Sunday, May 5, 2019
Authentic religion is not a set of instructions
As the old Zen story goes, if I am pointing at the moon, don't look at my finger, look at the moon. In the same way, if scripture is pointing at the divine, look at the divine, not at the scripture.
It is like assembling an object following a set of written instructions. After the object is assembled do we venerate the instructions?
Good religion is not a set of instructions, it is being spiritual, it is creating a spiritual life. Our spirituality becomes a part of our everyday experience of ourselves and the world we live in.
When people have created a spiritual life it is ordinary not something special, not something remote, not something lofty, but rather mundane, here and now, part of our ordinary daily routine.
As the Zen koan says, "Enlightenment is found in choping wood and carrying water." It is not what we do in life, but how we do it that nourishes our spirit and facilitates our awareness of the source of our being.
As Jesus said, "The Kingdom of God is within you." Find that divine spark and blow on it.
This short article first appeared on the Chalicefire blog on 05/05/08. There have been no changes to the original article other than the first word in the title. The original title was "Good relgion...". The word "good" has been changed to "authentic.
All that I would add 11 years later to the idea decribed in this article is the additional idea which I have learned from A Course In Miracles that we cannot change the external world because the external world is simply an illusion. What we should strive to do is change our "mind" about the external world. If the kindgdom of God is within us trying to find peace in the external world is an illusory snipe hunt, and fool's quest.
If the Univeralists are correct, that God loves us unconditionally, our task is to change our misperception of the world of separation which we have made.
Posted by David G. Markham at 7:00 AM