I’m a spiritual wisdom thief, I’ll steal wisdom anywhere I find it. I’ve taken it from the esoteric Christians, Sufis, Buddhist, Taoists, Hindus, Native Americans and Aborigines. When I received my doctor of divinity in esoteric belief systems I became the James Bond of solitary monks with a license to steal. I do have my principles however, I only steal the ancient stuff who’s copyrights have long since expired.
Esoteric refers to something less known or understood, the mysticism in spirituality is a good example. Mysticism is abstruse and obscure, two things that human nature is uncomfortable with. Most people prefer the exoteric beliefs that are easily understood with literal meaning. A good example is John 3:16, one of the most favored passages in the bible, “For God so loved the world…” it’s comforting and that’s the whole point behind beliefs. Spiritual beliefs should bring you comfort in living which brings comfort in death.
For myself I derive comfort from understanding. In the Tao The Ching, believed to be written in the 4th century BC by the Chinese Taoist mystic- Lao Tzu, he writes; “Heaven-and-Earth is not sentimental; It treats all thing as straw dogs.” may seem blasphemous and not very comforting but it explains a lot about the workings of life and the world.
If your going to believe in a supernatural power and supreme being, a divine deity whose nature and power is independent and transcends the material universe, it would stand to reason that sentiment (a human emotion) wouldn’t or couldn’t have a factor in why things happen. This keeps me from blaming or finding fault with the Divine Deity and ever asking “How could God let this happen.” When I was two I contracted polio in the orphanage and barely escaped an iron lung. I didn’t ask “Why me.” The logical response was why not me? During the polio wars of the 1950’s there were 350,000 casualties, I just happened to be one of them. Behind every seemingly misfortune is an underlying good fortune. I’ve never had to slow down and smell the roses because I’m not capable of moving fast enough to have to slow down. I worked with enough paraplegic and quadriplegics daredevils in my career to appreciate the fact that polio limited my options for self destruction. From age 9 to 16 the state social services department didn’t have any place else to send me so I wound up in a work house and went days without eating. Sure it was a bitch but I learned early on how hard I was capable of working which is why I was able to accomplish what I have. I eventually jumped out the bedroom window and ran away and lived on the streets but continued to go to school. School was so much easier than the work house that I graduated with a full scholarship to the university of my choice.
The Divine workings operate on a scale that is beyond our comprehension. Acts of nature like hurricanes, earthquakes, floods and forest fires are difficult to understand in the eyes of man but in the eyes of the divine I refrain from judgement. The actions of humanity can be similarly viewed. People have a wide behavioral variant, we run the gamut from saint to sadist and thankfully there are more of the former than the latter. The day may come when that changes and this glorious planet shakes us off it’s surface like a dog does water after a bath. I trust that my belief in the workings of Divine continuance sends me sailing into space on mystical winds with a smile.
Mike and Lori