Tuesday, 6 May 2008

An uneasy feeling........

How I have learned that less is definitely more on the spiritual path. This path is totally about surrender and trust. To truly realize that I couldn't have got up and wrote this blog this morning if a higher power had not wanted me to do so. More and more I am realizing in the little as well as the big things that I have no control. Now I am consciously aware when I cross a road that I am only on the other side because a higher power wanted it. This realization has brought such humbleness to me. Yet it is a humbleness which is not subservient, but respectful. I still question like I questioned a disturbing documentary that I watched last night called 'Jesus camp'. I didn't watch to the end but the gist of it was that it was a Christian boot camp for children where children were indoctrinated not so much into love for God but fear of the devil. For me this is cruel. To watch the fear in those children's eyes when they were told that the devil was real and to cast out the devil was distressing to me. To see how terrified and upset those young children were was upsetting.

Yet there were parts of the programme that I couldn't disagree with. The idea of giving yourself fully to a higher power is one I can't disagree with. But to me this doesn't mean to be evangelical. I have totally surrendered and I am not evangelical. To me it doesn't have to be this way and I'm not sure that the higher power wants it to be that way either. I return time and time again to that Sufi saying which comes into my mind almost every morning the moment I wake up 'I was a hidden treasure and I wanted to be known, so I created the world'. This has so much resonance for me. For me it says that the Divine wishes to experience human existence. That which creates cannot also experience hence where the Many were formed from the ONE. Given this and I fully accept responsibility of this being the way I see it, I don't expect others to see it in the same way, but given my way of thinking why should anyone think that the object of the Divine is to make us all into evangelical people propounding whatever doctrine is thought to be THE ONE. If anything it is this that is the Divine's idea of a joke.

Yet I shouldn't be as distressed about this as I am because everything is a play of the Divine, so why get upset. Why not laugh at the different games which the Divine is playing. This is not to say not to stand up and speak out when something doesn't feel right, it just means to speak out but then to see beyond and in that seeing to remain calm and grounded. To do this in complete surrender means to have been able to penetrate through the game of the Maya or delusion. For humans our life is a game of hide and seek, the higher power hides and through the process of self-discovery and self-realization that which was hidden becomes revealed. For some this game gets exposed and they largely become mystics. For a great many others the searching and feeling of an emptyness that nothing can fill goes on. The saying 'many are called, but few are chosen remains as true today as it did in the past'.

I don't doubt the power of a personal experience to create the 'turnining point' which is essential on the spiritual path. That point where the consciousness shifts from the outer world of the senses to the inner world of the soul. Without this shift access to the spiritual path is not possible. But this shift has to be done voluntarily and willingly. How voluntary and willing were those children that I saw on the programme last night. The oldest one was 12 years old. He was singled out and told that he was going to 'do great things for Jesus', how did that Pastor know, he was only 12. In many cases the spiritual path doesn't really become a reality until later on in life. I know that there are many stories of yogis and saints who were manifesting spiritual qualities in their younger years but by and large this is rare. I also think that the East is more steeped in spirituality as opposed to religion, but this is just my opinion.

I felt uneasy at what I watched last night. I feel children should be left free to choose for themselves the path they want to follow. If the emphasis to the children had been love perhaps I wouldn't have been left feeling so uneasy but there was no doubt that the intention was to instill fear of God into those children and it is this that I found so disturbing. My experience from an early age is that this higher power, benevolent force, higher self, whatever label you want to put on it is not to be feared, respected yes, thought of constantly in one's everyday life, yes, trusted and surrendered to, most definitely, but feared, never. To put fear of the spiritual into the impressionable minds of children is an unforgiveable thing for any adult to do.

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