Spirituality 401


     In Tim Galway's book, The Inner Game of Tennis, he wrote about our true identity and how that part of us remains invisible through every stage of our development.  He communicated his message by describing the growth process of a rose.

When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it because it is rootless and has no stem.  We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required by a seed.

When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don't condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear.

We stand in wonder at the process that is taking place, and we give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development.  The rose is a rose from the time it is born until the time it dies.  Within it, at all times, is contained its whole potential.  It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.

     Tim provided his readers with yet another metaphor that describes life.  What is true for the rose may be true for all life forms.  What may be true while we are alive in our physical forms may be true when we transition from them.

     There is no rush to the process of stretching toward the perfection of our nature and our abilities.  For example, most diamonds are 3 billion years old.  There are few younger ones that are only 628 million years old.  The majority of diamonds were formed 100 miles below the surface of our planet by heat and pressure, producing a crystal from carbon.  If a person is wearing a diamond, the chances are good that their highly prized mineral is half as old as the earth.

     If we are all destined to become creators that can demonstrate with consistency diamond class creations, this skill level will not be ours until we have walked the path necessary for such ability to manifest through our thought patterns.  Jesus could only describe what his spirit led him to discern about human nature.  He believed we are beings that have the potential to live in what he described as The Kingdom of God, or the environment where loving energy patterns can radiate in many different forms from those who had made the same discovery as he.

     It was very clear to Jesus that he could only point with his life and teachings to a destiny worthy of our eventual evolution.  Many belief systems that provide such an orientation and guidance to followers have had their origins through such beings, e.g., Krishna, Lao Tzu, Confucius, Siddhartha Gautama, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad.

     Either such beings manifested their inner treasures while living among us, or there is a quality within us that inspires the desire to discover this inner road less traveled.  Only a few beings throughout history have become so preoccupied or fascinated with this alternative reality that they were driven to an awakening.  In any event, the testimonies from such beings reveal that no population has been left without light.

     The consistent dilemma faced by each religion is what their respective followers have done with what their leaders attempted to teach them.  We are material beings who tend to think about God, our religion, our needs, goals and objectives in physical terms.  People of faith have found it very difficult to keep the world of form separated from the world of spirit.  A typical physical reference is the constant use of the male pronoun “He” when God is being discussed.

     During the early days of Christianity, for example, there emerged The Holy Roman Empire.  The concepts of Holy and Empire were merged without anyone seeing a problem.  Today in Islam, there is the belief among the Taliban that a society based on the teachings of the Quran would benefit the world’s societies.  Even in the United States, certain forms of Christianity have merged their agendas with those of political action committees.

    What the proponents of such efforts miss is that strict adherence to guidelines or laws, or an extreme discipline on the order found among the Pharisees, or a form of government embodying a totalitarian ideology, will not create an environment where loving energy patterns are freely exchanged between people.  Such a response is always an individual choice.  Each time any group tries to please God with their external forms of expression, they miss the mark.  Their energy is misplaced.  Again, the worlds of form and spirit have few points of reference that even remotely overlap.

     We were not created to please God.  We could have easily done that without incarnating into our physical forms.  We entered the earth to perfect our creative abilities without the benefit of knowing our true identities a power.  The material world offers countless distractions that easily lure creators from their purpose, giving rise to the notion of original sin, our flawed nature or our being lost.  As long as people stay aligned with their purpose of creating through loving energy patterns, they will not stumble.  The object is to find the path and then to stay on it while living in an environment of constant swirling change.

     Such a purpose does not need to deny or ignore the pleasures associated with being in our physical forms.  We are material beings who enjoy food, sexual expression, ownership of the symbols of wealth, curiosity for probing the unknown, health, joy and happiness.

     Our purpose is to become so ensconced in the treasures of our inner world that we thoroughly understand the nature of all the external forms we enjoy.  It is when the lure of our external world provides us with our purpose for living that the likes of greed, lust, gluttony, intoxication and manipulation become the defining markers of what it is we create.  When we find ourselves consumed by material appetites, we have lost our way.  Jesus can become our savior by reminding us that we have missed the mark, or that we have chosen to a long detour around our purpose for being born.

