To what end…freedom

To what end is one of my favorite phrases. Why do we do things in a certain way, why do we believe what we believe, why do we work so hard to accomplish something when, if I am to guess, we really don’t know why we are doing any of these things. To what end.

Religion is manufactured belief. I portend that belief, to a certain degree, is the result of religious persecution that has now become imprinted on our DNA. Most of us are wired to believe in “God”, we want to believe there is something bigger than ourselves that will make sense of what we are doing here in the physical realm. Some of us resist authority of all kinds, but at the same time we are followers because we really don’t want to take responsibility for our own decisions and actions. Ancient religions and I dare say all of them, the Abrahamic as well Eastern, are based in part on a religious authority telling us what to believe and how to practice. Somehow, we always manage to escape taking responsibility for our actions and our spirituality is no exception.

Jesus and Buddhist Masters tell us similar things, Jesus told us the kingdom of God is inside of us (Luke 17:21), Linji Yixuan, a prominent Zen Master, told us in a koan, “if you meet a Buddha on the road, kill him,” Both spiritual leaders were trying to actually lead us away from blind devotion devoid of decision making by us. They both claimed to be telling us “the way” to some type of spiritual evolution that is based on creating our own way with both leaders pointing us in the right direction.

We gave away our power to find our own path willingly, but we also had the opportunity forcibly removed from us. Many ancient religions held a “convert or die” position reinforced by men in authority wanting control and having the ability to monitor and enforce obedience. They all became very good at it as well introducing fear of some type, eternal damnation for example, added to the mix. Centuries go by and what was a manufactured belief becomes imprinted on our ancestral DNA and passed down generation to generation.

We now live in an era where in many parts of the world fear of religious persecution is no longer a concern. Some say that this has created the de-evolution of mankind, that without spiritual guardrails we devolve into hedonistic beings devoid of conscience. We have become more attached to the physical world and our physical presence in this world. Science has become the altar at which we worship despite the ever-changing scientific evidence that presents itself proving its transience.  We have become fixated on physical attributes, am I male, female, trans, and the associated sexuality, am I straight, gay of bi-sexual plus the never-ending list of admixtures of all. We have forgotten or, to be fair, may have never been taught that we will all likely experience being all the above during one of our incarnations. To fixate on physicality in this lifetime seems well, irrelevant. In all this hyper fixation we have put aside our spiritual essence in an attempt to deny the religious indoctrination of our collective past.

Although I am not a quantum physicist and cannot claim to understand it beyond the couple of books I have read, I believe the key to authentic spirituality lies somewhere in this quantum mix. There is a connection that can be defined scientifically to a certain degree that begins to acknowledge the leap from indoctrination and actual experiential knowing. This leap is made experientially when someone steps out of the familiarity of what they have been taught or even just been exposed to in a Christian or other religious society and has an experience of otherworldliness or the Divine that can’t be explained. This leap seems to open up a realm that may have been unseen previously and is in its way dissimilar to everything the person has had knowledge of before. This new seed of belief must be guarded from ego and attachment because it then can become the new false path.  The new belief must be allowed to develop and if one retains the memory of the initial experience without consciously embellishing it, it can be an actual seed of an authentic spiritual experience. This seed may continue to grow or seed a web of new beliefs that become a path that perhaps Jesus or Buddha were trying to offer.  This experience becomes a “knowing” and consequently, the obsession with the physical world seems to take its proper place in the number 2 position. The essence of who we all are is spiritual and we have physical experiences in this physical world.

To what end, what is the relevance. We have somehow discovered within ourselves the ability to find a truth that may guide our lives in a substantive way. All the layers of physical and false spiritual experiences seem to fall away, and we become somehow lighter. Are we a light to others? Probably not. We are a light to ourselves to navigate the world with fresh eyes and a new ability to discern what is right for our path and what is not. We are not immune to tangents and either falling back to old ways when we doubt ourselves or get sidetracked with false dead ends, but somehow, we can find our way back to this quantum leap of knowing we experienced. Our belief system begins to develop around this knowing, and I think if it is authentic, we don’t have a need to convert others to our path. We may share what we believe, but the choice of others to take it in or leave it is irrelevant to us. It has become “our” spiritual path. I think that is what is really to become of our spirituality, we free ourselves of ancestral conditioning even that which is imbedded in our DNA and we progress.

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