I am obviously a very spiritual person, I am a minister. For me spirituality is not dogmatic; spirituality is a journey toward a higher understanding of the nature of God, not the nature of God as man defines it to be. For me true religion is about coming together to explore, discover and share our spiritual nature as it relates to our human nature. Religion is about seeking to understand Universal truths; it is about discerning the loving intentions of all people that lie back of their opinions. It is about celebrating those pure intentions.
What I share; my understanding comes through all life as it is presented to me. Nature is a fundamental source of my learning, nature gives one a freedom to think unconstrained thoughts. Nature listens, it quietly awaits revelation. If one is to believe there is a power greater than we are; one that lies back of creation, then nature is Its creation in the purest state. What happens in nature must be right in the eyes of God if it is truly God’s creation as I believe.
My next source is the example of those who share my world today; are they happy? Are they fulfilled? Are they well received? Are they at peace with their lives? What are the people like who are influenced by them? Who were their influences?… I seek to emulate the successes of these people, I seek to, by association, attention and discernment absorb their attributes. I also pay close attention to their teachers. I read the books they recommend and the sources of their favorite quotes.
The last place I look for true spiritual understanding is in the credos of organized religions, businesses and government. I am personally very grateful that mass repetitions of the prayers of any religious teaching have been removed from our schools. I am grateful that all uses of one religious teaching are being removed from our government and related organizations. I am not happy that they are not replaced by simple teachings of common values such as tolerance, generosity and empowerment of others.
In the recordings of the great teacher Jesus ‘one is more holy who prays in silence without a great show of righteousness’. Why don’t we incorporate more opportunities for silent reflection, opportunities for each to pray after their own fashion? Why don’t we create spaces in our schools and public places for silent contemplation, prayer and meditation; gardens and other places of nature or even just set times of silence?
We can eliminate from our society narrow perspectives without eliminating the loving intentions back of those activities. We can make our community a better stronger healthier place while eliminating dogmas. Our society; our world is at a point of pivot and each of us has a role to play in bringing about the world we would give to our children. We make that world by the individual choices we make from moment to moment.
I invite you to choose with me more moments of peace of tolerance, of thanks giving this week.