In my last post I gave the title to this post and also mentioned that some would hate it and some would embrace it. It doesn’t have to be either, it’s up to you.
What we experience, good or bad, it is our truth. It is the result of a choice we made in our lives, the result is the consequence.
The Bible is a sensitive topic, some worship it, others don’t want to hear the name. To both, open your soul to this post, your mind already has determined where you sit on that topic.
Take control, and move past your mind. The mind is a one way tract to your brain but is unable to receive anything back. The soul, is able to send and receive from the brain. The brain does the reasoning, for proper reasoning to take place, there has to be two way communication, hence the soul versus the mind.
This post has been awhile taking shape. I have no desire to offend a person or to lead a person down the garden path.
You have to consider what is said and come to an understanding for yourself. Your experience may be different than mine, but it is yours and only yours, no one can walk the journey of life for you. The destination will be the same as mine.
Over the years, my experiences, are personal and are therefore considered anecdotal. Anecdotal evidence is casual or informal and relies heavily on personal testimony. Consider this, no one has my DNA, so my anecdotal evidence holds significant value for me, because it was experienced by me. SO SHOULD YOURS.
On the inside of any organization or situation, we always get to see what really goes on. My experiences vary from self-employed, manager in a national organization, minister in a church, CEO in a multi-national company to a caregiver, in that order. Nothing was what it was perceived to be. Perception is not necessarily reality, it may be some other persons.
To get information from someone other than ourselves, for the most part is just meaningless platitudes, however never completely discount anyone, take the time to reason it through, there may be something there that will help you on your journey.
The posts in this blog always have a gem, but never an answer for anyone, YOU are able to find the answer. That is why I called it “I don’t have the answer” but you do.
AS A RULE BOOK.
My daughter said to me a while back, “Every self-help book either directly or indirectly refers to the Bible.” I found that to be so, although initially I didn’t, not being familiar with the Bible.
When I began studying Theology, the main book of course was the Bible. I was in my late thirties when I began studying theology. Having been heavily involved in business and service clubs before this new undertaking, there was on my part a need to understand. I am not good at understanding purely from an academic perspective, things have to be practical for me.
When I asked questions of something I didn’t understand, rather than give me an answer, I was told it was a paradox. This never did it for me. In Seminary I found it was not good to ask questions, after I was called a heretic. So I kept my questions to myself and pondered them in my heart.
I studied the Bible, to be honest with myself, it gave me more questions than answers. However, with my unanswered questions and doubts, I never rejected it. I was faithful in reading and studying, but for the life of me, I could never remember verses.
My desire was to be a good person, but this never did it for me, if my actions never condemned me, my thoughts did. I could control the actions but not the thoughts. That did not sit well with me, “As a person thinks, so a person is.”
For me there were times I was lonely, yet my family was with me. There were times I was fearful, sometimes depressed. I kept it all to myself, not even discussing it with my wife. I did not want to burden her with my doubts. I had asked a lot of her, when I left a good paying job and moved away from home to attend college with our seven children. I was very much alone.
The question that I could never bury, if there is one God, how come there are so many religions or religous denominations, each proclaiming to have the truth and yet if we look down through history and see some of the things that has been done in the name of God, something does not make sense. I had also learned, while in the ministry, some christian people could be extremely mean. There had to be an answer apart from this.
My attitude towards church, God and anything spiritual varied, from forced by my parents, to rejecting, to hate and than total embracing.
There was no middle ground, I was either completely against or completely in favor.
Looking back, it wasn’t as much being against or in favor, there was more, there was something that drew me and I knew nothing, except what I was told religion was and that didn’t fill the gap or emptiness that I felt.
When I became a minister in the Baptist church, I thought that was my calling, however on the inside of the religious institution my searching was even more pronounced, there was more, so my quest continued.
Some of the thoughts that came to me seemed so out of place with what was required for me to believe. One thought that I never shared with anyone and this maybe the first time, I’ve expressed it. I wondered if the Bible was a good thing?
I never doubted the Bible but for some reason it never answered any questions for me, as I said before, it gave me more questions than answers.
I returned to the business world for another decade, than my wife got sick and she wanted me to care for her, so the next decade I’m a caregiver. This time may have been the most valuable time of my life.
My wife, Norma had a stronger faith than me, different than mine. My belief centered entirely around the Bible, she had a spiritual faith, is perhaps the best way to describe it. Attending church was for me a necessity, for her, she preferred not to go and when she got sick, was now an excuse not to go. She changed my mind, not by talking but by an experience.
It is difficult to describe this aspect of life, it is sort of similar to the wind, you don’t know where it comes from or where it goes, but you know it is there, because you experience it.
I had a difficult time with the spiritual, I wanted to see or touch or taste or whatever, it had to be relevant. I understand now, the mind can only grasp what is relevant, it has to touch one of our senses.
When I went into the ministry, it was the result of a very vivid experience. Over the years there has been different experiences that have strengthened my faith and continued me on my quest for an answer.
I realize now the Spirit can come to us and we not know it, we can rationalize or put it off. The predominant thought, anything spiritual has to do with religion, in one way or another.
That is so far from the truth. It can happen anywhere and in the most unusual way.
