The Mind, Religion and Belief

The Mind, Religion and Belief

Categories: Blog,Reed Summers,The Journal


Read Reed Summers thoughts on Marshall’s Teaching, Aug 9, 2017.

The Messenger Marshall Vian Summers has released a teaching on The Mind, Religion and ‘The Fortress of Belief’.

Immediately, I see what a powerful teaching this is for each and every one of us, no matter what our faith, or even if we have no faith. The Messenger is calling us to cultivate the “inner sanctum” of our experience and to safeguard our mind from creating walls and barriers and ultimately a “fortress of belief” against others whose beliefs are different from our own.

Unfortunately, this is how religion, which is meant to unite people beyond their differences, has become a force for differentiation, separation and ultimately conflict in the world.

To be a fortress of belief means that you believe you have enemies because at the level of belief, there will always be other people and groups and even nations of people who seem to stand in marked contrast, opposed to your beliefs. And from this position, you become condemning and judgmental; you make people enemies who you do not even know. You make vast assumptions about other people’s faith traditions, not really understanding them or how they too are connected to God’s greater Plan for the world.” – Marshall Vian Summers

It is so important to stay close to the movement of life itself and not allow the forces of Separation, which are strong in this world, to quietly claim us, shunting us into a closed mind, a closed group, a closed position in life.

But how? Our minds are shaped and conditioned by experience, creating ever stronger pathways of thought and belief for better or worse. How can the mind engage with the world, having new thoughts and creating new beliefs without becoming anchored and enclosed by those thoughts and beliefs? How do we prevent a fortress of opinion and attitude from hardening around us, preventing us from having a truly original experience of life?

These are questions on my mind and this message from Marshall is addressing them very directly.

Your mind must have entrances and exits—entrances for new ideas to come in, new understanding to bloom, an expansion of your current views, a challenge to your current beliefs, growth, a deepening of your experience of the Divine Presence and Power. And your mind has to have exits where old things can leave you, where old ideas no longer needed can fall away or an earlier understanding can be eclipsed by a greater and new understanding.” – Marshall Vian Summers

Here Marshall is speaking of a mind able to engage dynamically with life—with open doors for new experiences, new thinking and ongoing re-thinking and also with open exits to cleanse out and release old, untrue and unhealthy thoughts, attitudes and perspectives.

This is how the power of Knowledge, the spiritual mind within us, can continue to move through our thinking mind as we go through the ongoing challenges of life, accumulating new thoughts and experiences along the way. Marshall said in this recent teaching,

God moves through people, places and things like the wind.”

But to create a healthy draft— a current of air—there must be both an open window for the air to move in as well as an open window for the air to move out.

The mind is shaped and conditioned by experience, by habit, by repetitive thought. Left undirected, the mind tends to harden, ruminate on the past, justify the past using the present and look upon reality through an increasingly fixed lens, whether it be a religious lens, a philosophical lens or simply a lens of unquestioned attitudes, assumptions and opinions about life.

Here religion can be a great gift or a great problem. Religion can justify a powerfully fixed lens, causing us to become rigid and righteous and automatic in our view of others and of life. Or it can inspire an opening and a renewal of our view of life, honoring our mind and its need for a lens through which to see but empowering us always to upgrade the prescription of that lens when necessary.

Religion can help us hold open a space in our experience for the mystery. Holding open the door to the mystery allows us to take an ever renewing position on life. With this renewal comes humility. None of us can fully understand the reality of God, the world, the universe but we can all have a direct and personal experience of these things. I feel it is this original experience that liberates us from the Fortress of Belief.

I have now traveled the world with the Messenger, sitting with him in mosques, churches and temples, looking up in awe at the infrastructure of religion—great houses of worship, great buildings of faith, great physical establishments in the name of God or a teacher, prophet or messenger of God.

In those places I have felt both a moving, spiritual presence and also a lockdown of rigid belief, and neither was associated in any way with the grandeur of the building or the religion being practiced. The smallest room of meditation or the greatest hall of prayer could feel either like a life-giving well in the desert where God is truly present or an institutional center of rules and requirements. It all depended on what people brought into that space and if the entrances and exits in the minds of those people present there were truly open to the movement of life.

15 Responses to "The Mind, Religion and Belief"

  1. mellany Posted on August 10, 2017 at 7:51 am

    True wisdom and compassion … a powerful teaching! Thank you, Reed. Gratitude to The Messenger. Nasi Novare Coram.

  2. Dan Garcia Posted on August 11, 2017 at 7:58 am

    The fortress of belief. What a poetic description for something most of us have observed when exposed to today’s religions or perhaps even experienced directly in ourselves.
    Perhaps when divine revelation is forgotten, clouded by time, purposefully obscured and misunderstood it dies and in its place the mind builds a fortress of belief.
    Thank you Marshall for receiving this message and The Society for making it available to us.Every revelation is dense with meaning and power and will inspire people for centuries.

