From Whence Cometh
July 20, 2003
Are We Clear On What We Have To Do?
is a lot of desire to look at the map, but little motivation to
begin the journey)
I find any study of Spirituality
interesting; different points of view fascinate me.
Sometimes my life feels out of
control and I need help.
I really enjoy being with people
who understand that there are alternatives to the religious teachings we received as children.
If I can ever get my thoughts
together, I might become happier and more satisfied with who I have become. I am hoping this
class will point me in the correct direction.
I want to change how I process
life. My attitudes really need adjustment. I want to grow spiritually, but I don't know how or
where to begin.
I want to conquer my fears.
Sometimes I become immobilized and I experience responses resembling panic/anxiety
attacks or depression.
I have cultivated my own
philosophies and thoughts concerning my personal beliefs. I am here to see what you are teaching
and whether or not I resonate with it.
I want to overcome my neediness.
Our Need To Stay The Way We Are
Surfaces In Many Forms
I enjoy an inspirational, “meaty”
sermon -- one filled with lots of stories with which I can identify -- but I cannot remember
when one ever changed my life. Sermons are mostly a mental thing, i.e., "I agree" or "I
disagree," "I enjoyed it" or "Nothing spoke to me."
I can really argue with people
whose beliefs differ from my own, but few of my beliefs have ever helped me to become more
generous, kind and caring.
I've heard that people cannot
change. I guess we are stuck with the person we have become.
I don't give enough thought or
time to defining who I am. Days blend. Routines dominate. My reactions are more
habitual responses than anything else.
I bought a membership to a health
club. Next I bought a treadmill. I do not have the willpower or the commitment to
follow-through with what creates boredom.
I've been praying that a day will
come when we can take a pill that will help me overcome most problems. I think we're
getting closer and closer to that day.
I want life to be fun. I want to
be happy and peaceful. I don't want to feel obligated to work at my relationships, work hard
on my job and then have to struggle to like people who I do not want to be around.
I'm not good at abstract thinking.
I don't know what God needs from me.
One Of The Realities Of Life -- We
All Respond Very Differently To Information
Some of us will never change. We
believe it is too late to begin the struggle to undo or re-route the responses we have taught
Some of us are "driven to our
knees" out of desperation. We make promises to God, we bargain and make commitments. When
our need passes, we quickly return to the way we were. Why is that?
Some of us will consider life very
thoughtfully. We will understand many concepts from the books we have read. We appreciate
the enormity of spiritual power and can discuss related issues as informed as a
theologian or philosopher, but we cannot love our neighbor or do much to enable joy and
happiness to surface in our lives.
Some of us struggle to grasp every
spiritual skill we can acquire. We approach life as a competition, i.e., "me against the
world." We pay the emotional price because we want control over our inner lives. We have
learned the art of creative detachment and are free from this world's lure and grasp.
Some of us know very little about
why we love. We just do it. Our spirits are easily motivated by compassion when we sense
human need. We reach out without being asked. Our understanding that God loves us
unconditionally constantly radiates from us. We have no questions. There are no
struggles with life because we simply trust God for the outcome of all things. We do not
analyze or evaluate anything. We just show up as we are, roll up our sleeves and become
involved. We do not have any abstract understanding for why we care. We just do.
What You Can Expect When You Start
Your Inner Work
You will resist. Developing a
commitment to a new goal is seldom easy.
You will fail initially as diets
often do. (What is required is a life-style
change, a complete reorientation. Most of us
try to change only our symptomatic behavior.)
You will treat the subject matter
intellectually but the motivation to begin is emotional.
You will become impatient. (Remember,
you are a child in an adult body.)
Your motivation for change/growth
will not be strong or clear as you begin your journey.
Most of your skills will APPEAR
non-existent, e.g., "I feel empty inside," because you have yet to use them. Skills are
located and developed only through constant use. No one is "lucky or blessed."
Unless you "have fun and
experience joy" you will not continue. (Jesus
said, "My yoke is easy and my burden light.”)
We tend to associate doing our inner work with
struggle. This is not so. It can become like a
game that is lots of fun to play.
- You may have to rethink completely your current
understanding of the meaning of life.