I feel this need to qualify my standing as far as spiritualism goes.
You see, I consider myself a very spiritualistic man although I am as far away from dogma and religion as the ends of the earth are (although where i live it happens to be close to the ends of the earth..)
In my opinion there is no spiritual 'life'. There is only, ever, Life. And if life is an experience of spirit then the encompassing moment-to-moment experience of life must be all spiritual and this includes the death, the torture, the agony, starvation and misery that is the trodden, unmovable fingerprint on this earth of ours for our times.
It also includes the beauty of the natural earth and all that is on it. Nature, animals and humans, when they are true and being what they are rather than acting out the infestation and stench of unhappiness and greed.
Religionists believe in God in some form or other. Not only is "belief in God" a pointless pursuit, it is also responsible for the untold deaths of millions of innocent victims over the past 2 millenia (and more), and is responsible for even more guilt, repression and unhappiness for those who've had to live under its cloudy, gray sway.
If you have to "believe" in God, it simply means that you do not know if God exists or not. So why do you bother believing? And why take up a mantle of righteousness and division in the form of a "faith" that serves to merely perpetuate ignorance, mischief and unhappiness amongst us?
God, if such a thing exists, must be universal; universal and encompassing all of us as individuals and sentient creatures on this one planet, this one earth.
Certainly there is some universality to all of our existences. We are born to die. This renders us ultimately equal in the scheme of "life".
It is said that God is another word for Life, or Being. And what's this "being"? Being is the energy that illumines, ultimately enlightening, every individual on the planet. Whether or not the individual is cognisant of this "being" is another matter altogether. Some individuals are meant to merely act their part as bodies with a head and arms and legs. They murder or steal or commit foul acts on innocent children. It's all part of the tapesty, the matrix, of existence. Horrible? Yes, but undeniable.
Ultimately we are responsible for ourselves. When a man walks around saying "I am the truth, the way, and the life" you have to see that on closer examination, this is an obvious truism for anyone who's become self-realised, ie, mastered the energy within the body as a recognition that this is the universal source, without dogma, without memory, without religion, without any remembrance of what's been told or learned in the past. Idiots and usurers have used these words to point to a man who lived 2 millenia ago, that he is the way the truth and the life. The facts are obvious, you follow someone else, even if they are purportedly God, you will be led to idealised hope at best. More often than not there is dissatisfaction, fear, and violence in protection of one's own faith, one's own upholding of their 'god', or religion, one's own need to belong to something that will save them.
Whatever he was, or may have been, I am that. I am the truth, the way, and the life. I didn't say You were the truth the way and the life. I said "I" am the truth the way and the life. Who is I? Ask yourself. There is only one I in the universe. And that's where the truth lies in all its splendid "I"-ness and universality. And am I unhappy, am I being true in my life? That's practical, that's spiritual, and this shines the spotlight on "I" and not upon a statue of a plump Buddhist hippie or a nubile Jerusalem hippie who lived a long time ago and whose bodies do not exist anymore.
Everything has its place. Everything has its time. There is no "sin" because people do what they must according to their decisions, their circumstances, their backgrounds, their time and place. We do what we do. We have all done "good" things and "bad" things. We have all received much good in our lives, and bad too. This is a tapestry. We learn, we grow. Moreover we shed the baggage of circumstance and the repression of the universal psyche by becoming more the responsible one, the "I", the being within that is "good" without the concept. It is good to be alive. The animals and trees certainly think so, just look at them. That is the "good", and that is where the formless, nameless 'god' is at work.
Perhaps there are natural laws at work in the universe, and more closely to home, on our planet earth. The problems begins to manifest when theologians and spiritualists - and religionists - begin to make these laws into written statements that serve to coerce and even enforce upon people ways upon they should think and live their lives. The dichotomy is that by this point, the natural laws have been subverted by mindful, willful, intervention.
Natural laws don't need to be written down. They only need to be discovered by the individual man or woman operating in their own life, and only if they are meant to discover them according to their lights or consciousness.
These "laws" may include the law of karma, which really isn't about "punishment" at all. It's simply about being responsible for one's own life. And we take responsibility for our lives as much as we can and is possible. We do what we do. That's life, that's spiritualism.
We live and learn. If we are nasty to someone we ourselves feel that horrible energy of contraction within ourselves. Our bodies know something's not right with what's happened. Sometimes we wake up in the morning not knowing who or what or where we are and we feel so alive, so good. Is this perhaps the 'God' everyone talks about, the purity of consciousness unsullied by the personal self or personal considerations?? That is, it's greater than the personal mind, the personal emotions, the personal self. Perhaps that is what's meant by the kingdom of heaven is within.
Within. That's the operative word. Not 'without' where the holy robes are, the scriptures, the rigmarole, the coercion, the fear. Within where there is pure life that animates us and everyone and every living thing we see. Could this be the one god?? If so we don't have to learn it or attempt to live by man-made rules surrounding it. We just be it as much as possible, and live our lives the best we can.
There is no right or wrong. There is just life. And that purity of life, perhaps that is "good", but it certainly is not to be worshipped in a church or in a book. It is too real, too alive to be shut up in a book or ordained hall. But you can see it in action. When you're out at a beautiful beach or some wonderful forest you know without a doubt that something magical is at work. Perhaps this is all "god" and we're all a part of it.
But human interventionism has made an awful hash of it all. And "God" allows the most unspeakable horrors to be bestowed upon us in the form of violence to each other and other sentient beings.
Our civilisation is a mere blip in the scheme of things, a barely recognisable flash in the scheme of some untold, perhaps timeless, evolution of a time-span that is inconceivable to the mind in its largeness and scope. We just happen to be riding this huge, one wave that happens to be westernised civilisation, now. The wave is likely to crash at the shore and dissipate like all civilisations that have come before us. We can't know for sure until it happens but we are here and we have to take responsibility for it and for ourselves.
And it's been said that all the stars, heavens, everything you see externally is but a reflection of what is within, as a projection of that part of us that is deepest and truest. I don't believe this although I do accept it, yet I don't believe it.
It's been said that in answer to "What's it all about?", well, I've heard this, "...it's about doing your best". Glib, maybe. And to continue, this went something along the lines of seeing that in the course of one's own lifetime, that the enlightenment point within, ie, the enlightenment point, may raise itself for what is done for the impersonal I is done for all (the "matrix", all is one, etc etc). Practically this is to live as truly and wholly as possible according the the circumstances of one's life, to be valiant and have fortitude and to blame or complain as little as possible. Simply to just get on with it as best one can. There are no rules, there is no 'god' looking down at us from a distance. We just do as we do and we do our best. There it is. That's life.
To be continued, no doubt...
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