Understanding the Rudder of Our Ship

     Perhaps the greatest challenge of life is to find the keys that will unlock the potential within us.  The chief problem is that the education needed for doing so is spread out among different disciplines.  Each discipline has its own code words for describing what people experience during their evolution, e.g., ego, spirit, super-consciousness, inner journeys, being saved, hierarchy of needs, karma, spontaneous transformation, life-force, etc.

     Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Religion and Spirituality have something to communicate about the process of spiritual evolution.  When the student brings medicine into the mix, particularly with that discipline’s movement toward a better understanding between the mind-body connections, there is hope that the numerous paths are moving closer together.

     Years ago, Jesus put forth his understanding for navigating the maze of life.  Because of his social context, he called the orientation, the Kingdom of God.  Further, he used metaphors to help people understand his message.   Jesus wanted his listeners to find and use the rudder that would offer guidance for their human vessels.

     Jesus had discovered that each person was filled with a unique pattern of life-skills.  He also knew that few people possessed the understanding of their need to access them.  He pointed to this reality through a series of stories or parables.  Basically, he taught that attitudes, moods and thoughts were ones over which we could exercise considerable control.  For example, a Samaritan, despised by the Jews, could show compassion for a person left for dead while an orthodox Jew, a priest and a Levite passed by the victim and pretended not to notice.  He taught that a person who discovered his or her inner reality was like a person who found a rare pearl or a treasure hidden in a field.

     What makes our recognizing this orientation to life even more challenging is that most of us follow the way we have been trained to think by a variety of teachers.  We have also been taught that our way of thinking is more authentic, particularly with respect to our religious training.  Few religious people are prepared to surrender or change their version of reality even though religions communicate a similar message when each is distilled to its essence.

     Each human being has the same truth hardwired within them.  This reality, however, surfaces in cultures and traditions that are different from ours.  This is why the sacred symbols, ideas and mythologies appear different.  Each religion faces the same responsibility of interpreting reality to its masses.

     Such discussions will hold little meaning to most of humanity.  They are asleep concerning taking an intentional inward journey.  Most are ensconced in the idea that the physical world and its countless variables are what need to be mastered.  Each of us participates in this process by necessity of being born in a world where we all have physical needs.  However, many of us enjoy the physical aspects of the classroom while failing to remember why we came here.

     For example, the wealth in our world has grown enormously in recent years.  Where did such wealth come from?  It came from humanity’s creativity, e.g., potential products created markets and industries; industries created jobs, jobs produced spending power allowing world economies to expand.  Think of what might happen if we applied this same creativity to producing community, exploring and sharing information about the power inherent in our spiritual energy.

     As we think together during this course, what does influence our sense of well being, our need for security, our identities, our self-esteem and our vision of reality?  For example, what creates a visionary?  What creates an inventor?  What creates a musician?  What creates an author?  What causes some people to become criminals, murderers, swindlers, child predators, or suicide bombers?  In all cases, we create from what we understand.  Not all paths permit evolution.  Many paths cause delay.

     If people were told that they hold the keys to living a powerful, energetic, successful life, most would find the idea difficult to believe.  Many people settle for what life creates for them rather than seizing moment after moment to follow their dreams.

     What often goes unrecognized is that people are all following various forms of guidance, albeit the external forms of guidance that they have absorbed and continue to absorb.  Such forms are illusionary and often have little in common with what could become operative in life when guidance originates from within, i.e., developing their own unique style of assembling the building blocks of meaning and purpose.

     Try to imagine what would happen to us if we took our cues from information that comes through us, e.g., through our intuition, imagination, recognition of symbols, inspiration, meditation, our recognition of communication coming from our spirit guides, our recognition of words of others with which we resonate, etc.

     Could such experiences be the work of the Spirit of God that operates in every culture, heritage and tradition?   Absolutely!  This sensitivity to such guidance is the pearl of great price.  This openness to such communication is the Rosetta stone, the Talisman and the philosopher’s stone. Most of us have had those “Aha!” moments when guidance appears, i.e., it takes us to realms of meaning and purposes that lie beyond the physical forms that many others choose to follow.

     We need to understand that if we pursue the development of our own style of receiving guidance, there may be periods of uncertainty, depression, aloneness, loneliness, of feeling we have abandoned our faith and a sense of being lost.  Understand that these thought patterns are a sign of transition as we change from the safe path that has been well traveled by others before us.  This is the path that Jesus walked.  There may be moments when we experience trial and error, but if our goal is to sharpen the patterns of expressing loving energy, we will leave the safe harbor for the uncharted waters of our adventure with gratitude and trust in God’s infinite guidance.

     No one can do this for another individual. Jesus could not pass on what he had found to his disciples.  He could only point.  The goal of every spiritual teacher is to help his or her pupils to align themselves with the universal energy patterns hard-wired within them not simply replicate what the teacher has found.  We are all one-of-a-kind beings capable of making our unique contribution to creation.

     In the subsequent lessons, we will consider various forms of guidance and how we can discern the path that heightens the quality and quantity of our creativity.