Inquisitiveness is a significant part of human nature. people are especially curious about things labelled ‘secret’, ‘hidden’ or ‘never before revealed’. along with this natural bent towards new knowledge are preconceived notions as to what this wisdom may be. Is it more of the same stuff, like better explanations of our doctrines or is it all new and ‘off the grid’ thinking? It is accepted by most that imaginations are a free-for-all, open season type of phenomenon. That is, anyone is welcome to conceive for themselves the nature of new knowledge and can create the content of these revelations without being fearful of being questioned by others. Yet in reality this has not been the case.
There are some in our modern age that seek to deny this inherent right. When it comes to religious ideas especially but also other areas, a certain percentage of people, usually religious leaders, deem it necessary to limit or restrict this privilege. We live in a world of intellectual hierarchies. In the areas of science, religion, philosophy and even psychology there are sets of accepted principles set up as boundaries not to be moved.
In politics as well as religion we are led to ‘follow the party line’ without questioning and are discouraged from being a ‘free thinker’. Even in organizations that claim to be progressive, liberal and accommodating our new discoveries of knowledge must be kept within the walls of the institutions creeds. If you want to remain part of their family you must conform to denominational dogma. You are warned of dire consequences if you depart from the accepted teachings. This is not the freedom promised by Jesus the Christ.
We have the ability to access the spirit realm within our consciousness and can utilize this power at any time. The leaders in science, religion and even spirituality tempt us with hitherto unheard mysteries, new revelations and even messages from beyond. I have allowed myself to follow these invitations to a certain point. and there is a benefit to being curious without being attached. It brings you to a more focused state of thinking. It causes us to ask why? I have come to the conclusion that being ‘led to water’ is only a short path and we must ‘drink in’ new knowledge on our own terms, as individual seekers. Even the process of engaging our mentors in casual discussion (which many times leads to debate) is an unhealthy practice.
Multitudes of sincere seekers are drawn to the so-called ‘ancient, secret knowledge’ that has the answers to our problems. This is sometimes a good thing for we need to have something to search for and it gives us a mindset of hope. I am sure that it is this journey that keeps us in the right spirit for success. And by success I mean peace of mind.
The main concern with the spirituality business is that we can become too attached to the teacher/speaker/guru instead of learning to walk the path ourselves. We must take one step at a time, finding new wisdom at each turn. It is our path and nobody can walk it for us, only with us. I genuinely believe that the Bible teaches us how to find true spiritual living, being daily led by the Spirit of God. My goal as the teacher is to give you the information and mental ‘tools’ so that you can engage your own higher mind and connect with the divine realm.
Many spiritual teachers will talk of other dimensions, creatures or entities from other worlds, the voices of angels, spirit guides or departed loved ones and even ancient documents that hold the key to our happiness. These quietly enticing sources are attractive because they draw out our imaginations. They are what we would like to believe in. I believe that true, divine wisdom consists of a much more mundane reality, although my experience has been quite an exciting and fulfilling path of discovery.
First and foremost on our list of entry points to enlightenment is an open mind. Not an untrained, undisciplined mind that innocently accepts any and every concept that comes it’s way, but a mind freed from attachment to the herd mentality. Listening to the leader without discretion is like following the ‘stream of thought’ wherever it takes you and not noticing the dangerous rocks or the waterfall ahead.
