For the past several months, the concept of Namaste has been startling my soul like a lightning bolt out of the blue.
Namaste simply means respect. It is a core universal power that I desperately want and need more in my life. It is what I want to be remembered by. I have so far to go in learning how to give it, receive it, live it.
Today, I had a "ah-ha" moment. I saw a bumper sticker on a car - "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." Like seeing through hydrogen, I understood why I turned away from the Christian religion. I realized that modern, evangelical organized Christian religion does not teach respect. It teaches arrogance, exclusivity and elitism. In the 20th century, that brand of Christianity promoted intolerance of women, intolerance of blacks, intolerance of gays, and intolerance of anything not white and American. As a result, the world turned against our country and millions in this country turned their backs against the religion.
A simple example: the whole position of the conservative Christian religion against gay marriage. Why would anyone who lives in respect CARE about the sexual activity of another person? Only an agressive fundamentalism that does not respect but only judges who is right and who is wrong through the filters of their religious tenants could be against a committed relationship of any kind.
Respect means recognizing the divine imprint and image on every soul. Christians, for the most part, recognize something different - the sinfulness of every soul. I used to buy into that - and saw myself and everyone else as fundamentally wrong. As a result of Namaste, I have come to see that every person is fundamentally right in one way - we each desire to be loved, and to give love. And THAT is the divine imprint on every soul - and that is the heart of Namaste.
But religion comes along and says "NO - you can't love THAT way...", or "you can't do this" or "if you believe this way or that way you are going to earn the wrath of God and go to hell."
I reject that. I would much rather live my life saying - "I see the imprint of God on you, and I see the reflection of God's glory in your eye, hear it in your voice...and I RESPECT YOU."
Here is a startlement...watch what happens when you RESPECT.