Every now and then I jump on the blog circuit to see what’s out there when it comes to ‘Spirituality’, “God” or “Enlightenment”. Most of the time that look is quickly ended with me shaking my head and giving a side-lined grin and a tip of my hat to the strength and cunning of delusion.
Today my search ended with a blog post by a woman who was now certain that there was no God because her cat died. I hear this type of thing often. Now, to preface this, I’m not saying that there is a “God” out there either because the problem with the modern-day idea of “God” is that it’s been so misused and distorted. What people, like this woman with the cat, think God is is what is getting in the way. Any idea of what you think God is…is wrong. It’s wrong. It’s a belief and no belief is true. What this woman with the cat is upset about is that her ‘idea’ of what she thinks God is was challenged. Her thought-up God didn’t rise to the challenge so instead of questioning her thoughts, ideas and beliefs on the subject she just dumps the whole thing altogether. My cat died. It’s not what I wanted to have happen. There is no God.
The lesson here? If you are upset that something didn’t happen the way you thought it should happen, then it’s your misunderstanding and no one elses. It’s up to you to question your beliefs behind it because it’s your beliefs, your thoughts and your ideas that are keeping you from knowing the truth. You are standing in your own way. It’s as simple as that.
Truth…is right in front of you. There is nothing to search for and nowhere to go.
Every once in a while I head to the internet with the sole purpose of checking out what information people are putting out there in regards to spiritual enlightenment and waking up. I last did this about a week ago and the trend I found has stuck with me since then so I figured it was time to write about it so I could be done with it and move on.
The trend basically included this: “If a person says they are enlightened then they are not enlightened.”, and/or ” If someone says that everyone is already enlightened but they just don’t realize it yet then that person is not enlightened”. <sigh>
If you are traveling around the web and find these statements forget about them because once you get hung up on wording like this you’ve only hindered your own eyesight. Words are incredibly insufficient in describing the truth, in fact, they can’t describe the truth. It’s impossible. Even the word enlightenment is a poor substitute for the real thing.
So don’t get hung up on how something is worded. Forget about it. Wake up yourself…then it’s incredibly easy to tell whose got their eyes open and whose still sleeping.
[tweetmeme]I’ve been hearing a lot of people lately say that you need to face your fears. When I hear this it reminds me of a story I was once told. Let’s say you are stuck down at the bottom of a well in the dark with a monster (your fears). There is someone up above yelling down to you and telling you to face the monster, telling you to face your fears. You face the monster time and time again. You feel brave and courageous because you are facing the monster head on. The problem with this is that you are still stuck in the well. As long as you stay down in the well the monster will always come back in one form or another, always. So why don’t you just climb out of the well? Climbing out of the well into the light is where freedom is.
Fears are illusions. They are created in your mind based on past experience and conditioning. Instead of staying in the well, miring around with your fears and the monsters that haunt you, realize them for what they are and climb out. If the person at the top of the well is someone who is telling you to face the monster instead of throwing you a rope to climb out I would highly question their expertise in the matter because, most likely, they are stuck in their own well.
I’ve talked about this before and a common response is usually something along the lines of, “fear can be beneficial” or “fear can be used to move us into action”. Perhaps this is so, but when you realize your fears for what they are and climb out of the well you come to a place where action moves from a much more powerful and effective place. You realize quite quickly that the benefits you thought you gained or the action you were moved toward was nothing compared the this new found fearless space. It doesn’t compare.
Come and see for yourself. Don’t believe me. Try it. Climb out of the well and be free. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. There is, quite literally, nothing to be afraid of.
It’s winter here. Snow is falling today, the flakes as big as acorns. When I walk outside into the woods all I can hear is silence and it’s the most beautiful sound I know.
Winter is a time for rest. The trees shed their leaves and sleep. The chipmunks huddle in their tunnels with a stash of food for the winter. The bears curl up in their dens and sleep until spring. The birds that do not migrate batten down their nests that they’ve filled with a mixture of different bedding. The snow falls, covers the ground, covers the trees and a beautiful stillness is left behind. Are we so removed from the natural world these days that we cannot take this time of year to rest? Unfortunately, for most of us the answer to this is yes. The world does not slow down, jobs still need to be done, money still needs to be made, children still need to go to school and on and on and on. Look at what we value. Look at what put ahead of the cycles of life. Jobs before rest. Money before restoring ourselves. Schooling before truth. This is the way our culture works and it saddens me to watch sometimes because I know the potential that is there behind all of this clutter.
Most of us have become so separated from what is actually natural for us that we have no idea how to sit in rest and silence. When things become quiet we turn on the television or pick up a book. We’re taught that just sitting quietly or taking a nap means we are lazy. We’re told that we should always be busy and/or productive. We think that we should have many friends so that we do not have to be alone or that it’s not socially acceptable to sit home and do nothing on a Saturday night. The list goes on with many more examples I’m sure. What is it about the silence that we turn away from? Why do we turn away from it?
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m usually not one to speak from Christianity, as there have become so many misconceptions, but today Psalm 46:10 keeps coming into my awareness. Be still and know. Notice how this psalm does not say ‘know and be still’. Be still is what comes first. However, the way we live in this culture today we seem to think that we need to know something first in order to be still. We are in school by the age of 5 or so and continue until around age 18, longer if we go to college. Then, once out of school, we go into the work force and learn a job. By the time we get here we are so conditioned to be busy..to be making money…to have a family that the “be still” part of the equation gets left behind. It gets so left behind for most of us that we no longer even know how to be still. We put “know” first when it’s the stillness that holds the answers to everything.
So during this winter, during this time of rest, take a moment to be in stillness. Take a moment to listen to the silence. It will, for most, be uncomfortable at first but stay there for while if you can. Look around. Perhaps ask yourself why you’ve turned away from the stillness for so long. If you do, you just may get your answer. Don’t turn on the television set. Don’t pick up that book. Stay home by yourself on a Saturday night. It’s okay. Just like it’s okay to take a nap even though the laundry is sitting there. Just like it’s okay to just go sit outside and watch the snow fall even though the house is dirty or you have a lot to do for work the next day. Stillness comes first if you want your questions answered. Stillness comes first if you want to live authentically.
Be still first….then you will know.