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.
Thursday, March 15, 2018
What do you trust?
The stages of spiritual development have begun with the dawning which has triggered the turning which has triggered the search. The search has necessitated the awareness of the witness which reflects on one's spiritual progress and functioning.
After multiple attempts to identify a way, a method, which facilitates spiritual growth, the individual finally discovers the walk of love. The person learns to ask the Holy Spirit, Jesus, God, Mother Nature, whatever one conceives one's Higher Power to be, "what would love have me do?"
The person comes to learn that the first milestone walking in Love is trust. Some might call it faith. Love cannot be defined. Love is too big to be fathomable. The opposite of Love we are told in A Course In Miracles is fear. Fear makes us chose between attack and forgiveness.
The seeker who is walking in Love learns that forgiveness is essential, and forgiveness takes trust and faith that the laws of Love are the right way to proceed. Forgiveness is the undoing of the beliefs of the path of the ego.
In order to proceed in trust the individual must go through the turning away from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit. This turning away from the path of the ego to the path of the spirit takes a period of "sorting out" of choices. Do I chose Love or money? Do I chose fame and status or integrity? Do I chose judgment or compassion and acceptance? Do I chose punishment and revenge or forgiveness and healing?
As the individual gets practice in making these decisions between the ego or the spirit there is a period of relinquishment. Idols are not important any more. The seeker gives up stuff and gets rid of shit. Some call this, instead of relinquishment, a purification and a liberation.
The fourth step after relinquishment comes a settling down. The seeker is more aware and confident in choosing what is really important.
This settling down can lead to a sense of disillusionment and depression. There is a sense of depression that comes with an awareness of how dysfunctional the ego's beliefs about the world are and the extent to which people have chosen mistakenly and had gone astray. A Course in Miracles calls this stage "a period of unsettling."
Lastly, the seeker comes to trust that (s)he has chosen wisely to leave the path of the ego and embark on the path of the spirit. There is a sense of peace, and bliss and gratitude for this achievement of getting on a better track.
The first milestone on the walk of Love is called trust in the path of the spirit. This trust in the path of the spirit is what we can confidently entrust our faith.
As the jokester says, "In God We Trust. All others pay cash."
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