I’m into the belief that Spirit is Soul. A quick peep behind the doors of any emergency room will confirm that we, humans, brain cells and enzymes notwithstanding, are but bones, flesh and fluids.
Of course, we are animated by our soul! Our humanity comes from her. That works for me. The nice thing about souls is that they are neither vengeful nor benevolent – in varying degree, these are the alleged attributes of people and gods. We know humans are flawed but gods don’t cut it for me, either.
I simply don’t understand the idea of anthropomorphic gods with demands, moods and foibles that religious humans have inflicted upon them.
The concept of an avenging father, of a forgiving father or that of a lord that speaketh to me and will asketh me questions as I stand heart-in-mouth at the Pearly Gates, simply fails to resonate in me. Actually, now that I think of it, who knows how ‘things’ would have turned out differently if the words of Jesus had not been taken so literally when he spoke of his father in heaven, most likely to tap a familiar chord within the hearts of his listeners.
Though through birth and circumstances, I could claim Catholicism as well as Judaism as my religious heritage, I have never practised any form of religion – not even an alternative one. Basically, my spiritual belief is focused around our soul, an intrinsic part of us, an active energy that resides in the middle of our chest. And, of course, I believe in the nameless, inexplicable, unprovable but overarching power of the Cosmos.
It is only through a connection to Soul, cosmic/divine energy that is always pure and constant that, I believe, we can attempt to edit some of the karma that is ours to amend in this lifetime. It is through a genuine connection to our soul that we can soften the rub of our ordinary, daily life.
For religious folks, an evolving connection to Soul would complement the relationship they already have with their god, but matters of the soul can stand alone, free of any rituals, religious or otherwise. Having said that, seeing as our karma is partly inherited from our soul’s prior incarnations and partly constructed by ourselves, the same goes for our ego.
Thus it will take many more lifetimes before our subsequent incarnations can rectify the deficit or at least tilt the balance the other way by a degree or two, as they go on creating and amending our collective karma, theirs and ours, going back to the Dawn of Time – just as we, here and now, are expected to begin doing on a daily basis. It is through a soulful link to our spirit and through the underlying principle that, though each challenge comes uninvited and is always most inopportune, we need to ‘actively’ accept all our disappointments and setbacks with an open heart. Accepting under duress and acquiring a ‘poor me’ victim status are not viable options.
It doesn’t score us any points but this resentful passivity does make us sick. It forces us to make mistakes – sometimes irreparable ones. The bottom line is that we need to accept emotionally difficult situations as readily as we always accept our moments of joy and pleasure without asking, “Why me? What have I done to deservethis?”
Most of us agree that discrimination and separation are always wrong and they are wrong when we apply such attitudes to the events and moments in our days. Intrinsically, there is no such thing as a ‘good’ and ‘bad’ or ‘fun’ and ‘sad’ moment or situation. These qualifiers spring out from the low end of our Ego and are totally subjective. What the low end of our ego perceives as fun, good and rewarding is great, a blessing or a lucky break.
What the low end of our ego perceives as unpleasant, unjustified and painful is considered a nasty divine injustice – even by agnostic folks. Having said that, even when a situation in our life is unimaginably ‘soul’ destroying, it is merelyego destroying and we still have to recognize it for the karmic event that it is – and do our best to work through it ‘soulfully’.
Reality check: sent to us for reasons we may never know, any nasty situation in our life has boomeranged back from acts performed in lives long forgotten. While some moments yield rewards that often surprise us and that we incorrectly call ‘blessings’ and ‘good fortune’, the appearance of any emotional challenge in our life also stems from the same source.
Each individual situation in our life is a test in the form of a payback or a heads up that is karmically programmed for us to deal with in this lifetime, right now; even a lovely, unexpected outcome must be dealt with from the heart, in a soulful manner and not be merely ‘enjoyed to the fullest’ as a gratuitous indulgence. Remember, we are souls in disguise. We are disguised in our body, in a body suit or, as Alan Watts called it, in our ‘bag of skin’.
Remember, too, that though we only have one lifetime to act out, our soul is already loaded down by a heavy string of lives, past incarnations, anchored in the Dawn of Times. And so, horrifying events, as so many are, as well as any other event, land on us screaming, “Deal with me from the heart. You don’t have to embrace me, but you have to accept me actively, not under duress. Once you have worked at that long enough to overcome the challenge, I will be on my way. For now, however long it takes you to accept your challenge holistically is however long I will hang around.”
And so, for me, the litmus test of genuine spirituality is not about looking the part in a robe, caftan, turban or cassock – or under a scarf or veil. It is not about rituals and meditations. It is not about publishing more theories and yet another series of self-help books – and making money, sometime a lot of money, out of people’s misery.
For me, the litmus test is simply whether, in the moment that is under our feet, we are able to actively work out an acceptance of our stressors, our illnesses, our disappointments as well as of our emotional pain with a heart that is beginning to open – a heart that is striving for an energetic Acceptance – not a heart that beats to the rhythm of our mind/ego. In simple terms, can we make an honest peace with the situation and the protagonists within it?
If the answer is a screaming, “OMG! I’m nowhere near that!” it’s OK because practice makes perfect and no genuine effort in altering our heart energy is ever too little, too late. Each one of us is a proverbial Work In Progress.
Reality check: what we progress toward is entirely up to us. The very good news is that, really, there is no such thing as a lost soul, a dark soul or a bad soul.
The low end of our ego is often dark because it is totally self-centered and unable to love unconditionally, not even the ones we ‘love’ the most, but our soul is always pure, as per her divine/cosmic nature. She is always there, right in the middle of our chest, right there, right under our hand. All that she needs from us is that we reweave our lost connection to her – independently of any religious belief or ritual. dark souls wallpapers
Rethinking thinking and understanding better – within a spiritual philosophical framework – the meaning of what is happening to us and to those with whom we have been cast to share important moments in this lifetime should be our foremost personal goals. Baby steps rock, particularly when done moment after moment, as every toddler knows well.