Sunday, January 7, 2018
To encourage people on a spiritual path, we must be on one ourselves.
The acceptance and encouragement can be on the path of the ego or the path of the spirit. There are plenty of places for acceptance and encouragement on the path of the ego. One does not have to join a UU church for that kind of acceptance and encouragement. The path of the spirit, however, is another matter. The gate is narrow, Jesus tells us. Many are called, but few are chosen. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into heaven.
In order to accept and encourage people on a spiritual path we have to be on one ourselves. Going to worship services on Sunday and chatting at coffee hour doesn't do it. The spiritual path is a way of life not just something we do on Sundays.
Our egos, to maintain control of our lives, like to make things complicated when our choices are simple.
The basic question is "What will make me happy?" The ego has one answer and the spirit another. Which do we want to choose? Which will we follow?
It reads in A Course In Miracles that perception's basic law is: "You will rejoice at what you see because you see it to rejoice. And while you think that suffering and sin will bring you joy, so long will they be there for you to see. Nothing is harmful or beneficent apart from what you wish. It is your wish that makes it what it is in its effects on you." T-23.IV.2:1-4
Some people play the victim for they think this will bring them sympathy and comfort. The worse their pain and trauma the better for the more sympathy and comfort they are entitled to. Negative attention seeking is something we learned to do as children from parents who were abusive and neglectful. This negative attention seeking sets us off on a life trajectory of hell. Hopefully, at some point we ask ourselves, "Is this really what I want?"
In asking the question, we begin to get a glimmer of understanding that we are not really victims. We are children of God and as such we have inherent dignity and worth. As such children of God while our bodies can be assaulted and abused our spirit never can be because it is part of the precious divinity of the universe.
As Flip Wilson used to say in his Geraldine routine, "What you see is what you get." We can choose what we see. That is our power to live a good, and happy life.