Leadership and religion – Where do you stand?

Posted on February 21, 2017
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The turmoil surrounding the Trump Administration’s travel ban on seven, mostly Muslim countries, is highlighting the question – where do you stand on leadership and religion. This important question now needs to be answered.  Although the explanation is that the ban is on terrorists entering the USA from these countries – the public view is, rightly or not, a discrimination against Muslims.

The emerging of authentic leaders

As an emerging authentic leader – where do you stand where leadership and religion are concerned? The time has come to put leadership and religion a bit more under the microscope…

As an upcoming authentic leader with a New Leadership DNA – it will be expected from you to identify your value system and out-picture authentic universal values of the heart and soul. Although there is much to be said about this topic – here is just a little bit of food for thought…

What is religion?

Religion can be seen as a system of belief and practice where a group of people interpret what they feel is supernatural and holy. Religion represents a way to understand reality. As social context changes, and with it the traditions, habits and norms, a crisis develops for each person individually, as well as for communities as a whole. People require a value system that can still give meaning and sense to life, irrespective of change.[i]

Various religious practices take on different forms and a person then selects a religious practice that gives sense and meaning to life. Religion is therefore a personal choice. Religious practices and belief systems are the way people search for security and meaning. As people change, their choice and outlook on religious practices can change as well.

 Spirituality and religion

In her book, Anatomy of the Spirit, Caroline Myss describes the correlation between different religions, sacraments, and the universal life force, Source or Spirit of God. Seven energy levels representing seven sacred truths lie at the base of major religions and are interpreted in different ways, from the Ancient Greek, Hindu, Chinese and other ancient teachings to the most current teachings found in Jewish, African, Moslem and Christian religions.

The common denominators are – love and compassion…

This all forms the basis our primary religious belief systems.

  Belief systems

Belief means placing trust in the unseen. This is the process of linking and turning the unseen into the seen. ‘So, in heaven, so on earth’. As stated earlier, beta waves are part of the conscious level. The spiritual level manifests on the subconscious level or alpha and theta levels. We try to bring the unseen or inner alpha and theta levels to the visible, seen or beta level.

When people believe that the world we live in is hostile, with crime, illness, poverty and corruption, this is what they get. Outside information directs the choices. As the world changes these belief systems and choices change and fluctuate accordingly. This could bring about a lot of insecurity and stress. No wonder there is a lot of anxiety, psychosomatic illness, poverty and depression. Although we take cognisance of the situation (physicality), the physical cannot rule our lives. We have been placed on earth to manage our physical world.

The higher realms of spirituality

Our world reflects what we see and believe. Although this physical world might feel like the real world, there is a higher dimension, a spiritual world where one can find higher universal truth. These universal truths are irreplaceable, forever true as the ‘I Am’. We not only need to change our minds, but change our belief systems as well.

When we go through change we need to have a good look at our underlying belief systems. We need to change our programming if we want to move to higher, more mature spiritual levels. Here some underlying beliefs need to be kept and some need to be challenged.

Freedom and responsibility

Victor Frankl[ii] says life is not about the struggle for existence, but about the struggle for the meaning of existence. As humans, we have freedom of will. People are mainly spiritual beings and have the ability to decide about their own lives. A mature person is not a pre-programmed slave of cultural or genetic programming and a victim of heritage, environmental and educational perceptions and influences. Mature persons want to find purpose and to know about humanity – who we are, why we are here and where are we going. They are willing to live or die for their own ideals, values, and those they love.

The meaning of life is found in unconditional life and love, irrespective of pain, disappointment, loss and suffering. As multidimensional body-mind-spirit (or body-psyche-spirit) beings we have the challenge and responsibility to connect and live in harmony with the self, higher power and others in order to create the reality we desire. This means we already have the blueprint for health, wealth and prosperity encoded into our spiritual DNA. All we need to do is develop our spiritual mastery in order to tap into this universal potential. It is as far, or as close, as one breath away.

This is the message that authentic leaders like Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and others brought to the world.

Religion and the common denominator of ‘compassion’

So, the question remains – if the common denominators of all religions are love and compassion – why is the world in turmoil? Why the ban on certain religious groups seemingly from a specific religion – from the USA? Are all Muslims terrorist inclined? What role does religion play?

In essence this has nothing to do with the real essence of any of our current religions. This has everything to do with individual and/or collective interpretation, the filters, value systems and mindsets of those who form these groups. They can then choose to function under the banner of one or other religion – or not. In essence – it still does not reflect the true essence of the authentic message of our mainstream religions.

Different times – different thinking. Different people -different values. We can expect that fundamental questions will from now on come to the fore as we lay a new foundation for new generations to come.

All aspiring leaders need to ask new soul-searching questions.

Asking soul-searching questions

  1. Do you adhere to a specific religion or not? Why? Why not?
  2. Where do you get your value system from? How did it develop?
  3. If you are religious – what is the religion you belong to?
  4. What is the core value of your religion?
  5. Does your religion preach, teach and practice love and compassion? Why/Why not?
  6. Do you practice the universal law of compassion? Why? Why not?
  7. What do you think of terrorist organisations that run terror attacks under the flag of religion?
  8. Do you think that violence and fear will solve their problem? If not … what will?
  9. What role do you think leaders, especially religious leaders, need to play in current world dilemmas?
  10. How do you see your personal role – as a new authentic leader – in this process?

See our upcoming New Leadership DNA webinar  and stay connected for more information

In the next post we will focus a bit more on this issue as Part 2

Untill then – stay connected

Warm regards

Brenda Hattingh     

Brenda Hattingh

An international leadership coach, inspirational speaker and author with a passion for progress, success and quality living while addressing the challenges of the future.

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[i]  Hattingh, Brenda. (2012.c). New Leadership DNA – Developing enlightened leaders. Currency Communications: Johannesburg.

Hattingh, Brenda. (2012.b). Power Intelligence. Mastering your Miracle Mind. Currency Communications: Johannesburg.

[ii]   Frankl, V. E. 1959. Man’s search for meaning: An introduction to logotherapy. Hodder & Stoughton. London.

Frankl, V.E. 1985. The unheard cry for meaning. Washington Square. NY.

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