“Make yourself a Rav, and buy for yourself a friend.”
— Rabbi Yehoshua Ben Perachya
Could never relate to the old “Church Lady” that seemed so righteous and God-fearing.
You know, the one that constantly quoted the Bible, and swore everything you ever wanted to know about anything could be found in “the good book.”
Knew a guy who spent most of his days reading the Bible and smiling all the time, as if he discovered the answer to Life and needed nobody like me to question his convictions. No matter what I said, he stuck to his beliefs. And to their solitary life with the bottle.
Tried the Bible. Read straight through it once. Couldn’t understand half of it, but loved the adventures of David and Saul, as well as New Testament heroes Peter and Paul. Some swear that everything in it is the “Gospel truth,” word-by-word, fact-by-fact. “If the Bible says so, then it must be so,” I can just see the Church Lady preaching over her glass of lemonade and home-made cookies.
Couldn’t buy it. No matter what denomination of Christianity I followed, starting with Catholic and then Episcopalian, Presbyterian and a touch of Baptist. (Couldn’t take the evangelical follow up some lay-minister proselytized on me after being “Born Again” at a restaurant in Pottstown, PA, some 25 miles outside Philadelphia. Took a leave of absence from the Faith while following a Guru shortly afterwards.)
But, I am coming to believe that a person can find a connection with a Higher Force in certain books and writings authored by spiritual mystics. And, I use the word “Mystic” liberally, granting the title to those men and women who seek a higher purpose in Life and share their findings with others, no matter if they be atheists or theists.
And, I’ve realized this only after seeking answers outside my family imposed set of beliefs — answers I found in something called the Buddhist Dharma and, more recently, the Jewish Kabbalah. I can “merge” with the writer, the author who has opened him or herself to a Force above, and helped me to understand some of their revelations.
Reading uplifts me now. It takes me to a higher level and permits greater thoughts to expand; dreams I gave up on, to rise again.
And, I find that I can capture some of that feeling while writing. Yeah, I can close my eyes and let words appear out of “nowhere” as long as I (the egotistical “I“) get out-of-the-way. Spiritual writing can be found outside of churches, temples and mosques. Look for them here on the Internet. Some of the best is being created just as we speak. Look at the WordPress categories for a glimpse. Name a religion or a philosophical belief and you can find a link. But don’t stop with just reading. Write.
Write something. Anything!
As long as it comes straight from the heart, it can help another heal, “innerstand” (please see link at innerstand) or feel love again. Now, just don’t sit there. Get to work. Find that Spirit inside that wants out. Let it rise, let it fly, let it go!