaches and practices from which we can pick and choose. I like to call this “gourmet spirituality,” where we can select from a buffet of belief systems and integrate those that feel the most compatible.

Gourmet spirituality doesn’t necessarily have the depth of history and tradition that more established religions do, but what it may lack in these attributes, it makes up for in the unique tapestry of practices and beliefs that come from the resulting synthesis.

Another shift that’s taking place is how we moved from viewing God (or Source) as something external to something that we can connect to directly through experience. Of course this can be threatening to organized religions that purport to have the inside track to God. The hierarchical structure inherent in these institutions implies that it’s necessary for the majority of people to have an intermediary, such as a minister or priest, who will communicate God’s will to an individual.

Further, many of these belief systems deny that the Life Force is present in anything except for human beings and teach that the purpose of life is to follow the code of ethics and behavior prescribed by the established doctrine in order to reap rewards after death.

Rule by fear can be found in many of these systems, and perhaps at one time it was useful in controlling an unruly populace and providing guidelines for living among increasingly large numbers of people. Yet these days, with the expansiveness in human consciousness, many are seeking a more positive form of spirituality—one that provides some guidance and structure, but not rigid dogma. Along with the ethics offered by these religious and spiritual practices, direct experience of the Divine is encouraged.

Whether you partake in any of these established institutions or have come to a synthesis of spiritual beliefs and practices, I encourage you to trust in your own spiritual authority. This does not mean excluding or not participating in a particular religious practice or denomination—that is certainly a choice—but expanding your way of thinking so that it’s much more inclusive of other types of worship. A sense of belonging and community can be a valuable asset in an established religion as well as a connection to sacred rituals that have been practiced for years (and sometimes centuries), thus offering you a sense of constancy in this rapidly changing world.

Amid the dramatic changes that are taking place on our planet and inside each of us, many are seeking a more personal, intimate, and direct relationship with the Creator, one that is embodied and heartfelt. With Earth Magic we’re also seeking that similar intimacy with not only the Creator, but with all aspects of Creation. With that intimacy comes the recognition that Creator and Creation are singular—that Source or God is all; the dark and the light, male and female, creation and destruction, death and resurrection. In that sense, there is nothing that exists or occurs that is not Source.

About Author
Dr. Steven D. Farmer
Dr. Steven D. Farmer, Ph.D., is a shamanic practitioner, Soul Healer, ordained minister, and licensed psychotherapist. He’s the author of the best-selling Animal Spirit Guides, the Power Animal Oracle Cards, Power Animals, Sacred Ceremony, and Continue reading