Early Life and Trials of Spiritual Living 2 by Manatita (Prose)
That particular day, I was full of love for God. The Pastor had just finished an eloquent Sermon, and there was a sweet fire in my Soul. It was a cool Caribbean evening, and the sway of the coconut trees, overhanging the ravine from the back of my mother’s house, brought a calm and soothing feeling to my new inspirational needs.
“All those who would like to give their life for Jesus, step forward.” Said Pastor Max Solbrekon.
I stood up and sat down, and I stood up and sat down …, I hesitated. Somehow, even as a teen I knew intuitively, that this life was for real, that there was to be no turning back, and that if I did, like Lots wife, It was highly likely, that I would become a pillar of salt. So I sat, and pondered, and slowly my fire abated, and I went home. This was to happen many times, until many years later, when in an entirely different country, I found my inner treasure.
I was born Cecil Kingsley Hutchinson, the first of seven children of a single mum, who had to work real hard, initially to look after me. Much later, she also cared for another six children in another city, a good distance from home.
My early childhood was a very happy one. Oblivious like any child to the trials and vicissitudes of bringing up a young child as a single mum, I was to be found always playing and joking with my friends. We spun tops, told Anancy stories (folklore), bathed in the rivers of my Grenadian Paradise, and mischievously rode downhill on homemade carts.
My innate spirituality was awakened from a very early age. I was christened, baptised, went to Sunday school, and lived very close to the Pentecostals, whose music was exuberant enough, to find its way into my joyful Spirit. Mom was good and noble, and a great selfless giver, a lover of human beings, and perhaps this beautiful and special quality was acquired by many of her children, including myself.
My early life post school was spent looking for work, in order to help her, and I drifted from being a clerk, to working on a building site, to finally joining the Royal Grenada Police Force. When I was twenty-one years old, I left home and travelled to the UK, in search of a different life.
Spiritual awakening for me came through reading a book called The Path, Autobiography of a Western Yogi, by Swami Kriyananda. From then onwards I began to run full speed inwardly, found my Guru, and today, 32-yrs later, I am still on this beautiful Path.
The spiritual life calls for discipline and an acknowledging of inner recommendations of the Master and one’s conscience. Initially one may ‘fly’ with inner speed, but sooner or later, words like ‘wakefulness, ‘prudence’ and ‘wisdom, become infinitely meaningful. One is tempted, in various ways, for every step of the way, and is never far from falling.
Consequently the social outlet may need to be reduced, in so far as to exclude certain drugs, intoxicants and other things undesirable to living a God-centred life. Still, one is welcomed into a new and like-minded circle of friends, all with aspirations for the same pursuit: that of total peace and absorption in the Supreme.
In Front of a Temple of Flowers, Jamaica, Queens.
The beauty of this life, however, lies in a firm conviction of Something Higher, and the good fortune of copious Grace, of never having to give up. There are a great many pitfalls in this life, and at times it can seem lonely and austere.
Amidst this all, God continues to shine like a glorious Light, and indeed the devotee or in my case, disciple, gets a glimpse or several glimpses, to keep him focused on his quest. We sojourners along this Path are ever-careful, cautious, vigilant, one-pointed or steadfast …
After all we seek to hold on to an elusive Divine, which demands of us, many trials and sacrifice. The higher the devotee ascends, the greater the agony, the subtle pain. Still, the joy in the heart mostly remains, and with the Masters Grace, permeates the inner being or psyche, giving a sweetness which the disciple consciously or unconsciously shares with seekers, friends and loved ones alike. Such is the way of the divine consciousness, operating in a conscious way, in and through the instruments of the Divine.
To conclude, I just wanted to give a flavour of the life Divine. Of course there are daily prayers; meditations; singing and all else that constitutes a life of Sadhana (spiritual practice), to invoke and nourish the presence of the Supreme Reality. In all this, discipline, regularity, discrimination and faith are paramount, as well as an open window in the heart, an expansive mind and soulful or selfless service to mankind.
Finally, a life of pristine purity to include wholesome food, exercise and self-control, is totally necessary, to enhance receptivity; to attract a copious flow of the inner Light. Glory be!
_Manatita, 16th December, 2014.
~Word-crafted Wisdom. Awakening the Inner Light ~
By Christopher Lloyd Clarke. 7 mins of Love
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