A Glimpse Into the Spiritual Life. Sunday’s Inspiration 18, a Soulful Offering to Manju Lata
Abides My Soul, Within A Realm Of Bliss. A ten-syllable Sonnet
Abides my soul, within a realm of Bliss,
Its beauty filled with light upon the dawn.
My Heart awakes, bedazzled by Your kiss,
A peace within and stillness have begun.
All where I see, the scorching flames of fire,
In my abyss, the shadowed night did burn.
Replaced by Love, my darkness and desire,
Now overwhelmed within the rising sun.
Such sweetness, is this wondrous wine within!
Flung wide the portals, of my dancing soul.
Yielding to the eloquent Light unseen,
Ceaselessly marching, to its cherished goal.
Flaunting its scarlet grandeur in my core,
The moon my guide; my end Thy Golden Shore.
- Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. March 28th, 2020.
We are all sparks of the Absolute Consciousness (Spirit), made in Its own image; consciously or unconsciously following a progressive path, to take us Home. All things, within, without, below and above, are in this stream of Spirit, entering this field of righteousness (Dharma), at different times; in myriad forms, to manifest Its Light.
There is nothing outside this field of the Absolute (Creation), and as such, religion is part and parcel of this divine Lila (Divine game). Now there are different stages of this journey, but the lower stages can be controversial to some and again they are not necessary to know to begin our journey. So, for the purposes of this article, I will begin with humans, in our current form:
- 1. The Religious Stage is necessary for ethics and etiquette, a call to morals, of right and wrong. It also gives us purpose, a sense of belonging, of hope … of Something or Someone to turn to in troubled times. Humans will always have idols, whether it is Michael Jackson or Queen; Aretha Franklyn or Kenny Rogers, our very nature is designed to latch on to something in life. Bear in mind, though, that the Saviour comes, to point us to our Hearts.
Loosely speaking, religion is a panacea for that which ails us. The religious stage is divided into various groups, but we can loosely call them the fundamental and the devout. Let us make it clear right away, that nothing is really wrong with either, even though the first may annoy us at times. The individual who thinks he is right, is very often, as convinced as the one who knows he is right, by virtue of his own inner experiences. If we do not taste the mango, we cannot know it is sweet.
In life, souls come at different times ... at different levels, like school; like stairways to heaven
Nevertheless, God has designed creation in gradations, very much like school. One child is Grade 2 and yet another Grade 9, that is all. Both are correct in their own way, according to their own perceptions or vision of life and both necessary to creation. True spirituality lies in inner wisdom, but that comes later. Let us listen to the sublime words of the Apostle Paul:
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. – (1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV)
Life’s only goal is progress, but each step is important. We do not wear diapers (Pampers) and crawl on all fours, yet we cannot say that the child we were, are not important. This is crucial for the devotee of Truth. Everything has a role; everything has a purpose.
Back to religion. The religious fear God and obey God. There is also a subtle feeling of God as static, as a finished product … of geography, of a Being with long grey beard somewhere, waiting to judge me for my sins.
“The essence of religion is to fear God and obey God;
The quintessence of Spirituality, is to know God and become another God.” – Sri Chinmoy
If I’m good, great! If I’m bad, then I go into a lake of everlasting fire. I grew up in Christianity with this belief and 68 years later, some still hold it, even through our scriptures are littered with pages and pages of an omnipresent God, who is full of Love … of compassion.
Scribes and pharisees.
The religious tend to see things one way. It is all in boxes, or books that become boxes. Analytical and separating, this path loses the way of the Heart that Christ spoke of and instead of ‘we’ and ‘ours’, it only sees ‘me’ and ‘mines.’ It lacks the spirit of the child’s simplicity, of identification and oneness.
The religious also existed 2,000 years ago and even before. After all, they believed in the law and followed the ways of scribes, pharisees, saduces, doctors and elders of the law. The very men that Christ had problems with, because their eyes were open and could not see, purely because their Hearts were asleep.
This is important, as when the chips were down, they all came together, to crucify Christ. Bring this forward to the 21st century and we see that the same thing has happened with the persecution of the Saints, with the horrors of slavery and much more, all in the name of religion.
Not much is new, really and one should not endlessly apportion blame. Instead, the way forward is to seek the Light, from the inner chambers of the Heart. You and I are energy fields … are Spirit and as such we affect the world, by the vibration that we offer to the world.
The second group of the religious is devout, like St. Theresa of Avila. They do not usually leave the church, although some do have to explain themselves, but their Hearts are like pure mirrors, filled with many windows. They see only God and His creation and to them, all life is sacred. They are usually, but not always, steeped in spiritual experiences, purely because their Hearts have become malleable to the Divine.
1. 2.The Spiritual; not Religious. There is much wisdom in this, as religion has come to be associated with dogma, rituals and used as a means to political ends. However, in a subtle way, we are denying our brother-sister souls when we say this, denying the very oneness of an all-knowing, all-wise and ever-present, all-seeing Spirit. This also traps us in semantics.
The Life-tree is God, but It does not deny its branches, flowers and fruits, as He knows that all is designed to play a role in creation … that even the very hairs on our heads are numbered. However, these group is generally like the 9th graders … further along the evolutionary ladder in this field of Dharma. (Duty; righteousness)
Inner longing: aspiration is the beginning and the end of the journey
- 3. Spiritual Seekers. Spiritual seekers, aspirants, chelas, God-seekers, call them what you wish, by very nature start when they are tired of life. They are at the point where, much of what should be done, has been done. Yet they feel unfulfilled, discontented, begin to ask themselves ‘who am I?’ or ‘where have I come from?’, ‘what is this all about?’
This forces them into aspiration – an inner cry; a burning intensity for Light; for Truth. So, the spiritual seeker, is by nature dissatisfied with life – in the beginning – and propelled by a strong inner yearning, follows an intuitive urge to find his/her true nature or deeper Self. This does not mean that they are unhappy, though, some are, in the beginning, yes, but their lives unfold to a greater inner joy, which sustains their faith, offering courage, hope and solitude.
- Spiritual Practices. There are many Paths and each is valid, but they can easily be broken down into two. The Path of the Mind; The Path of The Heart. Many motivators, life-coaches and inspirators have come. They do help us and are invaluable. Still, weekend intensive workshops, seminars and money, play a large role in what they do and at best they stimulate the mind. This is not lasting.
Man is by nature Spirit and must worship in Spirit and in Truth. All scriptures have recommendations. You know them: Prayer, both verbal and silent reflection, singing and reading of devotional works; self-less service – a soulful offering from the Heart to life, without expectations – gratitude, loving-kindness and more. This is how the ego is finally transformed and we become receptive to the Higher Light (Grace).
Meditation is crucial! We begin this with concentration/focus – the ability to hold our one-pointed gaze on an object, to the exclusion of everything else. Done gently, without strain or force, this will in time harness our inner and outer energies, for the greater task of meditation – expansion, stillness, the energy that unfolds within, when the mind is calm, vacant … tranquil. Concentration helps us to steady the mind, harness the energies and prepares us for meditation.
I will leave a link here to my Hub on Yoga for beginners, as it will address meditation more and give you pointers on how to meditate. You can also write to me, if you need instructions. By the way, sincere Masters rarely charge for their teachings and that includes my own Teacher.
In a sense, unless one is good-intentioned and trying to cover costs for a Hall or Venue, it is foolish to ask you to pay for what you already know, either consciously or unconsciously, is your birthright. Hari Om! God speed!
Manatita, the Lantern Carrier. 28th March, 2020.
Fear and loneliness
What in your view, creates these?
© 2020 manatita44