  3. Jorge Posted on August 11, 2017 at 10:43 am

    Thank you very much, Reed.

  4. Maureen Murphy Posted on August 11, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    This is a very powerful teaching. I am grateful for the perspective. For my whole life I’ve been both attracted and repelled by many of the world’s religions but not able to explain to myself this disparity. I could see the beauty and feel the Presence, the Holiness but was at a loss to meld this with the deeply held precepts of the churches of the religions I explored that excluded and degraded those who didn’t believe as they did. I know many people in many religions, good people, and yet their belief or lack of belief in the presence of God set them apart from each other, prevented them truly connecting with one another. In tragic cases caused them to want to kill each other. How could that be? I could never resolve that dilemma in my mind.

    This teaching explains clearly what is at the heart of my dilemma. Belief. Yes, rules and requirements and conflicting beliefs. Beliefs that separate people. Beliefs that turn people against one another. Beliefs that raise one person above another. Beliefs that breed hate, mistrust, disdain. Beliefs in the same pot as beliefs that speak of love, kindness and compassion. Conflicting beliefs held by some very devote people who adopt them in the name of God for their own personal salvation at the expense of their brother’s in the name of righteousness.

    So what was attraction within all this chaos of belief? Somewhere deep inside me, I knew there something bigger, something pure, something that knows me, something I want to find with my whole heart and soul. This mystery calls to me and this Teaching on The Mind, Religion and Belief solves the riddle of my ambivalence. Beautifully, clearly and compassionately.

  5. Edgar Aquino Posted on August 11, 2017 at 5:55 pm

    Thank you, NNC .

  6. Betty Willems Posted on August 11, 2017 at 7:39 pm

    Thank you for Sharing Reed, this has expanded my understanding, with gratitude.

  7. Rudy Posted on August 12, 2017 at 2:18 am

    The Teaching on entrances and exists is something that I want to practice. For a healthy draft, there must be an open window for air to move in and an open window for air to move out. Thank you, Reed. This image helps to be able to see this teaching come to life for me.

  8. Andrew huntington Posted on August 12, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Go cat go !!!!!

  9. Ellen Urrutia Posted on August 12, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Thank you Reed for your insight to the Messenger’s beautiful teaching on The Mind, Religion and Belief. Your profound questions and discussion of them relating to the teaching left me very moved and reflective. Thank you so much. To you and the Messenger.

  10. Steve Smith Posted on August 15, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Reed, thank you for magnifying the Messenger’s teaching, shining the light where the present darkness of the world seems to so effectively veil God’s vision. Until now that is, for now “There is a New Message from God in the World. It has come from the Creator of all life.”

  11. Scot Kyle Posted on August 16, 2017 at 1:33 am

    Yes, thanks, Reed.
    Nice to have a wise and sensible reminder how our beliefs can calcify and even hold us prisoner. We become a “comfortable prisoner” happy with our self-imposed incarceration.
    The expansiveness of the New Message is an entirely fresh breeze, a reminder from The Creator of all Life to stay vital and open.
    Context and the mind we bring to religion/spirituality being the key to advancing our faith and perhaps even catching glimpses of the gateway to our Redemption.

  12. Shane Posted on August 16, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    I love this teaching. Such profound wisdom shared by the Messenger. Thank you for this insightful article Reed. As a student of The Greater Community Way of Knowledge, I am always amazed yet delighted in the synchronicity of the receiving and releasing of these wonderful teachings. I carry a feeling of immense gratitude to be be a part of the Greater Coordination and to be able to have the opportunity to share in the deeper understand and learning that this journey provides. thank you

  13. reed Posted on September 8, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Thank you all for your sharing your comments, experiences and reflections on the challenge of keeping our mind and awareness open to life and to relationship as we face life in a difficult and conflicted world. This is a universal challenge for all people and, according to the New Message, for all sentient life in the universe. It is the challenge of living in Separation, in a world of form where we have forgotten our natural state of connection and live as individuals, primarily concerned with survival and fulfillment. Individuals can form group of individuals, but the emphasis is still individuality, difference. Instead of thinking “what makes me unique” we think “what makes us unique.” And so political groups cement, religions calcify and opposition forms in both mind, and speech and action. This is “The Separation” that the New Message so eloquently speaks of. And yet the New Message is here to speak into this state of separation, calling each of us to recall and reclaim “Knowledge,” the mind of God which lives within us, beneath our separate personal mind.

  14. Shane Posted on August 10, 2018 at 10:26 am

    Thank you Reed, I really appreciate the clear and concise way in which you articulate yourself both written and verbal. I feel blessed to know you as a teacher and friend. Your demonstration is inspiring and your contribution to a world in need can not be overstated. Loving your work Reed, thank you. Nasi Novare Coram

  15. David Simon Posted on May 5, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    Love this. Thank you Reed. “God moves through people, places and things like the wind.” But to create a healthy draft— a current of air—there must be both an open window for the air to move in as well as an open window for the air to move out.

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