My tendency was to think along traditional ways or if I did not understand it to think critically. Neither gave me an answer, it was only when my thinking moved in a lateral direction into the unknown or spiritual that things began to change.
Things that never made sense to me, began to now make sense. It was truly thinking outside the box and it was a whole new world.
Definition of Faith. The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
I had “hoped” for a long time, but if we only have hope, it makes us miserable. Evidence of things not seen is what makes the spiritual real, it was my experiences. If it is my experiences, it is personal, how can it really impact anyone other than myself, but the impact was in a very positive way.
Try the Spirits.
This was a command John gave. I slowly realized there are two spirits, one was my nemesis, the other my strength. One got me in trouble, the other got me out of trouble. It was my choice. It took time before it was possible to distinguish between the two. When that was understood, my expectations of myself diminished, as did my expectations of others.
God is a Spirit.
A spirit is an energy force. When the word God is used in the Bible, it is an attempt to show us that we can only experience God, we can’t learn God. Yet, what has happened, God has been used to personify that energy force, putting us on an equal footing with God or telling us we have the opportunity to be our own God if we learn what the Bible says and live our life accordingly. Everyone has that energy force or higher power within them. It is the Inner Life.
God is Love.
Everyone in one way or another is looking for love. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. That’s the Higher Power within us, our soul. We are only capable of having one love, that makes us monogamous. When we truly love ourselves, we are never alone. The amazing aspect of that, when we love ourselves in the purest sense, it is so easy to love others.
That is our instinct or as some would say, their gut. Is that not the most ignored part of us? We don’t trust ourselves, I didn’t, but it’s changing, there is still a ways to go to finish the journey.
AS A GUIDE BOOK.
When I walked the French Way Camino, it had not been a bucket list item, or something I planned to do. It was so far from that. It came as a surprise to me in some ways. There was an inner draw to do it, I wasn’t sure if I could. However, because of that compelling, I was expecting something to happen on the trail. There were some amazing happenings on the trail, but it is since returning I have received the greatest blessings.
As I have mentioned in this post I found it difficult to understand the Bible, somethings did not seem right, considering what I saw in myself and other Christians, no matter how hard I tried.
Keeping nine of the ten commandments, did not cut it. Basically it is all or none, if I was guilty of one, I was guilty of all.
The guide book I had for the Camino, helped me considerably, but it could not walk the trail for me. I began to slowly realize, the Bible was my guide book for a Spiritual walk, it is a totally different path that what I was familiar with.
That Spiritual walk is the walk of life, as I said before you can’t learn life, you can only live it. The understanding comes through revelation not interpretation.
When the understanding comes through revelation, it is personal. For me that seemed so fair, it treated me as a person and allowed me to be what was possible as a human being. Revelation gave me respect for myself and at the same time, others.
Through this revelation it has allowed me to love myself, have a similar love for my soul mate and to love others, and most of all not judge others. This did not happen like the flick of a switch.
It has been a journey, with hills to climb, valleys to go through, sunny days and rainy days, but for me it has certainly been a journey worth taking.
This is what the Bible means to me. In the beginning Adam and Eve were given a choice between knowledge and life, they chose knowledge. They were told, if knowledge was chosen, they would die. They did, Spiritually.
That was my condition, dead spiritually. My mind was in control, and as I said before, with the mind, it is a one way street. Information is fed into the brain, but nothing can be received back. I had to be either all for or all against, the brain could reason it but the mind could receive nothing back. I was ever learning, but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth, which would set me free.
The Old Testament was a picture of me with my mind in control, constant failure in respect to the ten commandments. Looking forward to the soul having control, think of some of David’s writings. The twenty-third psalm in particular. The people were going to the temple and having a priest intercede for them.
The New Testament is a different picture. Old things must pass away and ALL things become new. For me it has been a transition, it is difficult to let go of the old, for me it was impossible, until there was a realization that except my inner self did it, nothing would ever change.
Now it came to choice. It was possible to choose between the old and new, but the new was a Spirit that would make the changes I couldn’t. I no longer had to go to the temple and have a priest intercede for me, my intercessor was with me. This brings me to the last chapter in the Bible, Revelation. John was in the Spirit for that revelation. It was the revelation of Christ.
I had a very succinct understanding of God, Christ and the Devil. My understanding has changed in many respects. Everything has a name, to allow our mind, in some way to grasp it. The reality, for me, there is a higher power and a lower power. The higher power is my soul and the lower power is my mind. Because there is no two way communication between my brain and my mind, I am at the mercy of what I learn. When the soul is in control I am able to reason things, I don’t have to reject or accept what another person says, it gives me freedom. Freedom to be me.
The intensity of this journey for me has been on going for the past ten years. I am no longer a student of the Bible, I haven’t read it for over ten years. My problem wasn’t I didn’t know enough, I knew too much.
I was relying on what I knew, rather than who I was. I did not know who I was. Thankfully that has changed. It has allowed me more freedom than I thought possible and the best is yet to come.
Everyone has that HIGHER POWER with in them, it comes down to choice.
Chose YOU this day whom you will serve.
Your comments or thoughts on this or any other posts are appreciated.
My next post is Soulmates. Again from my experience, two soulmates have blessed me.