The distressing news about a gunman killing 50 people in a gay bar in Florida prompts me to express sadness and alertness. The notion that murder is an answer is very sad, and demands vigilant alertness. I want to see the bigger picture so as not to fall into the trap of spiritual amnesia.
Spiritual amnesia comes from broken memories consisting of a few imprints, whether detestable imprints or our favorite imprints. It’s an easy trap to fall into because our human minds are so limited, however, we can courageously and constantly stand with truths to counter these supposed answers that bring so much pain.
The gunman allegedly was affiliated with Islamic extremists and acted on homophobia. On the flipside, the gunman acted on tightly bound fundamental beliefs that heterosexuality is the one right and only way to live humanly and human beings who don’t conform to it will be damned.
Tearing apart those beliefs, if a person does believe heterosexuality is right, fine, they can live that way, but to impose their belief on others or disallow a loving relationship with others who think differently, is painful, unloving, ungodlike.
While we deal with this current gross tragedy, let’s not forget to break apart fundamental beliefs in their emerging stages at all levels, even those beliefs going on right now under the radar. Divorce won’t establish one right and only way of relating. Excommunication won’t promote a right and only way of behavior and thinking. A scientific invention won’t become a cure-all. Acting on those beliefs is also disastrous to humanity’s wellbeing.
Everyone seeks their understanding in different ways because there is no one describable truth to stand on or establish.
Spirituality broadens our views and keeps us from forgetting truth and love as it constantly unfolds. And, I’d like now to share some news so as not to be negatively influenced by my sadness. I do know personally a Muslim community in which are people who are loving and tolerant. I know a Muslim man who purchased a restaurant from a gay couple who he respects and appreciates immensely for their support and help in the business transaction.
I will not forget the good images.
Quoting from science & religion to God:
“People who insist on proving another method wrong, as if their way were the only way, will end up living out their condemnations. Like the person who adamantly opposes abortion, calling it murder, killing a doctor who performed abortions.
“The malicious instinct and morbid curiosity, with intents to kill morally and physically even fellow human beings, is unloosed, in order that the false claim of mind in matter might uncover its own crime of defying infinite, spiritual Mind.
“Does God create a material human out of Spirit? Does divine Mind commit fraud by making man and woman free to do wrong? Does God then stand on the sidelines waiting to reward the pious and punish the wrongdoer? Would anyone call it wise and good for God to create people and then condemn them to remain servants? Did God create human beings and challenge them to take control of, and dominate creation? No. No. No. No. No.
“God remains forever and is our Mind. We can’t lose Mind. Our relationship with God is indestructible. We can admit these facts even if they aren’t supported by human beliefs. Our spiritual senses can detect our unity with the one Mind and its manifestation of truth.
“Prayer is a mental exercise involving spiritual understanding, not human understanding. Our prayers start with faith in God and become deep and conscientious acknowledgments of Truth. We acknowledge a knowingness that we are the image and likeness of Spirit, in full unity with Life and Love.”
By Chris Rosenthal
of Harmony Hill Retreat in upstate New York
My occasional visitor
My intermittent friend
How may I beckon you
to move in?
Listen, You say,
To your Inner Soul
And allow your true Self
Then I can have it?
Is that all I do?
My being me will
Lead to You?
I am Peace, You say
And we are One
The journey is complete
that you have begun.
Most of us like a little adventure. I consider my spiritual journey an adventure. The thing about adventures are that they come with risks and unknowns. It’s curiosity that cheers us through an adventure. But that curiosity can turn to fear if we aren’t patient.
My neighbor has an indoor cat. He wanted to take the cat outside to enjoy the warmer weather however the cat was seriously afraid. This morning, my neighbor told me, “I left the door open instead, and Mustafa (the cat) ventured out on his own. He’d come back in after a few minutes of looking around, then venture back outside, going further out on the porch and staying longer each time. In and out, Mustafa pushed the boundaries each time.
When curious to explore our spirituality, we push boundaries. If we get scared, don’t quit or hide, but go at the exploration a little more cautiously. Here are a few activities you can do to strengthen your adventure:
- Write down all the good you observe.
- Describe what new thoughts you feel when you see something new.
- After returning to your comfort zone, don’t get too comfortable, venture back out again.
- Realize that the adventure of life is ongoing. There is no boundary, therefore you can continually grow in spirituality.
I interviewed a woman in her seventies, who returned from hiking Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, Africa. “It took seven days,” said Kathy. “The climbing is very well organized by the government. My group had an outstanding Guide Team and porters.”
Kilimanjaro is 19,341 feet high. “Slowly, slowly, we walked to acclimate,” she said.
Two striking memories were gained just before reaching the top. “We walked at night, starting at 11 p.m. and wore lights on our heads. We converged with all the other hikers as we neared the top. I saw a line of lights ahead and behind me in he pitch black. Then later, I looked to the right and saw a red moon and a red star, just as the sun was rising,” said Kathy.
Kathy’s hiking friends are a group of women who hike all the time. Many are considered older. However they’ve hiked the John Muir Trail in California to a trail in Colorado and more.
What an inspiration!
“The error of thinking that we are growing old, and the benefits of destroying that illusion, has noticeable results. Most of us have met someone considered old, but very much young in mind/body/spirit. These people have been interviewed and questioned. Are they lucky? Is it their genes? Is it the food they eat? Maybe or maybe not, however, they usually always attribute their longevity to a positive and loving attitude. They have an awareness of life eternal—not a life of stages and levels with beginnings and endings.
“The error of thinking that we are growing old, and the benefits of destroying that illusion make for a better life. Care-lined faces, wrinkles, and gray hair are not laws, while youthfulness and dignity are attributes of God.
“Why not notice the manifestations of Spirit rather than the passing of years? Why not maintain a mental attitude of being young?”