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Patty Kogutek Headshot

What We Don't Get

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At the "I Can Do It" conference in Washington, D.C., John Holland talked about synchronicity. I understood the concept that there are no coincidences in life, that everything works together for a reason, but never really experienced it for myself. The "synchronicity" of the place of religion in my life hit me like a ton of bricks when words from Neale Donald Walsch, the Dalai Lama and "Margaret" (Gerry Gavin's guardian angel) wove a fabric of understanding for me.

When I penned my book, "A Change of Habit; A Spiritual Journey from Sister Mary Kateri to Sister Mary Vodka," I shared the "7 secrets to guilt free living" that I collected on my way. The first secret is "Don't let religion get in the way of your relationship with God." I FINALLY (after my 40 years of searching) let go of the bondage of guilt and realized that my practice of religious rites, rituals and following the rules, instead of promoting my relationship with my Creator, was actually taking the place of a more meaningful spirituality. Something was missing.

Also at the "I Can Do It" conference, Neale Donald Wasch led an engaging session entitled "Seven Questions that Could Change the World." Neale posed the question, "Is it possible that there is something that we don't understand about God and life that would change our thinking? His explanation further adds that there is something, some data, missing in our understanding. We are working with incomplete information when dealing with religion. Something is missing.

To add further light on my experience of synchronicity, the Dalai Lama wrote in The Huffington Post on Sept. 10, "Religion is no longer adequate." He goes on to say that the "Time has come to find a way of the thinking about spirituality and ethics beyond religion altogether." The religions of the world with their emphasis on love and compassion seem to have failed us as the world is blowing up, literally. Something is missing.

Finally, in his book, "Messages From Margaret," Gerry Gavin shares information that he channeled through his guardian angel, Margaret, shedding more light on my quest for the place of religion. In the book, the angel reveals the missing piece.

Margaret reveals that in all our searching we have been following the "myth of separation." We have been raised into thinking that each and every one of us must be "Our Own Person," "the Rugged Individual" or that it is "All About Me." Self-esteem and self-awareness became watchwords. But Margaret turns our thinking upside down saying that thinking of the individual self is merely a myth. We are working from a flawed premise. What is missing is our understanding of the myth.

Margaret explains that mankind originated from a single energy. This single energy splintered into creation. This single energy is found in our very core. If that is so, then all of creation is interconnected. We are not only brothers and sisters together on this planet sharing time and space together, but we are indeed brothers and sisters at a DNA level. We are indeed ONE. That concept really moves the paradigm.

Is this what religions are missing -- this awareness of our oneness? The concept that we are really One should influence how we think and act. Living as we really ARE One changes the worldview, from exclusive to inclusive, from competing to cooperating, from trying to dominate to trying to serve, and from warring to sharing. If this is indeed what we are missing, what do have to do to shift our thinking?