An Overlooked Path To The Shining Self
It is easy to forget that we have a purpose in life beyond obtaining an education, raising a family and supporting ourselves. Our material world is so solid – so ever present around us- so undeniable because we wake up each morning and go to bed at night in solid reality.
However there is another reality – the reality of spirit.
But spirit is very subtle, doesn’t reveal itself to us easily, and doesn’t speak to us the way we are conditioned to hear, and therefore is easy to overlook. In the Gospel of Thomas the disciples ask Jesus, “Rabbi, Rabbi, “Where is the kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus replys, “The kingdom of heaven is all around you but you do not see it.”
Most major spiritual traditions speak of God as immanent in the creation as well as transcendent to it. A translation of this terminology means that God is the substratum of an unchanging reality that transcends any particular object of that reality. Our souls emanate from this eternal reality and are pure individualized units of divinity. We are ontologically united but existentially separated.
A tragedy of epic measure occurs because many do not understand this truth and fail to explore their inner divinity.
Without spirit to guide us we make decisions from our lower minds which houses the ego. The ego is self centered and seeks to meet its desires which in the end can never be satiated. Much of the time our ego is motivated by fear, greed or ego enhancement. No matter how educated or intelligent we are our mental picture of the world is filtered through our ego until we gain awareness of a depth within ourselves that is spiritual and forms the basis of our decisions.
Thoughts On Working With Spirit
We spend our lives working with our heads – solving problems, earning a living, planning vacations and so forth. Therefore it follows that we need to ‘get out of our heads’ – get out of thinking mind to find spirit.
Spirit is subtle and has no knowledge of time so it doesn’t push itself into our awareness. We need to seek it in quietude. We can simply quiet ourselves, sit in repose and enjoy quiet and peace. Many of us do this after a hectic day. It’s a way we empty the contents of our head and put aside thoughts of the day. When we do this we set the stage to pursue deeper levels of peace.
From there we can begin a simple short meditation on breath, on the wonder of the creation or on a chosen deity. This can lead to pursuing meditation as a spiritual path. However it is not the only way to encounter spirit.
There is another way. This way is very powerful and leads one directly to the sacred.
Letting Go I or Me-ism
When we talk about ourselves and our accomplishments we lead off with the word “I”. I did this on the job, I painted the fence, I got a raise, I started a new studio and so forth.
This is ego talk – we all do it – it is the way language is structured – but it is actually incorrect. It is incorrect because God is immanent in the creation and permeates every molecule in our body – and God is transcendent in our souls. We are the micrcosim of the marocism.
A more accurate statement is “the God or Spirit in me” got the raise, fixed the plumbing, started a new job and so forth.
Thinking like this acknowledges that I am Spirit housed in a body with ego.
Each and every time we think this way we deepen our connection to the truth of our existence.
When calamity hits, when challenges befall us, we can say “Spirit has given me this challenge.” When you practice thinking from Spirit, your ego may shake a little in crisis but you will know that Spirit is giving you a trial for your personal evolution.
Furthermore – and this is the sweet spot – you can say with conviction – I return this challenge to Spirit as I have every action of my waking life.
It’s the opposite of how most people live their lives – taking credit for the good and asking God to take the challenges away.
In the great classic the Baghava Gita the lord tells Arjuna ( you and me) think of me in all the work you do for I am in you and I am everyone and everywhere. The lord then tells him to realize that Arjuna’s soul or spirit is doing the work. “Do not identify yourself as the doer.”
Arjuna tells the lord, “But that is so hard to do living in concrete reality.” The lord agrees and then tells Arjuna to simply offer all his work to the Lord and he will meet Him and know Him and be one with Him.
My experience has been that letting go “I or Me-ism” is a very powerful spiritual practice and can be done by anyone.
With my ego there was no God,
Now there’s God and I’m effaced;
A single town asserts Kabir;
Two kings does not accommodate.*
Kabir, Mohan Singh Karki
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