     Our discussions in class about reframing our experiences were an attempt to bring us back into viewing life from the point of view of our invisible world.  Being a victim or a student of life is our choice.  Understanding God as a being, which needs to be pleased, worshipped and praised or as a being whose loving energy pattern can be extended through us is our choice.  The possibility of reframing many dominant themes in our lives is a choice we make.  The list of such choices was not exhausted by any means during this course.

     The purpose of this course was to give permission to every student to care for him or herself by learning how to reframe thoughts that haunt, hurt or create confusion.  Memories and past actions that inspire guilt, for example, were all teaching devices instructing us how to make better choices.  Making mistakes and expressing ourselves with a lack of good judgment are as much a part of life as are the times when thoughtfulness and consideration are gifts we give away.

     Living a life of guilt and regret is akin to being in Hell.  Who knows but that the people who experienced them have used our worst deeds and our harshest words for course corrections?  By seeing what is destructive can offer such instruction.  We inherit a greater balance to life when we trust God with the creative processes instead of personalizing every fault we discover about ourselves.

     The theology of a number of biblical writers has not been helpful in this regard, i.e., convincing readers that God created human beings as wretched creatures.  A more thoughtful understanding of human nature was written by the author of Genesis, “God looked at all that God had made and determined that it was very good.”  As we have learned in recent history, misinterpreting human behavior is the easiest judgment to make by those who have a pattern for the way life ought to be lived.

     The Myers-Briggs personality test has demonstrated rather convincingly that people do not process the same information in an identical fashion.  Jesus had Peter, James and John and then there was Judas.  There was also a group of avid supporters who became disillusioned with Jesus’ teaching and refused to follow him any longer. (John 6:66)

     Even though we are living in and being supported by a community of faith, we walk alone.  No leader, priest or strong biblical faith will assume the responsibility for the quality of our journey.  Even during his arrest, Jesus’ closest community of his beloved disciples abandoned him.  He was alone then as he was in the wilderness, in the garden and on the cross.

     How we interpret life is our individual journey and inheritance.  If we want to play BIG, we can.  If we desire eternal security, we can deny the material world and cloister ourselves in a monastery.  If we are big risk takers in our quest for discovery, we can put our lives on the line as astronauts or stand with those who chase tornadoes or hurricanes.  There is room in the universe for every pattern resulting from human choices.  This is what makes life the remarkable adventure that it can be.

     For life to be free from fear, a person has to trust that God would not have willed our creation in such a way that our eternal salvation would be up to us.  Such an act would have been akin to tossing homing pigeons into the air without providing them with an appropriate time to orient themselves to their environment.  We walk blindly.  We stumble and experience chaos.  There are times, however, when we declare, Eureka!!

     These are moments when clarity comes to what had been producing confusion and chaos.  It is up to us to make sense of our experiences and to use what we learn to create wholesome and loving patterns.  What is intriguing about our species is that we have entered the physical world with abilities to create meaningful patterns out of what was once chaos.

     Remember our potential in creation comes from a hint provided from the first verse of Genesis, “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters, God said, “Let there be light.”  This may be our calling as well.  It is our calling to look out from our eyes at the chaos surrounding us and say, “Let there be light.”

     No information is useful unless it lifts us to another level of consciousness and activity.  What good does it do to know how to read if we never pick up a book?  It is the same with life.  We can choose spiritual evolution, thus preparing ourselves for learning how to create on levels greater than those found in our physical world. We can also elect to take our cues for the quality of our lives from what lies in the external world, a world that knows only change.  Both worlds do offer guidance for those who can discern it.  Truth surrounds us.  Because such a reality is not readily apparent to everyone does not mean that it does not exist.  The fact that truth exists and that we are wired to stretch toward it, is what keeps the evolution of our species on track.

     I hope you enjoyed the course as much I did preparing the lessons.  Please feel free to use the manuscripts about these topics anyway you wish.  Until next July and August whenSpirituality 501 will be offered, make visible in your lives what you have learned.