The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More Thoughts on Amma and Spirit

I find myself touched by my (admittedly distant) contact with Amma, and over the last few days have thought more deeply about my own spiritual quest.  In my mind, everything that we do is connected to spirit, even if we have no conscious awareness thereof.

The “Core Transformation” discipline states (and in my mind, presents excellent proof) that everything we do, one way or the other, is connected to spirit.  In my mind, much of what I have done on this blog, including racial and political discussions, has been an attempt, however feeble, to understand how our everyday life is connect to this higher purpose.

I am careful here…because I have no wish to be dogmatic, or to exclude atheists or agnostics from the discussion.  Nor to exclude those on either the Right or the Left.  There are individuals I would have no interest in engaging with in these matters (Ann Coulter’s book “Godless” strikes me as a perfect example.  A woman who “satirically” calls for murder, and spews as much “satirical” hatred as she does has absolutely nothing to say to me about her “spiritual” beliefs.  I have no idea what form of Christianity she professes to follow, but find it impossible to believe Christ himself would approve.)

All major religions seem to me to point toward the same blessed mountain.  All of them have been, to differing degrees at different times, corrupted to political purpose.  The genius of separating Church and State in our Constitution speaks to this: human beings are afraid of death.  Religion salves this fear. Human beings are hierarchical and rigid, and mistake their private beliefs for public truth. The joining of religion and politics, in my mind, opens the doorway to hell.  I would rather live in a country run by the Mafia than the Church, even though I have vastly more respect for the Church.  Why?  The Mafia won’t torture you to death “for your own good.”  Its zone of control does not extend beyond this world.  When the zone of control extends into eternity, there is literally no evil that cannot be justified in the name of spirit, and that, to me is an abomination.

Spirit strikes me as the most intensely personal arena of thought or action.  For myself, I try to act in a way that my behaviors are healing, joyful and appropriate in all basic arenas: survival, sex, power, emotion, communication, and thought.  If I do that, the spiritual arena seems to open itself effortlessly.  Flaws are always found in the “lower” levels first, and given a sound foundation in body, mind, and relationships, spirit grows like a healthy flower.

At least, that’s my feeling on the subject.  Any thoughts?



I have to agree with you that everything we experience is connected with our spirit and the great spirit. Our ever expanding energy that is part of everything created, that will never die and continue existing long after we have left this planet. Humanity as a whole should start to realize what they are a part of, look within themselves for daily guidence. Start to embrace the bulit in guidance system, stop seeking for some outside source (like organized religion-"The Church") to give them instructions on how to behave in their daily lives because history blatantly and very loudly screams out "it doesnt work". You can see it in every event in history. The Crusaded-destroying everything in name of the "The Church", including themselves, the Inquisition-torturing and mass killings in the name of the "The Church", the discovery of the Americas, the mass Killings of the indigenious people in the name of "The Church", the enslavery and bondage of the Aficans throughout the world in the name of "The Church" and that was only the ones the major population Is taught. Now, this leads me to the farsity of the church and state separation today in our own constitution. The united states was backed by money from the Europing bankers owned by, guess who, "The Church", along with every major territorial conquest. There will never be a separation of church and state because it's an instrument to control. Religion is grossly misunderstood by the masses, keep them in fear of death and God, throw in a lie that the government separates itself from "The Church" and you get obedient and submissive slaves. And they will work to no end keep the church and state in power as their masters.

A bit dramatic and intense but how else are you going to able to reveal what is hidden. Expand your spirit by becoming aware, not only of your surroundings but of your being, your purpose. Love and be loved. "the kingdom of heaven is within you."

That's my opinion.

Caleb said...

If the argument is made that organized religion as a blanket statement, or simply the Church, "doesn't work" from various instances of the Church (or organized religion) committing moral abominations, then surely an equally powerful argument can be made for the opposite conclusion as well. For it goes both ways. Instances of positive moral example found within the Church and other forms of organized religion surely are equally numerous. For instance, is there any country on earth where the catholic church has not founded a hospital? Furthermore, the moral abominations cited arguably indicate departures from, rather than the excercising of, the mainstay teachings of "the Church" (and other religions, etc), and thus are not indicative of the merits of those teachings where they are applied. If religion works, it works only where it is applied. But maybe the complaint is more focused on the ability of the institution to help people apply those teachings. If so, no beef here, other than that some such institutions do it better than others, while some hardly do it at all. But isn't this just the fault of that human element that so many religions warn us about (i.e. maya, sin, etc.)? I'm with Augustine here: never judge a philosophy by its abuses.

Also, what's so bad about explicitly having an external authority as a guidance system (as if people wiser and older than I have nothing to offer me)? I think this complaint fails to recognize that it's preferred alternative, that of "looking for truth within", and propositions like "our ever expanding energy is part of everything created, that will never die and continue existing long after we have left this planet," draw as much from external authority systems (e.g. the traditions of hinduism and buddhism)as the object of the complaint.