Wednesday, June 13, 2018
"In fact, the moment a child is perfectly conditioned by you, you are very happy; you call it 'religious education.' You are very happy that the child has been initiated in the religion of his parents. All that you have done is you have destroyed his capacity to know on his own. You have destroyed his authenticity. You have destroyed his very precious innocence. You have closed his doors and windows. Now he will have an encapsulated existence. He will live in his inner darkness, surrounded by all kinds of stupid theories, systems of thoughts, philosophies, ideologies. He will be lost in a jungle of words and he will not be able to come out easily.
Even if he comes across a Master, if he meets a Buddha, then too it will take years for him to unlearn - because learning becomes almost your blood, you bones, you marrow. And to go against you own knowledge seems to be going against yourself, against your tradition, against your country, against your religion, It seems as if you are a traitor, as you are betraying. In fact, your society has betrayed you, has contaminated your soul." p.217 "Ah, This!"
Rev. Galen Guengerich, the pastor at All Souls Unitarian Church in New York City describes, in his book, God Revised, how when he left his conservative Mennonite community in central Delaware to go to Princeton Theological divinity school that his family and friends were afraid he would lose his faith. Guengerich said, in fact, he didn't lose "his" faith, he lost "their" faith, and now was free to find his own.
Spirituality, unlike religion, is not taught to a person, or given to a person, it must be found by the person as part of his/her own experience. Spirituality is not a creed, a set of beliefs, or the practice of special rituals, or adherence to traditional activities. Spirituality is the experience of the Divine within and among the Divine's creations.
Most of religion appears on the path of the ego. Spirituality appears on the path of the spirit.
What do you have faith in? What informs and gives your experience of your life meaning?
Thursday, February 22, 2018
The initiation of an interior spiritual life begins when it dawns on a person that there must be a better way to live his/her life. The way of the ego isn't working any more. This can be called "the dawning."
With the dawning comes the desire to search for that better way. The person becomes a seeker.
Where does one begin such a search? The first place people begin, mistakenly, is in the ego world of idols. They want to make more money, they want to find a romantic partner, they seek power and glory, they seek adventure and titillation, they begin a new career, they turn to education, they turn to food, chemical substances, and sometimes religion. It is believed that the acquisition of these things will provide a sense of completeness and fulfillment but it doesn't work.
As one ages, one's sense of loneliness increases, and futility and depression sets in along with a fear of death, one's own and the death of a loved one.
Sometimes the person turns to psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the healing of the mind. It is written in the Psychotherapy supplement to A Course In Miracles in the introduction, "Psychotherapy is the only form of therapy there is. Since only the mind can be sick, only the mind can be healed. Only the mind is in need of healing. This does not appear to be the case, for the manifestations of this world seem real indeed. Psychotherapy is necessary so that an individual can begin to question their reality."
Sometimes this psychotherapy occurs with interactions with friends, family, and others. Sometimes it happens with a credentialed, licensed psychotherapist. Regardless with whom this psychotherapy occurs, the spiritual task is the same, to move from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit which is the only path that will help the person get home.
Sunday, February 4, 2018
This pursuit of a deeper more interior spiritual life is not for everyone and yet for the few who chose it, they become the yeast in the dough, the salt of the earth. There are glimmers of such activity and it needs recognition, acknowledgement, and resonant attention.
The saying goes, "Be careful what you wish for because you will probably get it."
Do we really know what we want?
Most people asked what they wish for, the most common answer given is "To win millions of dollars in the lottery."
And if asked, "What would you do with your millions?" they have silly answers.
Observing this phenomenon in our materialistic world leaves me feeling sad.
We dream silly dreams. Our values, what matters to us, don't run very deep or true. And in our anguish when we see such suffering in the world, we wonder what's gone wrong.
What went wrong is our dreams. We dream silly dreams and when we get what we thought we wanted, we are miserable because the dreams we dreamt were misguided.
The dreams we dreamt were misguided because our minds are sick. Our minds have been sickened by the path of the ego which is contaminated and toxic. It does not lead us to health and happiness but to sickness and grief. You would think our societies, our cultures, our educational systems, our religions would have taught us this by now, at this point in human history. These societies, cultures, educational systems, religions either have failed us or if they, in part, tried to teach us better, we ignored those lessons and failed in our studies.
If we recognize the failure of our choice in pursuing the path of the ego, we can then consider deciding to embark on the path of the spirit. In order to set off on this path of the spirit, we have to let go off our bull shit and that scares the hell out of us. The thought of it makes us tremble. Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent psychiatric diagnoses in the United States in our times. Anxiety medications the most commonly prescribed.
However, with guidance and support, embarking on the path of the spirit is not only possible, but, once over our stage fright, fabulously satisfying, and fulfilling. We come to realize that our former lives on the path of the ego were unmanageable, and changing course to the path of the spirit makes all the difference.