Spiritual Independence

Now that we’ve discussed our our independence as Americans, what about your independence as a Spiritual Being?

I grew up attending the Roman Catholic church. Since then, I have given up that way of viewing my Spirituality. I haven’t abandoned the premise of Christianity, but I have changed my views that aligned with that particular version. I did not throw the baby out with the bath water, however.

When I was living in Dallas, Texas in my 20’s, I rediscovered my Faith through many different churches. Notice how I said my faith, not my church, and I moved through many different churches.

Almost every weekend, and even on some weekdays, I would attend every different denomination of church that I could find in the area. If you’ve ever been to Dallas/Fort Worth, you know I was pretty busy.

I attended some churches more than others.

One thing that I liked about Protestant churches was their enthusiasm. They loved their God like they liked their Dallas Cowboys. And after so many years of the solemn and serious attitude of the Catholic church, this enthusiasm was so refreshing and inspiring. I loved the feeling of being excited about worshiping God.

I didn’t worry so much about the black marks on my soul or the guilt that motivated me to seek the good side of this sometimes really mean God.

I gotta tell you it felt really good to express a version of Love towards God that didn’t rely on guilt or fear.

But then the theme of guilt and fear came back in subtle ways.

Sooner or later, the “our Way is the right way” came back to haunt me.

There was some message, sometimes big, sometimes little, that got around to how this church was the only way.

Even though they all agreed Jesus was the only way, their specific version of Christianity was the right message and others may set you off in the wrong direction.

Heck, I have been baptized three different times. First, the Catholic church when I was a baby. Then by the Baptists in my 20’s because they were unsure if the Catholics did it right. Finally, my friends at the Pentecostal church didn’t think the Baptists got it quite right.

None of that bothered me, I liked it, and more so if that’s what they needed to feel better, then God bless them.

Here’s what I learned:

We are, by our human nature, more apt to look for what is wrong. It’s part of our nature, in our genes, our conditioning, etc. We needed to spot the tiger immediately, so we sort our experience, our reality, looking for what separates us. It takes a relaxed opening for us to see what brings us together.

Each one of those Churches taught me a new way to Love God more. My entire intent in attending those various denominations was to explore, know and love God more.

In studying Eastern religions, the New Age movement, and other paradigms, my intent was always the same: how do I learn to know and love God more in my daily experience?

I knew from experience that the Baptists taught me more about some things, the Catholics taught me more about other things, and the Presbyterians, the Pentecostals all had their own flavor and wisdom to impart.

I learned how human beings can open up to God more. I learned how I could open myself more. I grew.

After so many churches, I stopped remembering all of the differences because I filled myself with new, amazing ways to love God in my daily experience.

I realized that it was much more important to experience new ways to open than to close myself. Learning to hold on to differences was an experience in my head.

Learning how to open came through my heart.

Learning to hold on to differences kept me stuck in thoughts.

Learning to open my heart keeps me moving, opening, flowing.

My recent intentions with ho’oponopono has been the same. There are different versions of it, different teachers. Some teachers claim that their version is “original” or “source.” Some claim that their teaching is secret and sacred.

Some teachers claim that bad things happen to you or your children if you don’t do it right, if you don’t do it the way they teach you.

Some people say that’s just data. Others might call that a curse.

I think it is a test to see if you will hold it in your head and get stuck. Or, will you open, go to the heart of the matter, let the Divine inspire you directly? Will you move to your own Divine Zero State within you or will you give power to a guru outside of you?

What an odd paradox, since it’s all you anyway.

My message is this: do not ever get caught up in another person’s way. Ihaleakala Hew Len says that every seminar he teaches is different, and he is teaching for each person each time. So his teaching changes, and so do you, so do we all.

Sometimes you will open a book that you read 20 years ago and it will speak to you as if it was a brand new book never read before. Sometimes a gospel from Matthew will resonate more than the gospel from John.

As you go forward with whatever journey you are on, there is a source of inspiration in you that does not change in location, tenor, or feeling.

I challenge you to find that place within you. Run everything you learn through your heart to see if it resonates with you. Get it out of your head. Test how it feels within your heart.

I recently had some beautiful experiences with the Catholic and Orthodox churches that may not have happened if I had stayed closed and in my head to my previous experiences with it.

While i am not attending services, I like to stay open to God loving me through all of his people and me doing the same back, even though it is all one. 🙂

There is a lot inspiration has to teach you if you will let it.

Don’t get stuck in your head. Your head will keep you in one place and dependent.

Keep moving. Move through your heart.

And if this message doesn’t resonate with you, keep moving. 🙂

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  1. Many years ago, as I prepared to depart the tutelage of a Buddhist monk who had been my teacher, he gave me a piece of advice that has proved infallibly true throughout my experiences on my path. He told me that God dwells on a silver thread, and that this thread runs through every religion, every faith, and every path. He told me to always seek that silver thread, but to look past anything that strayed from it, because such things were the inventions of man, rather than borne of the Divine. The God we seek is everywhere, although each of us describes that Divinity differently. Whether a celestial father, the essence of Great Spirit that dwells in all of creation, a resurrected progeny, or a laughing Buddha, all are one and the same. With our descriptions, we only serve to limit that greatness to the realm of our own comprehension. And that is all right, so long as we always recognize that whatever we might see, comprehend, or understand, there is always more.

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