Friday, January 5, 2018

Two paths: the path of the ego or the path of the spirit

The Dali Lama said that the purpose of human life is happiness. Profound statement. But what does it mean? The next question, of course, is, "what will make me happy?" It is in answering this question that the fun begins and people get lost in the wilderness.

Spiritual teachings tell us over and over and over again that the ego cannot make us happy. The ego promises to and seduces us into all kinds of things and activities and eventually we come up empty handed and in despair.

The spiritual path, though, leads to not only happiness, but joy, and bliss.

The Creator, our Higher Power, God, the Universe, the Ground of our Being, whatever we choose to call the Ultimate is always happy because it is the Ultimate's creation and the Ultimate could not be anything but pleased with the Ultimate's creation which the Ultimate only desires to share because sharing is part of the Creation itself. As part of this Creation we have a choice: to pursue the illusions of our separateness and what we think will make us happy in the kingdom we have created, or to pursue the Kingdom of Our Creator by discerning and following the Creator's will.

Discerning and following Our Creator's will is the narrow gate which Jesus talked about. The saying, "Many are called but few are chosen," at one level makes sense because not everyone chooses to follow the spiritual path of discerning and following God's will initially, but eventually everyone will come around to it. It's only a matter of time.

For those of us who have chosen the spiritual path to discern and follow God's will, it is our purpose to help our brothers and sisters make the same choice when they are ready. For those who follow the ego's path changing to follow the spiritual path can be a big change. It can be for some the easiest most natural thing in the world when they are ready, but becoming ready sometimes is very difficult and painful and entails much suffering because of all the mistakes that are made.

For those of us following the spiritual path, it is our job to forgive ourselves and our brothers and sisters for their mistakes for they know not what they do. Forgiveness is the path to gratitude and gratitude in the moment, the Holy Instant, is the path to the Kingdom of the Ultimate.

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