It seems these days as if everybody is a proclaimer of the truth. I see more and more in people I meet and books I read or talks that I listen to about truth or spirituality that everyone has their own version of the truth and believes it to be the ultimate truth. Most information about spirituality presents a one-sided view, an egotistical view of truth. People are convinced that upon a single awakening, breakthrough, or seeing into a new dimension of reality, that they have arrived and are knowers of the ultimate truth.
Throughout my life, this has happened to me. I have had several awakenings and realizations on my path to truth and knowledge of the spirit and that is why I am not so quick to jump up and proclaim the way for everyone else to follow. I have learned that the truth is not so simple, knowledge of God, spirit and the universe is not an instantaneous discovery or awakening, but a journey that is quite possibly never-ending. There have been times in my life when I thought I knew the truth because I knew something that made sense to me and worked for me in my life. I have even fallen into that egotistical trap of proclaiming the truth for others to follow. “I know something! It must be true for everyone! I must proclaim this truth and awakening and help others to see this light that I see!” I have had these thoughts and feelings in the past. I thought that I knew something and that others had to know this too. If only they knew, then they could be where I am and see what I see. An egotistical outlook at its finest.
What I have realized over the years throughout my spiritual journey is that truth takes many forms and is ever-changing. What is true for me, may not be true for you in the same sense. What is true at a moment in time will not necessarily remain true forever. Truth is not that simple, although people prefer to think of it that way. People prefer to have to not think at all and that is why they are comfortable with their simple truth and would love to have it stay that way forever. The thought of spirituality being anything complex or some sort of journey or process is frightening to many people because they enjoy the comfortable familiarity of their version of truth and do not wish to think or experience, but to stick with what has worked for them or has led them to an awakening at one point in their lives. That awakening is THE awakening and the truth they experience is THE truth, bottom line, no further venturing needed.
This was me. I thought that I knew the truth. I had my beliefs and that was that. I had had my awakening and I knew now what the truth was. I knew the way to God… or so I thought. As the years passed and I continued to live and preach in this bubble of mine, my version of the truth, there was something inside of me that knew that this was not right. Something inside of me wanted to continue the journey, to not just stop there and deny what else could be known and experienced. A part of me wanted to listen to this beckoning from within, but I was afraid. I was afraid to let go of that version of truth, especially because I had proclaimed it to be truth and told others that it was truth. Giving up this version of truth and venturing on to new awakenings would mean that I would also have to humble myself and admit that I was wrong and that I did not know the truth and everything there was to know about God. It would be a complete blow to my lower ego if I were to let all that I thought that I knew go and follow that pull within to greater heights, greater knowledge and greater truth.
Of course at that time I was so wrapped up in my lower ego that I didn’t see that it was my own egotistical self that was afraid. I instead wanted to believe what I was preached to about truth and fear that it was God that I would be denying if I denied my version of truth. It was the devil who was tempting me to let go and venture on and that was evil. So for a long time I kept to this version of truth and denied any thought of further knowledge of the truth and tried to convince myself, this is it! This is all I need and I am saved. I know now so why should I ever need anything more? This is it.
The problem was, this did not work for me. The inner pull toward more, toward venturing on and experiencing what else life had to teach me and show me was so strong that I could not deny it any longer. I battled with it for years, trying to stay content with what I knew, trying to brainwash myself with a fundamentalist/evangelical Christian view of spirituality, God and the devil. I was supposed to be saved and know the ultimate truth and I was supposed to see these inner questionings and yearnings as something evil that was only trying to steal away my truth and lead me away from God. This inner turmoil is what manifested outwardly as my eating disorder. As long as I could keep myself distracted from hearing that inner voice that wanted to take me out of my lower ego (which I thought at that time was God), by using food, binging, purging, and my body image as a distraction, then I was content and good. Or so I tried to convince myself. Of course, this never did work because that inner voice never would go away, no matter how much I tried to stuff it down, silence it and distract myself with any and all forms of material things, beliefs and philosophies, biblical brainwashings (literal interpretations of the biblical text) and blind acceptance of other people’s version of truth. I knew that ultimately, I needed to face that inner darkness and pride and let my lower ego die. I needed to find my true self and follow my inner spirit.
