On Being Spiritual - The Art Of Peaceful Debate
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On Being Spiritual
I’ve noticed something recently that has impacted me in such a way that I feel compelled to write about it. I’ve recently had encounters with self described, ‘spiritual folk’ who may believe they are being spiritual, but in actuality, through their day to day actions, are demonstrating a complete lack of understanding regarding the true meanings of what it means to be spiritual.
As a writer and avid spiritual seeker, I absolutely thrive on lively discussion and debate regarding spiritual issues. Exploring all angles of an issue through discussion can involve voicing disagreement with the words or logic of others. It is often through this process that new levels of understanding can be achieved. When spiritual authors/channelers and mystics are putting themselves, their writings and/or their messages ‘out there’ one would think they might expect to be engaged by others into such discussion. In particular, when one chooses to publish their views and perspectives on public forums or blogs with ‘comments’ sections afterwards, I think it’s safe to say that they are actively ‘asking’ for feedback and discussion regarding their perspectives.
Voicing disagreement in my opinion need never compromise our desire for being spiritual nor need it involve treating another human being with disrespect. It truly IS possible to respectfully disagree with someone and at the same time, keep your heart open to the individual you are disagreeing with. This said, finding someone who is willing to partake in respectful debate can prove to be difficult. I suspect some would tell me that I am not being spiritual when I choose to engage someone in debate regarding an issue they have chosen to expound upon within a public forum. To these people I would say; It is one thing to ask questions, voice disagreement and explain your own unique position and quite another to become nasty and condescending to someone because you do not agree with their position.
From the time I’ve been a child, a huge part of my learning has come from asking questions. As a young catholic girl, I asked far too many questions of those whose mission it was to indoctrinate me into their religion. As I sat through the sermon every Sunday, listening attentively, question after question would pop into my head. Even then, I was all for people holding their own opinions and perspectives, but it absolutely drove me crazy when these perspectives were devoid of logical support. Such questions as “How come Jesus is said to be God’s only son….I thought we were all his children,” or “if God is so loving why would he send some of his children to hell,” either fell on deaf ears or were explained away with some lame excuse. I was never one to let this stop me from continuing with my queries.
To this day, nothing excites me more or brings me to greater levels of clarity than a rousing discussion on belief systems. The very personal, spiritual journey I’ve embarked upon, encompasses and embraces the fact that others will undoubtedly hold ideas and perspectives that are contrary to my own. Through sharing and explaining personal perspectives, we can all come to new vistas of expanded consciousness. I truly find it enthralling to attempt to get inside the head of another to garner a glimpse of how they arrive at their perspective and I find nothing more enthralling than holding my own beliefs and perspectives up to the glaring light of logical scrutiny. Therefore, it pains me greatly when someone I’m debating or discussing an issue with, feels the need to become nasty and defensive.
On Being Spiritual; Why do so many of us react defensively when our beliefs are questioned or challenged? What exactly is it we’re afraid of?
I know personally, the only time I experience a pang of fear or anger regarding this type of challenge, is when I myself am not completely sure about my own level of belief regarding the validity of my perspectives. Think about it. If you have complete clarity regarding your own perspectives and fully know that they pass your own personal test of logic, then why would you ever feel the need to become nasty or defensive in response to the perspectives shared by another? Are personal beliefs really that fragile that the views of another are somehow a threat?
IF I do notice myself feeling threatened, fearful or angry regarding the viewpoint of another, it means I best make a date with myself, meditate deeply and delve into the issue at hand. It’s very likely that I’ve some unresolved issues regarding my beliefs on the subject, or perhaps I’m simply holding my position due to a strong need to be ‘right.’ If this is the case, a healthy dose of self love combined with a conscious intent to expand my level of consciousness is highly in order. The ability to consciously activate the observer within works wonderfully when we find ourselves acting from the position of lower ego.
The need to be seen as ‘right,’ is a fear based response. It means that I am so frightened of being bad or wrong that I’ll stubbornly dig in my heels and defend my position despite the fact that deep down I know it may be a weak one. When one feels confident about his perspectives, explaining them is a pleasure and a treat, and he will feel no threat due to opposing convictions held by another. And who knows, engaging in debate from such a perspective can even have the end result of having me learn something new, or even, dare I say, shift my belief system!
