Sunday, December 8, 2019

What is spirituality?

Personal (*Dfurstane) Spiritual Beliefs

What is spirituality?

Spirituality is predictable and unpredictable.  Its recognition could be the result of suffering, misfortune, or failure that reveals the true nature of circumstances.  It could be based on the appreciation, success, or an accomplishment that’s beautiful, and awe inspiring.  In short, it’s the insights gained of a transcendent reality from such diverse occurrences.

Spiritual Beliefs

Spiritual Beliefs

1)  Spiritual beliefs are always evolving, and like all of nature nothing remains the same.

2)  Dfurstane (Eternal Essence) is all in all, predictable and unpredictable, the existence of a mystery, and always greater than conceived. 

3)  The Timeless Spirit is the glue that holds all manifestations together.

4)  Through Dfurstane all elements, structures, and people are created.

5)  On entering the world all living and non-living things take some form, and at the end of their existence they become invisible.

6)  The consciousness and health of all living beings are determined by “chance.”

7)  Sin is a human construct, but “good” and “bad” exist—different sides of the same coin.

8)  People pray by their thoughts, deeds, physical exercises, and works.

9)  Rational thinking causes growth, development, discovery, and healing.

10)  “Positive” and “negative” polarities cause cultural norms, but eternal reality is diverse in nature.

11)  Prayer only works as a regulator of “cosmic wholeness.”  It has to do with interdependence, and inter-relationships of all structures.  Believers should pray for “harmony.” Lack of “harmony” is how the world experiences disruptions of all sorts.  This reality has nothing to do with the way people are living but is due to “chance.”   

12)  Living in “harmony” with nature is the key for a successful life.   This entails having a balance life: a) helping the mind grow in understanding; b) caring for one’s physical body; c) serving society’s poor, homeless, and destitute; and d) building up the world through love and compassion.

13)  Religious literacy helps believers discover the diverse paths that are essential for spiritual growth. 

14)  Finally, believers by following a spiritual path will merge with Dfurstane.

Eternal Essence

Dfurstane (Eternal Essence) is the Way, Truth, and Light

To embrace the all in all is having an appreciation of creation’s manifestations.  The heavenly bodies - the sun, moon, and stars, known and unknown planets traversing the sky are phenomenal.  The trees, plants, oceans, rivers, streams, mountains, hills and valleys speak in their own language, while being buffeted by the wind.  So are the seasons – spring, summer, autumn, and winter with their distinct moods.  Sometimes it’s calm, beautiful, and glorious, while occasionally there are hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, and forest fires.

But birds, reptiles, fishes, and animals of all sorts inhabit the earth living on land or in seas.  They breed, feed, and exist in a divine and unpredictable reality.  These creatures in their respective environments are provided for by nature.  People breathe fresh air, pick fruits from trees, enjoy the meats of animals, drink refreshing water, build cozy houses with wood of trees, light a fire to cook their meals, and dress in warm clothing from nature’s bounty.

This is only a part of the Eternal Essence that’s within, above, below, and around us.  To personalize this Essence is only a metaphor.  S/he is omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, immanent, and transcendent.  No words can adequately describe this all-encompassing Essence that’s the sum of all living and non-living things.

The Way & Paths

The Way & Paths

The way (Daoism) and paths (Buddhism) are interwoven.  In life people travel many paths to find their way to the Supreme Light.  They do so as they journey on this earthly plane and also spiritually through dreams.  Most believers have definite faith traditions whose teachings they follow e.g., Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, or Secular Ethics.  But there are those souls that endeavor to undertake new realities by tapping into their own conception to what it means to be spiritual.  When this is the case they travel in the physical and spiritual realms.

The interfaith author Karen Armstrong spoke about climbing a “spiral staircase” moving towards this Supreme Light.  But in my dreams I was traversing terrain that was like an obstacle course.  During my journeys I encountered various people in their daily activities.  My trips were taking me through foreign lands strewn with trees and waterways.  Once I was on a bicycle when a guy asked me for a lift away from my destination, but I thought it wise to continue on my path to find my home.