This was another one of my awakenings, a very painful one for me because it meant a death to my lower ego (pride) and a letting go of all that I held to be truth. It meant facing the fact that I had been running and distracting myself for years and giving up any crutch to fall back on. Essentially it felt as though it were a death to self, (the only self I had known) and a complete and total leap of faith into the arms of spirit and the unknown. I gave everything up to venture on and be led by this inner voice, this calm, peaceful presence, even though in doing so I was also thought of as lost by the church and the spiritual people that I knew because I was moving on from those beliefs and to them, that meant I was denying God and had fallen into darkness. My breaking away from the church and the spiritual beliefs that had been instilled in me as a child meant alienation from all that I knew. I was alone and I was still a little afraid, but I felt the most insurmountable inner peace by making that decision to move on and to let go. I knew inside that this was not an evil snare of the devil that was pulling me away from God and truth (as I was made to believe), but this was God and truth inside of me that was leading me to a greater awakening. All the time that I thought I was following God and that I knew truth by reading the bible with literal interpretation and accepting doctrines and dogmas, I realized was really a denial of God, Christ and truth because I was not in fact in tune with the real spirit that was within me. I was instead only being blindly led and fed truth by other people’s lower ego’s masking as God, feeding their pride and denying my hungry soul real spirituality and sustenance. Living in that kind of pride, being boastful, judgemental, afraid and ultimately blind to the existence of it all was the real denial of the Christ and that silent inner (Holy) spirit that I knew I had to follow.
Over the years I have learned so much by continuing to remain humble and open and to be led by the spirit within. I have read so many things on spirituality, different religions and faiths and really widened my view of God, spirit and truth. I have learned so much and yet, I do not feel the need to proclaim what I know or have learned because I know that it is not going to remain. I know that it is not the ultimate realization, an arrival or enlightenment. As I journey on, I will find more pieces to the puzzle of spirituality, truth, God and consciousness and will continue to place them together so that one day I may be able to step back and see the entire bigger picture. This is my life’s mission. This is what I am here to do. Searching, discovering, learning, growing, letting go and journeying on is the only thing in life that has ever brought me any real satisfaction. I cannot keep my spirit held back. I cannot deny the spirit that is inside of me and in us all. I cannot put God in a box, continue with dualistic thinking or accept and believe that truth and knowledge is really simplistic and easily attainable. Doing this would mean denial of the true spirit, which is one. There is no duality in real Christianity and spirituality. We are all connected. We are all one. God is spirit and spirit is all.
I am always conscious of not getting caught up in or identify too closely with my lower ego and pride. I try to remain open even to those who are presenting me with their version of truth because I believe that we have a lot to learn from each other. Each “other” is also a reflection of ourselves and is also a part of the journey to awakening if we could really open our eyes and our hearts to seeing that and learning from each other and each circumstance that life presents to us. I know that redeeming the lower ego is the struggle, this is what we have to bear with us in this lifetime as human beings and it is a blessing, not a curse. The darkness, temptations, pride and selfishness are all a part of God too. The lower ego is there to help us to continue on our journey to awakening to who we are and why we are here. This cannot be denied. We cannot fall into thinking so dualistically and black and white, saved/lost, right way/wrong way and so on. It all is.
These are the thoughts that I so often think and would love to share, but do not yet quite know how to. It seems as though most people do not want to hear of such things. It is easier and more comfortable to most people if spirituality is simple or altogether denied. There are so many things that we do not know and so many fears in knowing or awakening. I often wonder what it is that we are afraid of? Why do we fear the spirit within? Why is it taboo to know who we are as spirit and as one?
The paths are many, the truth is multifaceted, the journey is highly individual and personal, but in the end, we are all the same. At our essence we are all spirit and in this spirit we are all one.