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LIGHTHOUSE

by Starbhen

 

My Spiritual Journey

(Continued)

(In the last issue of this gazette, I talked about my mystical experience and how I embarked on a search to know its meaning. In this issue, I’d like to talk about some of the truths I have learned as I embarked on that search. Once again, I urge the readers to keep an open mind for the mind is like a parachute-it is only useful when it is open.) 

What is Truth? We have been hearing about the saying, “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” To be set free, connotes that first of all one is in bondage  – the bondage of sin which really means bondage to any or all of the five major vices (anger, sex-lust, greed, attachment and ego) and their progenies (envy, jealousy, slander, prejudice, resentment, etc.) And indeed all of us are in bondage to anyone of those vices for so long now. How have we come to the bondage of sin?

First, let me try to define the word truth. I remember one definition of truth from a movie I’ve seen in my younger days -“Truth is the justice you deny and the wrongs you justify.”  Another was given by a spiritual teacher who said, "Truth is to remember what we have forgotten.” That we have forgotten our true and eternal identity which resulted in the lack of spiritual power is the reason for almost all the problems we have today –  confusion, chaos, conflict, sorrow, emptiness, etc.  

What then is our true and eternal identity? God is a spirit and man (soul) is the same image and likeness. The soul, like God is a conscious point of spiritual light energy and cannot be seen by the physical eyes.  Its task is to animate or direct the body. It is the soul that brings the body to life. In other words, the body without the soul has no life; but the soul without the body cannot express life.  Thus, we say death occurs when the soul leaves the body and the latter returns to dust   which it is made of. But the soul cannot die. It is eternal. Its original nature is Purity, Peace, Love, Happiness, Truth.

This brings us to the concept of two kinds of energy: physical (body) and non-physical (soul or mind). Physical energy is replenished by physical, tangible quantities of food, water, while spiritual energy can only be replenished by spiritual, intangible qualities of thought in the form of love, truth, peace, etc.  Today, we are unsure of this difference and tend to mix the two; instead of seeing the body as the package and the mind as the content, we see ourselves mainly as the body. We spend a lot of time, energy and money looking after the body, but very little time caring for the mind.           

The mind is the being with self-awareness, and the body is the human (humous), which contains the being. This being which is our real self   is situated just above and behind the eyes. This is the driving seat from which we instruct and direct the vehicle of our body. This is where we are conscious of the world and of ourselves. In fact, we are consciousness and our mind is our conscious ability to think. The mind is not separate from us, but an integral part of us: the point of consciousness within the body. This point of consciousness is the soul. You are a soul. I am a soul. All of us are souls - tiny points of conscious light energy, eternal and imperishable.  The soul cannot be created or destroyed. There is no such thing as death of the soul, only death of the body, at which point the soul leaves the body and takes another body (reincarnation).

Great mistake we all made by identifying only with the physical form. –  When we do this, two things result: 1. We think all our experience comes to us through our physical senses. 2. We create many identities or labels for others and ourselves.

Experience of the senses – When we think the five senses of touch, sound, sight, taste and smell are our only source of experience, we begin to rely on external things for our happiness and peace. Food, music, films and cars give us pleasure and make us happy. However, in the physical world, everything changes and comes to an end. And when those sensual pleasures end we become unhappy and “peaceless.” We desire more and a never-ending queue of desires follows. Our moods go up and down, conditioned by how satisfied our physical senses are. When we don’t get what we want, we become angry, and that anger can lead to violence. When we do get what we want, we want more, so we become greedy.  Or show off what we got and we develop ego. All these things make us spiritually powerless and unhappy, feeling ok one minute and not ok the next.

Traps of different identities – When we think, we are the physical form, the outer packing, we give it labels. Each label is a different identity. National, political, family, religion, profession, color, sex, is all labels. This results in two negative side effects. First, we are never sure who we are. Which label is really me? And each label or identity brings with it certain values and therefore certain ways of thinking and acting. If there are too many identities, or ones we don’t like, we react either against ourselves or against others. The result is once again “peacelessness” or violence.

The second side effect is to put labels on others. Black against white, Christian against Muslim, nation against nation, labor against management and so on. Once again the result is anger and conflict, contrary to our true nature and desire for peace. And yet, it is easy to resolve both these mistakes, which are the result of thinking of ourselves as physical. Instead, let us be aware of ourselves as a soul, a conscious eternal being; a point of energy with no physical identity. This resolves all conflict within ourselves as we cease to identify with all those labels. There is no need to sustain or defend them any longer and so we cannot be threatened. We then begin to see others as the same, also souls, not merely physical costumes. This also resolves the conflict between individuals and ultimately, if practiced by many, could resolve conflict between nations.

This realization of our identity as a soul is thus the key to experiencing our real nature of peace, purity and happiness. This is the key to understanding ourselves and harmonizing with others. Soul consciousness (not body consciousness) is the key and the method to experience and cultivate it, is meditation.   

(Note: That experience of mine where I found myself limitless happened because as I surrendered myself completely to God, the Supreme Soul cleansed me of all my impurities and lifted the veil of darkness and enlightenment set in.  The barriers separating me, the soul or consciousness from the Supreme Being were dissolved and I attained freedom from the confines of my gross body. (That is why it is said that the kingdom of God is within us because in a moment of total surrender to God, the contact is immediate.) At the same time, the soundless voice that I heard, is really a communion (yoga) between soul to SOUL. It means that in the spiritual dimension, the communication is done from mind to mind, from intellect to intellect and the language is SILENCE.  So, there was no sound at all. While the experience lasted for some days, after sometime, I returned to my usual self being a householder, caught up once again in the day-to-day grind of earning a living. But, the experience is unforgettable. During meditation, I experience moments of lightness and peace, but still a far cry from that experience I had before.  One day, I believe I would be able to recapture that experience through constant and regular meditation and other spiritual disciplines.)     

(To be continued next issue. Topic is God.  My reference of what I am discussing here is the teachings of the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.)     

 

Vol. XV No.8 (June - August 2003)

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