I do not follow any religion per-say but I do have have a core belief system and am very spiritual. This causes me to sometimes take in entrust in religions that closely correlate with what I hold to be true. Sometimes I think that I should be categorized, even though I believe that being too strict in one's believes can cause stagnation that may impede personal growth.
I have taken the Belief-O-Matic test and these where my results:
1. Neo-Pagan (100%) 2. New Age (100%) 3. Mahayana Buddhism (95%) 4. Unitarian Universalism (88%) 5. Theravada Buddhism (85%) 6. New Thought (80%) 7. Liberal Quakers (76%) 8. Scientology (75%) 9. Taoism (72%) 10. Hinduism (71%) 11. Secular Humanism (61%) 12. Sikhism (61%) 13. Jainism (59%) 14. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (57%) 15. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (56%) 16. Orthodox Quaker (52%) 17. Reform Judaism (47%) 18. Baha'i Faith (36%) 19. Nontheist (33%) 20. Orthodox Judaism (30%) 21. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (27%) 22. Jehovah's Witness (27%) 23. Seventh Day Adventist (25%) 24. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (23%) 25. Eastern Orthodox (18%) 26. Islam (18%) 27. Roman Catholic (18%)
I find it kind of funny that my previous religion, Jehovah's Witness, is near the bottom. I was raised on that belief. Aside from being polite and well mannered like everyone was in our Kingdom Hall and Bible Studies, I never really fit in, and I had a hell of a time once I started to come in to my own. Still, I hold nothing against the religion itself, and am thankful that I grew up in an environment that fostered educational growth.
Although it may seem silly to take an online test on such a thing seriously, my results are fundamentally on the mark, specifically when it comes to New Ageism. As I understand it, this site was designed to help people find a spiritual path. With my background, I myself can see the importance of this.
This site defines New Ageism as:
An umbrella term for a wide range of personal and individual beliefs and practices influenced primarily by Eastern religions, paganism, and spiritism.
• Belief in Deity God is the impersonal life force, consciousness, ultimate truth and reality, the incorporeal, formless cosmic order personified within all people and matter. God is all and all are God.
• Incarnations Most believe there are no particular incarnations to worship, as all in the universe are embodiments of God.
• Origin of Universe and Life The universe, life, and matter were not created by God but "are" God. The universe and life emerged out of the creative power of the eternal universal life force.
• After Death Some believe in continual rebirth--no death--as life is spirit. Some believe that our souls rest for a time before deciding on a new body (or bodies). Heaven and hell are states of consciousness, self-imposed, due to ignorance of God as all.
• Why Evil? No original sin, no Satan, and no evil. Most believe people make "mistakes" when they are ignorant of the power of goodness, which is God, within themselves and others. Some believe evil is perpetuated through accumulation of past-life wrongs and spiritual ignorance.
• Salvation Salvation lies in the realization of oneness with the impersonal life force. Awareness can be heightened through methods that induce altered states of consciousness, e.g., hypnosis, meditation, music, drugs. Spiritual "tools" include crystals, tarot cards, amulets, channeling, fortunetellers and psychics. Some believe the salvation of humanity will occur when a critical mass is reached, when people converge in experiencing their oneness with God and with each other. This will bring a New World Order or new Planetary Order, resulting in oneness of civilization and one-world government, peace, and harmony.
• Undeserved Suffering Suffering is the result of greed, hatred, and spiritual ignorance in a person's, or humanity's, past lifetimes, which returns as suffering (karma). Suffering is sometimes viewed as occurring for a specific purpose, to further spiritual growth and learn a life lesson. Suffering is also seen as illusory, in that it results from attachment to bodily pleasure and pain, and only the universal life force within, God, truly exists.
• Contemporary Issues Abortion is not condemned, as there is no official doctrine. Generally, adherents are supportive of a woman's right to choose abortion.
Aside from the abortion thing, this is pretty dead on for me. Ever since I stopped going to the Kingdom Hall and Bible Study, I've considered myself to be agnostic when it comes to divinity. Over the past couple of years, though, I've come to realize that I have a strong notion that everything in the universe is God. I came to think of it as us being cells and genes inside God's body, in a way.
So I guess all this means that I'm New Age Spiritualist? Does this sound about right to anyone, or is there anything else I should take a look at before calling myself one? I don't want it to seem like I'm belief hopping as I hate when religious and spiritual beliefs become a fad.
Honestly speaking, when will it ever end? Of course this is the right path for you, as you were led by God to take the Path of Light. Ironically, the New Age cannot be this way for a while since it was only a neologism of the Parliament of World Religions used to describe the religion of Reul, one that was founded 10,000 B.C. by the Goddess Danu, worshipped by both Neopagans and Reulseanachs. In short, the New Age is an old European religion.
Tell you what: Instead of saying "Is this the right path for me?" try affirming, "Is this the path I wish to follow?" That puts more power into your own hands as well as that of God. Most notably of your former adherence, it is strange to see a New Ager (or Reulseanach) from a denomination such as the Watchtower Society. Tell this to your parents. As for me, I will now declare yourself as an honorary Reulseanach. Just print and sign below:
I, _____________________, hereby grant my soul to the Goddess Danu, the absolute manifestation of God and previous angel thereof, as to the marks of faith.
Sign here: __________________________
May you be blessed by Danu. May God bless you.
Mew Xacata (Raven)
P.S. No person is too strict. I know that Reulseanachs are more strict than Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists combined, but no one is too strict. I am a very strict person in terms of my religious beliefs since I, too, am a New Ager (or Reulseanach).
To be honest with you, I have been successful at merging the new age movement with Unitarian Universalism, so I have to remind you that you are considered a Unitarian [Universalist]. May God be with you in the name of Danu.
To be honest, I didn't know who Danu was until you mentioned it and I looked it up. I do not worship any diety. I simply acknowledge that something is working behind the scenes and that God is the universe and everything in it. I also believe in reincarnation and practic holistic healing through crystals and energy manipulation. That's about the extent of it for me. So sorry if I'm uneducated on the origins of New Age. Actually, I do think that I am a Unitarian Universalist. In my experience I've only found that organized religion may prohibit spiritual growth.
I can relate to your experience. I was also raised as a Jehovah's witness, and I too left this faith. I'm certainly not going tell you what choices to make, but I'll share a few things that had helped me.
For me I find staying away from all types of labels (e.g. Christian, new age, spiritualist, etc.) very beneficial. By doing this, this allows me to continually learn, grow, and evolve without any beliefs to restrict/impede my personal truth and development.
I too believe in reincarnation. I remember when I was 16, as I was waking up, I heard clearly "do good, and you won't have to transmigrate." I didn't even know what this word meant, so I immediately grabbed my dictionary after hearing this, and it means "to reincarnate." It's funny, I heard this message while I was still a Jehovah's Witness, and as you know they don't believe in this doctrine. Also before I was born, my brother had passed away. In our culture, the people would mark the bodies of dead loved ones. We do this, to help identify the person's next incarnation (this was an indigenous practice, that I didn't learn about until leaving the JW's). Sure enough, I had a birthmark on the same location that my brother's body was marked.
I have some other experiences, that helped to affirm (for me personally anyways), that the Jehovah's witnesses' belief in the coming "Paradise" is actually true (except something even far better will occur). Also too that this God/Goddess/Creator/etc. truly wants a deep loving relationship with us. From what I learned and my experiences, I found this world and universe is far more wonderful and mysterious than the Witnesses have taught us (although overall the JW's are really good people and mean well).