Spirituality: A Simple Approach. Friday's Inspiration 2. An Offering to Mary Norton
"You are the soul which is unlimited. Your soul is infinitely powerful. Your soul defies all time and space. Your special mission - which is the fulfilment of your divinity - is not outside you, but within. Search within. Meditate within. You will discover your mission." - Sri Chinmoy
Introduction to spiritual living
“Happiness is Love bubbling forth into the newness and fulness of life.” -Sri Chinmoy
Just one of the many quotes on happiness from my Guruji and indeed we will no doubt see many more in our search for happiness. Why can’t we feel and hold on to it? Perhaps we are looking externally, listening to too many life-coaches, motivators and inspirators … shouting at life.
The spiritual life is simple and it is all about Love and service. Love is the Absolute in Its various manifestations, including the Creation, which is a projection of Itself. So, we are in fact Gods or Love.
“What, know ye not that ye are the children of God, that God dwells in you and you are not your own? 1Corinthians, 6:19
“I have said. You are Gods and all of your children are of the most high.” Psalms 82:6
It matters not whether we are religious or spiritual, atheists or agnostics, as there is an inherent quest in all for inner fulfillment … a greater meaning to life. We are born free and we sense this consciously or unconsciously, being constantly pushed or driven by an impulse, to find our true Source.
We are spiritual beings
What is that Source? We are spirit-beings, meaning that we are made in the image of Spirit or God. Moreover, we are not really different. Every soul is unique, yes and has its own message to offer to the world. Yet we all flow from the same Origin. Water is agua in Spain, jal for the Muslims and pani for the Hindu, but it is essentially the same H20. So too, we are many with distinct features and purposes, all coming from the Absolute Supreme.
Sri Chinmoy describes the human psyche in five parts: body, vital, mind, heart, and soul. In the West we say body and soul. We think of our selves as a body with a soul, but essentially, we are Spirit, meaning the the physical is only an instrument or temple of the Divine. The Heart is the Shrine and the soul is the deity within the Shrine. The body is a necessary instrument to manifest the Light or divinity of Allah, but it will perish one day. The soul is immortal.
We are not the body … we are the soul which is immortal, limitless … we are trying to find our way Home. How do we do this? We have read so many books on Astrology, palmistry, clairvoyance, life-coaching and so on, that we have forgotten the basics: Love, service, charity, gratitude … prayer both verbal and silent, meditation … and a host of others.
These are necessary to keep the limitations in check: ego, greed, lust, attachments, anger. If we are not free from insecurity, fear, jealously, power and a few more, then we cannot truly help humans. We have to start, like I have done, but even I am not free. I am a seeker of the Light, like you all and you are my brothers and sisters of the One.
What we are seeking is not outside us, but within. Going on pilgrimage, reading books, drinking holy water are all helpful, according to our measure of faith. Faith comes within. So, we see that inner growth is necessary and indeed patience too, as the spiritual life is not a race.
A dear friend said that she felt that Spirituality was deeds and reflections. Very noble. Yet Religion is life itself. You are energy and whatever you do affect the world. You and I affect each other and the world around us, by the vibrations that we offer to the world. Do you wonder why you are unhappy with sad news, or in an angry crowd? Why you are happy with friends and good news? It is all because of vibrations or energy.
All things carry a vibration or energy, even a stone. We call it Consciousness; Christianity calls it Spirit and the physicist call it a force or energy field. Everything is Spirit and matter is purely Spirit with form, necessary for the glory of God.
Tools for living
So, what is necessary?
- A belief or faith in Something Higher, not separate, but within the mystic being. We call it the Heart
- The Practice of the Presence of God, as Brother Laurence calls it. That conscious awareness of gratitude the moment we awake, what we see in the kitchen, nature, the streets, at work are all godlike and we are called upon to serve in this spirit.
- Prayer or meditation. This is where the Grace of Higher forces come from. We are not free, in a sense, and cannot do this by ourselves.
- Hence prayer, selfless service … all activities as mentioned by scriptures, designed to enlarge the Heart … to make us more receptive to Spirit … to the flow of inward Grace in our lives. We feed the hungry body, don’t we? So why don’t we feed the soul?
Guruji used to say, that if you wish to swim, he can teach you. You will be offered the goggles, the fins, paddles, pull-buoys, etc. If finally, however, you declined to get into the water, then how will you be able to swim? Spiritual practice is like getting into the water: morning and evening prayer, soulful service, kindness and generosity, selfless-giving, empathy and gratitude.
Please remember that in Yoga the weakness is inside you, not outside: fear, envy, loneliness, stress … again, if you think about it, in heaven God won’t ask about Harry or Jane, He will ask them about themselves, yes, but He will also ask you about you. What have you done for Him? He won’t ask about me or your mom or dad or anyone else. Spirituality is the language of the Heart, your own spiritual Heart, what you sometimes experience as conscience.
Let us all strive to better ourselves, acknowledging our weaknesses, our limitations; rising from our falls, only to continue marching to our Beloved Supreme.
Manatita, The Lantern Carrier. 17th January, 2020
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