Sunday, February 24, 2013

A Bit Regarding Spiritual Matters

 “…because you have struggled with God and with humans…”
Genesis 32:28 
                                           "If I defend myself I am attacked.
Who would defend himself unless he thought he were attacked, that the attack were real, and that his own defense could save himself? And herein lies the folly of defense; it gives illusions full reality, and then attempts to handle them as real. It adds illusions to illusions, thus making correction doubly difficult." ~ A Course in Miracles

I had a conversation recently with a friend regarding the subject of God.  At one point my friend told me I needed to "spread the word" regarding God and my relationship with Him.  I told him I didn't feel that was necessary.  He countered that the bible said we must do so, (which frankly, had my horns coming out), and then, in a sort of backdoor kind of way, he accused me of being worried about what other people think of me, and of being ashamed of God - denying Him like Peter denied Jesus.

I felt my eyes going wide, and in disbelief I asked my friend, "Do you hear yourself?  Do you hear what you are really saying to me?"  The conversation on the subject, for the most part, came to a halt right there, with me slamming the gates shut to anything else being said on the matter.  Because nowhere within me does a need exist to defend my position regarding God to any other living person.  Nor do I feel a need to prove I believe in God by talking about Him, or by attending some church, and any of the other insane things people think they have to do or be to try to make others "join the party," or in making an attempt to please some sort of judgmental god.

People are free to think what they will of me, (and certainly use that freedom to the nth degree), and it has been my experience that 9 times out of 10 they are wrong in their opinion, but any attempt on my part to defend myself is like driving my car into a brick wall.  No thank you.

It absolutely floors me how people latch onto an idea, an opinion they have regarding someone else, and then proceed to make themselves right about it.  And when they do that, they fail to consider what I am considering over here.  I allow them their opinion of me, and will not rise to the defense, feeling there is nothing to defend, as they might expect.  Seeing and believing only what they would do given the same situation, they can't even comprehend that there might be a different approach or response.  They interpret my silence as agreement, thinking that I either can't come up with a defense, or have none, to what they are putting forth.  They err, (greatly), in their thinking.

They also fail to consider the Silence of God.  There is a profound reason behind that Silence.  And...God also has no need to defend Himself. 

I shared that with my friend on another day when the subject came up again, in a round about way, and he told me that that's why God needs us, to be His voice. 

Yeah... about that...

I've mentioned here before that God showed up in my picture, uninvited, 20 some years ago.  Actually, the more my relationship developed consciously with Him, the more I awakened to the fact that He'd been hanging around the edges of my life, lurking, ever since I was a teenager.  There were also other Powers That Be playing havoc with my life that I didn't want to have anything to do with because, One:  I didn't understand them, and Two: no one else seemed to be having the same experiences, so I secretly thought that perhaps I was crazy.

Yet God had no problem making His Presence known to me later, like He was waiting for the moment to pounce or I stood one morning, on the street in my neighborhood, silently alone.  No preacher, no relative, not one single person in this world could have convinced me God was real except God Himself.  Period.  And knowing that, I don't believe that anything I say will "bring in a flock of believers."  I can't even describe the shock I experienced with the fact that God was real.  Honestly, at the time, I'd rather He not have been.  So no, God doesn't need our help by us going around talking about Him.  If He could swoop into my life from wherever He came from out of nowhere, then there is no doubt in my mind that He will do the same for any and everyone else. Why He doesn't isn't really any of my business, and seriously, I'm happy not knowing. 

Anyway, I decided to share with my friend what I think is meant by "spreading the word."  The "word" is us...not some airy fairy talk, empty of any spirit, (i.e. action, or an honest heart).  The only way to make an impact isn't through "talk," but by being a living, breathing example.  Children don't learn how to behave from a parent talking, or preaching at them.  They learn by what their parent is actually doing, and how that parent is treating them, and others.  They watch, and listen to the silent language underneath all the talk.  Sadly, if they sense a discrepancy, which is far too common, and go to ask about it, more than likely, their senses aren't validated, and they are made to think they are imagining things.  For example, a parent who has issues with anger, (who perhaps considers being angry means by definition that they are "bad," and that it is "wrong," or "isn't spiritual."  By the way, tell that to Jesus as he was tipping over tables in the temple!), will never admit to having anger within her kingdom. So what will her answer be?  "No!  I'm not angry!  Whatever gave you that idea!"  Or, "How dare you suggest such a thing!"  And that is the first step the poor kid has into dis-trusting his God given senses...

But I digress...

I don't merely believe God is real, I know He is real, and that deep knowledge wasn't brought about by some book.  I refused to even crack open the bible before God came swooping in.  And even then it took some doing to get me to go there without a lot of argument and resistance.  So no, my knowledge of God didn't come from "the letter."  It came through experience.  There is nothing that can shake me from that knowing.  There is nothing to defend.  Folks have tried.  I don't really care.  And I don't really care if they believe or not.  Again, that's God's business, not mine.

If I choose to speak of God, it isn't in an attempt to convert.  It is the same for me as if I was mentioning my daughter, or a husband, or any other relationship I have.  However, no one has an issue with my relationship with another human being.  (Unless of course, it happened to be a gay relationship.  Because, again, people bring God into that picture as well.  But that will never happen because I don't swing that way...just sayin').  My point is, the subject of God tends to be a hot button for folks, whether they are church going Christians, or atheists, doesn't really matter.  What does matter is that in their reactions they forget their own humanity, and forgetting it, they forget the humanity in others as well.

That is why...

In my experience, God wasn't real concerned with my belief in Him.  He took care of that part with the greatest of ease.  What He was concerned with most of all was the opening of my own heart, the clearing of my own conscience, and the development of my own soul, which comes naturally when we begin trusting the love in our own heart, and allow it to express.  All these things go hand in hand, there is no separation.  The act of loving will take care of it all eventually.  But we have to do the work, no one else.  Not even God can, or will intervene.  There is no one else who will save you from this work.  Rumi said, "Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it."  And that is precisely what I did, and continue to do, because there is way more to the act of love than most folks can possibly comprehend.  I'm not talkin' about romantic love, or any special relationship kind of love, although we all have to start somewhere.  I'm talking about Love Divine.  Love that encompasses, and is behind all forms of love.  

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