Jesus used the phrase “ears to hear” when he taught the people. This is a prepared mind. One that has seen the futility of their existing beliefs and is ready to listen to a new voice. In his parable of the sower he used the metaphor of ‘good soil’ to represent a receptive mind. (Matthew 13)
Secondly we have Cognitive Reasoning Skills, which give us an edge when it comes to repositioning our frame of mind. It’s core concept is that of challenging everything we have been taught or believe and making sure it is based on reasonable grounds. At the same time it would not be wise to automatically discount those ideas that are foreign to what we assume to be rational. When the Bible says God’s ways are not our ways and neither are Gods’ thoughts our thoughts it is talking about the nature of these things and not the content. In other words, God’s knowledge is not intellectual as in ‘he is smarter than us’. That would make him the valedictorian of the class of humanity. It is that his very nature is beyond anything we can even conceive. This means that we do not have any authority to say that there cannot be any alternate universes or other worldly beings or that this world is not an illusion. All of our senses are in his control, he created us and the world that we perceive. If we believe in the supreme authority of our God than we must believe all the way .Rational thought must allow for irrational possibilities
The third step will become necessary as you begin to see fallacies in others perspectives, teachings and manner of life. Critical Thinking Skills are not a complaining spirit or an excuse to feel superior. ‘Critical’ is a neutral term that simply means ‘that which is important at the right time.’ A noticeable red flag in your mind that sets you to engage your cognitive thinking skills while maintaining an open mind that does not jump to conclusions or cause conflict.
The act of disagreeing with someone does not cause conflict. If conflict arises it is because of the state of mind of the persons involved. This is a cycling back to the original, ‘good soil’ state of mind concept. One of my main beliefs is that the outward circumstances are not the problem but it is our response to the circumstance. We can decide to either get upset or be resigned to the situation. Not resigned in a negative, defeated sense but with the decision to make it a good thing or a learning experience. The cliche’ is true that we can turn stumbling stones into stepping stones.
Fourthly, we have the intuition. When the intuition is engaged we are awakened to a fuller comprehension of the events surrounding us. It is as if other souls have become our companions to provide us with more perspectives and affirming counsel. Insights that we didn’t even know we could conceive of are now second nature. this gives us more confidence and inspires us to accomplish more.
The fifth step in my journey is that of contemplation. When this becomes part of your routine it makes you more philosophical and serene. It is the crossover exercise that takes us through the door where we can “go in and out and find pasture” (John 10:9) Pasture refers to spiritual wisdom, that knowledge reserved for the few that enter the “straight gate” (Matthew 7:13) As mentioned, it is not a floating away to higher dimensions to chat with angels but a quiet communing with the divine within you.
The point of this writing is that we can raise our level of existence ourselves by following biblical injunctions from Jesus and other writers of scripture. At the same time it is not wise to hold out expectations as to what the higher, enlightened Christian experience looks like. This biblical story will illustrate my point.
Naaman, the captain of the army of the king of Syria, was a leper. It was an incurable disease, or so he thought. We also have issues that our mind tells us are impossible to fix. Elisha, the prophet had a reputation of being able to heal any disease, so they sent a message for him to come do his thing. Naaman was completely upset when Elisha sent a message back telling him to “…Go and wash in the Jordan seven times… (and your leprous flesh will be healed.) But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold I thought, he will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the Lord his God, and strike his hand over the place, and recover the leper.”(II Kings 5:1-11)
My experience was a learning curve. I had ‘Naaman like expectations‘. I thought that my meditations would lead to vivid dreams, visions that would send me flying though space to meet strange creatures or long dead visionaries. but it was much more grounded and subtle than that. I came to realize that there was (and still is ) a divine force directing their efforts at me for they had chosen me to write memoirs of the new truth I was receiving.
New concepts that were uplifting gave me a new desire to study a book that I thought I knew everything about. It does not matter who or what these forces are. It has no effect on my path in life. Only that it is happening and is fulfilling. There is no need to be at odds with anyone or assert my opinions/perspectives/beliefs. I now know what Jesus actually taught about being saved and pleasing God. The path is plain to me and that is enough.
What goes on ‘Behind Closed Doors’ is no longer a concern. It is something to wonder about but not fret over. The term has a wide variety of applications. It can mean the events of the ancient past, the things going on in the invisible realm, the conversations of private meetings of our politicians or even the thoughts of others around us.
This last idea leads us to become aware that the desire to know or even guess what others are thinking leads to all sorts of issues (conflicts, misunderstandings). Much of this type of thinking is assumptive and causes unwarranted malice and/or hatred towards others. Our own minds are then burdened unnecessarily. So there is both an individual as well as a corporate version of this seeking to know what goes on Behind Closed Doors”.
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