It began raining as I was peddling towards home, but was forced to shelter under an eave at a local library from being soaked.  The rain soon ceased and I continued my journey.  But as I peddled off into the unknown I began looking for the guy whom I refused to give a ride.  Then suddenly I found myself without a bike, and walking down a pathway covered with water.  At a rustic cottage I encountered three individuals sitting at its entrance.  I asked a black woman sitting there for directions to where I was heading, and she told me it was about nine blocks away.

But as I traversed the landscape I encountered a large body of water.  Soon I was climbing a wall to make it to a schooner to take me to my destination.  It was around this time I awoke from my dream.  So my journey has to continue.  This was surely one of my spiritual dreams with lots of symbolism.

The Physical Plain

Looking back at my life I remembered when I suffered from manic depression.  My senses were heightened and often I felt as though I was in a country in tropical Africa.  I actually experienced living there, breathing the air, cognizant of the scents, African culture, and a landscape baked by the sun.  On occasion too I also felt transported to parts of China with millions of Chinese, and although I didn’t speak Mandarin there was still a natural connection with their identity.

Dealing with declining health of chronic renal failure, diabetes, and having a pacemaker I am presently experiencing suffering as a journey.  These afflictions are teaching me valuable lessons of life.  They are all leading to the Supreme Light.  Some Americans take many trips abroad to Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa.  They, in their own way, are journeying towards the Light.  It might very well be that dreams, suffering, and our journeys are all apart of reincarnation (karma, samsara, moksha).

Truth & Perspectives

Truth & Perspectives

Truth is unity that expresses itself at micro and macro levels.  All things and beings are interrelated and interdependent.  This reality is fundamental to every community, society, and culture.  So people depend on labels - book, pen, car, pig, cow, food, drink, ocean, lake, river, mountain, valley, house, etc;  dimensions – line, triangle, pyramid, cube, oblong, sphere, etc; and dualism – true/false, long/short, happy/sad, hot/cold, wet/dry, tall/short, Chinese ying/yang, etc, to navigate their world.  They use their five senses – sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch to do so.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Supreme Light

Supreme Light

Light is a pure reality, has no distractions, and the ultimate in fulfillment.  It symbolizes the Eternal Essence (Dfurstane) of the universe, and refers to the Oneness of God, Allah, Brahma, and Dao.  Predominant teachings of faith traditions emphasize believers ascending to this Supreme Light.

Sacred texts, saints, gurus, priests, rabbis, and imams teach how to accomplish this reality. These Holy Scriptures are based on ancient mythology, Hebrew Bible, Talmud, Old and New Testaments, Koran, Vedas, Upanishads, and other canonical books.  But these all regard this Supreme Light in uniquely different ways with some common characteristics.  The monotheistic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islamic beliefs are geared towards believers achieving eternal life in Heaven.  Eastern faith traditions stress the role of karma – what believers sow they will reap in the afterlife.  This reality comes in the form of various stages of rebirth to achieving the Oneness of Hinduism’s Brahma, or Buddhism’s nirvana.

*Dfurstane (Eternal Essence) 

– Devotees for universal rights stand tall after natural Enlightenment.   

Monday, December 2, 2019

Happiness with Equilibrium

Happiness with Equilibrium

Carp Diem is a Latin aphorism that calls for people to live to the fullest right now.  “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die,” said the Roman poet Horace.  But does life only consist of these pleasurable pursuits?  There’s an essential goal that is necessary to make people happy.  On a fall’s day people could stroll in the woods then watch a powerful life-affirming film.  They could take a trip to some exquisite place, or read a good book that warms their hearts.  Still these joys might not satisfy their thirst to be happy.  People could even breathe in the fresh air at the seaside; swim in the ocean, or bike on the beach as the sun shines brightly in the sky.  Still happiness escapes them.  Why is this so?  It’s because they are only satisfying an emotional, physical, and intellectual need.  But do they ever stop to think what is lacking?  It could very well be that with all they are doing there isn’t any balance in their life.  They might well be neglecting their spiritual growth, and their soul’s longing for fulfillment.  This benefit only comes when they are inspired by God, Allah, Brahma, or Dao.  Only then would their happiness become enlightened having attained the necessary equilibrium.