Yes. It is Sunday. So i am doing a post on spirituality.
i used to pastor evangelical churches, which made me an Evangelical Christian. The label now makes me cringe. Don’t get me wrong…you know i am a Jesus guy and i really do love most of my fellow Christians and have a lot of respect for people who live out their beliefs in fellowship with other humans. I am Evangelical. i am a Christian. i am using capitals for a reason. People who are religious love these labels. Look at ME…I am an Evangelical Christian!!!!
i am not kidding. It is like you get special powers. I saw a preacher on TV once who began by saying, “I was in my bathroom shaving this morning, when Jesus came and spoke to me.” No, not even just a voice. Nope. Lord and Saviour decided to pop into the bathroom for a visit.
That is why i refuse to use a straight razor. You never know when you might get lathered up, be cruising past the jugular, and Jesus pops in. Hope he knows first aid, ’cause i have PTSD. There is going to be a big mess. Ok. Lord of the Universe could heal me, but why scare the shit out of me in the first place?
But this guy was cool with this sort of thing. He was a Prophet or something, so i guess he shares the john with Jesus more often than i do. Honesty time. Jesus has never appeared to me in my bathroom. I feel inadequate. Wish i were a Prophet.
You know that at least some of these labels grant magical powers. Words like Pastor, Priest, Elder, Sister, Elder, Deacon. You may have heard other labels from your own religious tradition. They are powerful words, loaded with meaning and, often, a lot of pain.
What does that have to do with enlightenment? Who wants enlightenment if the leaders are dicks? Not me. So i have looked all over the place during my life. i’ll be trying some guided meditation next week and we will see how that goes.
No. I do not believe enlightenment has anything to do with emptying my mind. If that is the case, i am truly fucked. Because my mind is never empty. It is one busy place, let me tell you. Manic or depressed, my mind is too busy to shut down.
But i can slow things a bit. i can do something to let other things in…new things. And as i take time to reflect and become aware- mindful– of things in my life, i can make changes and adjustments and then i can reflect on those. It is a constant process of evaluation and change.
Now that is a powerful statement. No passive spirituality there. No emptying of the mind. If there is a power out there, it does not want me to waste this precious resource, my brain.
Enlightenment, to me, is more about the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Not secret things. Things we see everyday around us.
Have you seen the effects of anger? Look to the ones who are less angry or who have learned some things to make a difference in their lives. There are people who are angry and they will always be angry. Don’t bother with them. Leave them alone. People like this will die alone, angry and afraid. You will just burn out your own spirituality trying to save them. If there is a cosmic power, leave them in its care. And walk away.
So i invite you to take some time for your own enlightenment. Go ahead. You deserve the chance to gain wisdom and make constructive changes in your life. Take some quiet time to quiet some of the noise and listen. Can you hear something or someone calling to your spirit, inviting you to relax and learn? And become a better human in community with other humans who are also becoming better humans
To that end, here is something i found that i thought was cool. Things you realize when you are mature. That is spirituality. Wisdom. Applied knowledge. Still working at it after all this time.