Living a spiritual life in a complex world....
We took on a big topic yesterday, “peace”. Today let’s focus on a more mundane challenge that humans face every day. Let’s talk about the daily pace of your life in your world today.
We have talked earlier about your favorite quote that, “it is easy to be a holy man on top of the mountain.” So today, let’s talk about what it takes to live a spiritual life while in the midst of the most complex society and world than you have yet experienced on this planet.
As humans, you have many, in fact, an infinite number of reasons why you believe that it is difficult to align the two parts of your being, your physical being, and your spiritual being.
You see many people who split themselves and their lives in two. They live their physical life for most of the week and then on Sunday or whatever day their religion believes is the day to participate, that is the day for worship, or communion with your religious beliefs.
This schism is very challenging for many of you on the planet. It is easier to live this way, however. Easier to keep the two aspects of the self separate. Easier to manage the duality or the dichotomy between them, if they are kept separate. It is more challenging to integrate the two and truly live your beliefs on a daily basis.
One challenge inherent in this process is that many religions have placed their own interpretations on what it means to be spiritual. In essence, the “spirit” has been removed from the religion and its beliefs. There are definitely universal truths that are true regardless of religious doctrine. However, many religions have surrounded those universal truths with their own interpretations and have created their own “rules” on what it means to live those truths on a daily basis.
This is the source of many of the world’s challenges and conflicts now. It is not the universal truths that are the problem or cause of the conflicts. It is the dogma or “rules” that have been embedded by humans into the religious beliefs that are the cause of the strife. It is the interpretation of the core beliefs and the “rules” that have been devised as measures of how effectively people are living those truths that is the problem.
You can see this most easily when you notice that a religion will decide, for whatever reason to suddenly “change the rules” about what is acceptable, or appropriate, or a “sin” in the religion. Certainly, as a young child, you were aware of these contradictions and often questioned them of the nuns and priests that you interacted with on a daily basis while in Catholic school. Even then, the religious leaders could not provide an explanation for the sudden change in rules and simply told you to “have faith." So even when the most simple of rules were changed, such as women must wear a hat to church on Sunday, or it is a sin to eat meat on Friday, were troublesome to you, even as a child, because you were aware that this was a contradiction from one day to the next.
You have seen this work in many ways for all religions around the world. In some cases, the changes may be perceived as positive. In others, the changes may be perceived as negative. In either case, the rules are simply man-made interpretations of the universal truths, so the rules are a distortion of the truth.
Simple examples…..wars carried out in the name of God, whether God is supportive of same sex marriage, whether women are capable of being spiritual leaders, whether priests should be allowed to marry….all of these “rules” have created much debate, conflict, and struggle for the billions of people on this planet who are looking for their religion to tell them the answers on how to live their daily life.
So this brings us to the topic of today….how to live a spiritual life in the midst of the complexity of the world. The idea of living your life day-to-day and taking one day or one time per week to practice your “religion” or the rituals inherent or prescribed in that religion, is the challenge. Integration is the key. Integrating your physical and spiritual world so that your “spirit” lives inside of you at all times, is the key to this process and the purpose of life on this planet.
The recognition that the soul or inner being, or higher self, or God resides within you and is not some external male authority figure is the first step in this integration. Many of the spiritual teachers and leaders throughout history have tried to share the message that God resides within each of you, that the “spirit” is an energy that resides in every cell of the human body, that the “holy spirit” is the label for the God, the spirit within. Jesus certainly is the son of God and repeatedly told his followers and the crowds that followed him that they were all sons and daughters of God as well.
So the image of a male authority figure sitting in judgment in the sky is a man-made concept that has permeated many religions and their doctrine throughout history as a way to reinforce the duality of the human experience. A God sitting on high, judging good or bad, right or wrong, provides a semblance of control for the men (and we say “men” since women have been prevented from holding the highest positions in most religions in your current history).
The universal truths….getting back to the common ground among different religious beliefs is key. The universal truths create the common ground for all religions. So religion isn’t the key. Spirituality is the key. As you now, these two ideas are different. You can be spiritual without belonging to a specific religion, as you know. In fact, there are many individuals participating in religions that are not demonstrating much in the way of spirituality, in the truest sense of the word because the most universal of all truths is LOVE.
It is interesting to note that the power of LOVE is usually conveyed through the idea of relationship love or interpersonal love (parent to child, husband to wife, friend to friend). But the true universal power of love comes from recognizing that God IS love….not that God is outside of you and that God loves you like a parent. That is a distortion of the universal truth.
God truly IS love. When you feel love inside your physical body….know that that IS God. Love is the truth, the way, the path of finding God within yourself. Not love for another person. Not love for a child. Not love for a partner or spouse. But love for the sake of love. Feeling the emotion of love within you is God within you because love is the universal energy of God. When you feel the love within you…the unconditional love that is available to you in every moment of every day, you are with God.
For many of you, you look for the feeling and emotion of love to come from your relationships with others, whether that is a partner/spouse, child, or friend. You are looking to find love outside of yourself, or from outside of yourself. You want to feel the internal feeling by focusing on something outside of yourself. For some of you, it is through relationships with others; for some of you, it may be through your worship of material possessions; for others, it may be through your experiences, or your work or the activities that you enjoy.
We challenge you to recognize that the true nature of spirit is to experience …choose to experience the feeling and emotion of love for no reason other than to be in union or in communion with the love within, which is God. When you access this internal feeling of love, unconditional love….meaning, loving for no good reason or “condition," you are one with God. You are experiencing God. That is the most universal of all truths.
“Love your neighbor as thyself”….there you go. Jesus didn’t say love your neighbor, but NOT yourself. Instead, love your neighbor as thyself. When you experience the love, the unconditional love, within you and you can hold that energy all day, every day, you will be living a spiritual life. It truly is that simple. When every interaction that you have with others comes from that place of extending the love you feel within to everyone outside of you, you will be role modeling the way that Jesus and other religious and spiritual leaders have tried to demonstrate for you. When you are living in the emotion and feelings of love each day, you will react from that place of love and make your decisions from that place of love. You will be the love, you will be the peace that the teachers have demonstrated for you.
Religions that help you find this love within yourself, this universal truth within your own being, are very helpful. Religions that ask you to give your decision-making control over to something outside of yourself may not be the most helpful to you on your journey back to yourself in the evolution of your soul.
This is the nature of living a spiritual life while in the physical world. Walk with love in your heart. Share your love with others. Express our love through your activities, your “work”, your play. Look around you and notice the love that surrounds you. See the love in the eyes of other people. Find the love within you when faced with someone that has caused you harm. Express your love freely, with wild abandon. Many of you reserve your expressions of love for your partner or your children or your dearest friends.
Now is the time to express your love without reservations, without restrictions, without “conditions.” That is the key….”unconditional,” meaning without “conditions.” It does not require more time, more energy, or more effort. It is simply a state of being. Once you can achieve this state of being through a conscious choice and commitment, you will be living the “holy spirit,” you will be living your life with God, and you will be bringing God to the world.
That is our sharing for today, dear one.
With our expansive, unconditional love for you!