DAMAYAN-BULUSEÑO GAZETTE ONLINE EDITION

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LIGHTHOUSE 

by Starbhen

My Spiritual Journey

(I thought of writing this article because of a priest in our parish who now and then would drop at our place and engage us in a friendly conversation over a cup of coffee about just any topic under the sun.  In his last two visits at home, we talked about the new age, about the decline of morality in religion and about priests who seem confused nowadays.  So, for the first time, I am coming out with this story of my spiritual journey.  I have no intention, whatsoever, of trying to convince anyone to my personal beliefs.  It is up to the readers to form their own opinions and perhaps embark their own search for the truth. Let me caution the readers though to keep an open mind for the mind is like an umbrella – it works best when it is open.)

When I was in grade school, I heard some teachers say: “Men are equal in the eyes of God.” My young mind could not grasp the meaning of such a statement.  How could that be?  When I look around me, I see so much inequalities in all aspects of life – physical, financial, economic, social, mental, talentwise, etc.

Then when I was in high school, a Retreat Master said: ”We have to live a good life because if we die in the state of mortal sin we will be relegated to the fires of hell for all eternity.” He went on to define eternity by comparing it to an ant going around a steel ball but would not even be able to make a dent on that ball.  At the same time, he said that God is all loving and all merciful.  I could not understand why an all loving and all merciful God would allow his erring children to suffer eternal damnation.  What is God that would evoke fear in one’s heart?  Is God really that fearsome and vengeful?

After college, I started to read the Bible or attend Bible sessions. I learned that God is a Spirit and we must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and that we are created in His image and likeness.  Yet in churches, we have personified God as a human being complete with beards.

I went through life’s journey wondering and being unable to reconcile those concepts about God even if some religious preachers said that God is a mystery, unfathomable and so beyond human understanding.  Yet over the years I could not help asking myself these questions: Who and what am I really?  Who and what is God? How can I relate to God?  Ang mga katanungang ito ay patuloy na umukilkil sa aking kaisipan.

Then in the latter part of the 1970’s, I had a deep mystical experience when in a moment of desperation, I turned to God with all my heart, my mind and my whole being.  In other words, I surrendered my life completely to Him without any mental reservation.  To my great amazement, He gave me the sweetest, the most unforgettable experience I ever had in my life until this moment.  I felt as though a wind rushed out of my system accompanied by a feeling of lightness as though a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  Then I heard a voice – a voice without sound, a voice of silence. At the same time, I felt peace, the peace that passeth understanding and felt my consciousness penetrating the depths of the earth and the expanse of the firmament.  I felt as though I was everywhere at the same time, limitless, beyond space and time.

My tears flowed freely, unabated for the sheer beauty, sweetness and wonder of that experience – so ennobling, so elevating, so liberating.  I could even perceive that leaves and stones have vibrations of their own. For several days, I was ecstatic, in euphoria.  People at home and friends who knew me noticed something so different in my outlook.  It was an experience I could not share.  I simply pondered and savored it in my heart.  It seemed no one would understand me anyway.

Yet, I did not know the meaning of it all.  So I read spiritual books, scriptures, attended sessions of various mystical organizations (Ananda Marga, Theosophical Society, Silva Method of Judy Qua, Summit of Clare and Mark Prophet, Cursillo, Life in the Spirit Seminar, etc.). For several months, I even studied under a Buddhist monk. I found some answers, but not enough to satisfy all my questions.  Until one day in 1998, I read in the papers about the free introductory Lecture on Raja Yoga Meditation.  I attended the two-hour session and I liked what I heard.  I wanted to know more, so I kept going back.  Now, I found all the answers to my questions and more and I stopped my search. It is here where I came to know about myself, about God, about nature and their interrelationships.  Who and what am I? Where do I come from and where am I going?  Who is God and what is/are my relationship/s to Him?  These and many more.  Below are some of the truths I learned about myself, God, nature and the meaning of life.

(To be continued in the next issue)

 

Vol. XV No. 7 (March - May 2003)

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