The idea of the Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley leads one to the idea that God is too big for any one religion. How is it that sometimes people outgrow their religion of childhood? James Fowler, among others, has mapped out a model of spiritual development. Osho says that a person cannot enter into a spiritual life until he/she rebels against childish religious beliefs. Notes On A Spiritual Life intends to explore deeper understandings of an authentic spiritual life.
Sunday, March 25, 2018
Faithfulness is a milestone in spiritual development
Faithfulness means giving up the path of the ego and all the idols that are placed on that path. We no longer crave money, power, status, sex, control and all the things that the path of the ego tells us are necessary for us to acquire if we are to be happy.
We have recognized the lies that the idols on the path of the ego have told us, and we have committed ourselves to finding a better way to live our lives, but sometimes that commitment is half-hearted. Sometimes that commitment applies to some things and not others. Sometimes that commitment is intense in times of desperation and stress, but less so when we are less desperate and the stress has been reduced.
We may see the benefit and desirability of walking the path of the spirit but we still are ambivalent. Matthew tells the story in Chapter 19:16-22:
16 And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
17 And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
20 The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
22 When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
The rich young man lacked faith. His faith was still in his possessions. He seemed to desire to leave the path of the ego and turn onto the path of the spirit but he was not ready and it made him sorrowful.
At the early stages of our spiritual development, after the dawning and the turning and beginning the search, we still are ambivalent. There is part of us that does not want to leave the path of the ego or we wish we could have our cake and eat it too. Our faithfulness is weak. Over time, though, and with increased practice, we become more faithful to the path of the spirit and we walk it with more confidence with increased peace, bliss, and generosity of spirit.
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