When you think about it, peaceful, respectful debate is simply an exercise in sharing viewpoints. If we can remain calm and open hearted during such an exchange, there is much to be gained. I love nothing more than getting a glimpse inside the logical processes of another. Although my viewpoint may not necessarily be swayed by their sharing, (I’ll never say never though!) there’s no doubt I’ll have come away learning SOMETHING new. We’re all very unique individual beings and no two of us process reality in exactly the same way. Instead of shrinking away from this uniqueness and demanding that others think the same way we do, we should celebrate our differences.
The enlightened journey is not an easy one, but you’d think that anyone who upholds themselves as a being spiritual or as a spiritual seeker of any sort would understand and embrace the most basic tenet of kindness, respect and consideration of others.
A few weeks ago I attempted to dialogue with a woman who claims to be channeling St. Germain. The messages she channels are in my opinion, extremely negative in nature, describing a future where our world as we know it, essentially, collapses around us. In previous channelings, “St. Germain,” seemed to embrace and teach that we each created our own reality, therefore, I had many questions as to why such a negative future was being forecasted.
I was absolutely stunned by the tone of the responses I received to my queries and assertions. Keep in mind, this message was supposedly being delivered by a fully awakened, enlightened, ascended master. It also bears saying that throughout all of my comments and observations, I remained extremely polite and respectful.
St. Germain’s responses to me were curt, rude, and filled with fear. I was basically told that my queries were, annoying, arrogant and disrespectful. As I had made a conscious effort to voice my opinion in an extremely respectful manner, this response was baffling. “St. Germain finished by telling me; “Channeling on this blog will not address any defiance again..please ask questions. Please make comments. Any comment that is not accepted by me will not be published…no more attitudes of condescension will be tolerated!”
What “St. Germain” really should have said is; “Please ask questions and leave comments, but make sure that they are in complete agreement with the ideas put forth in the article above. If you do not agree with my viewpoints, I refuse to acknowledge you or your opinions.”
If I was on the fence regarding the validity of the channel and her messages from St. Germain, I was no longer after receiving this response. I had never considered that an enlightened, ascended person would or even could become ‘annoyed.’
It appeared to me as though “St. Germain,” seemed to be having a bit of a temper tantrum regarding my comments and questions, clearly NOT the behavior one would expect from an awakened being, who has apparently, successfully completed the enlightened journey, clearly not a good example of someone who was being spiritual.
As law of attraction is always at work bringing more to us that matches whatever we are focused upon, my experience with the nastiness did not stop there. Although this next guy was not necessarily touting himself as ‘an enlightened being,’ he was the author behind a spiritual/metaphysical hub. No doubt, he upholds himself as a sort of ‘expert’ on the subject.
I read his article, thoroughly enjoying both its content and the skill with which it was written. This guy is a good writer and he tackles subjects of interest. However, if you don’t agree with his content, you best be keeping it to yourself. He includes a ‘comments’ section at the end of his hubs, but it’s quite clear that he only welcomes comments in support of his viewpoint. He gets rather nasty and rude to those who dare to voice and defend opinions contrary to his own.
If I could, I’d address this fellow, St. Germain and anyone else who becomes confrontational and defensive while discussing differences, with the following queries; Why do you become defensive and angry when confronted with those who hold perspectives that differ from your own? What is it you’re afraid of? Are your own convictions really so fragile that you feel the need to guard them from scrutiny? Oh perhaps, do you see the logic in the other’s perspective and can therefore see the flaw in your own? What would happen if you were to admit that your perspective does not hold up to your own criteria for logic? What would it cost you to revise your perspective? How difficult would it be to simply say to the other, in a respectful tone, “you obviously feel strongly about your conviction, I however feel strongly about mine, therefore, my friend, we’ll simply have to agree to disagree”?
Both of these individuals have alluded to their resonance with the idea of world peace. To both of them I say this; If we as individuals cannot discuss and disagree about personal issues without becoming angry, nasty and defensive, how can we ever expect entire nations to interact peacefully.
As individuals, each of us has our own very unique way of perceiving and processing our reality. Differences in perspective should be accepted as the given. The way that we choose to react to those differences will either support peace or destroy its possibility.
World peace begins with the individual. When each one of us has the ability to transcend the limits and fear and lower ego, to remain loving, centered and open-hearted, even in the face of those who hold and express different perspectives, then and only then can we expect peaceful interactions between humans on a mass scale.
And yes, in the comments section below, I truly do welcome ALL comments!! Thanks in advance to all who choose to share perspectives!