To my dear Readers:
There was no blog last Sunday because I encountered technical difficulties, due no doubt, to a key I hit that I shouldn’t have. The keyboard is a sensitive thing, quick to obey an order, no matter how mis-guided it might be. I have more respect for it now than ever before.
If I haven’t told you lately how much I appreciate you, let me say it now: I do. Thank you for reading, thank you for your messages, and thank you for trudging this road with me. And now to our blog:
I vowed that I’d never make this blog about politics. And I’m not going to make it about politics, even though the events out of Washington seep into my consciousness by the hour, unbidden and unwelcome. I spent a career in Washington. It used to be familiar ground. But it is a world I no longer recognize. It may have lost its mind.
What I write about is matters of the spirit, because for me, that is the refuge of the sane and the good. It’s not that I wish to disassociate myself from earthly matters. I have plenty of work to do, as a responsible citizen and someone who loves my country, but I can’t work if I’m not clear, and anger and worry block my channel. Anger and worry will also make me lose my mind, and there’s enough of that without me adding to it.
One of my spiritual teachers likes to say, “Keep your feet on the ground, your head in the clouds, and the rest somewhere in between.” In other words, life is a balancing act. I do not live on the top of a mountain, or in a cave. I do not chant and practice yoga all day. I live here, on this earth, in the human community. I am subject to the laws of physics. I have to brush my teeth, pay my bills, and put out the garbage. I have to pay income taxes and clean the cat’s litter box.
Yet, I am spirit. By that I mean that the spark of God lives within me.
My spiritual teachers tell me that people I am tempted to judge as evil or “bad” are neither. They are just in need of enlightenment. As am I. They tell me that whatever harm I do to another, whether in thought, word, or deed, I do to myself. Because we are all part of One Spirit Body. How can I do harm to one organ or the cells of one system without doing harm to the others?
My first rule of thumb, therefore, is to do no harm to myself by thought, word, or deed that is negative. I am then more likely not to do harm to another. This is something I have to practice. Because I have an ego, it isn’t inherent, but the more I try to keep it in my sights, the more I surrender to my spirit’s instincts, the more good days I have. Let me pause here and remind myself and my readers that nobody said the spiritual life on earth was an easy one. It’s really, really hard. Really. Really. Hard.
What is hard is constantly consenting to letting my spirit take the lead as I go about my earthly pursuits. This is a full-time job, with no sick days, no vacations, and no coffee breaks. It’s constant, eternal vigilance, for my mind will go back to judging and righteous anger in the blink of an eye. My husband Bill used to say, “I’d rather be happy than right.” I’m sure that making that choice often is key to a happy marriage. And a happy, peaceful life. Being right is not all it’s cracked up to be.
BUT. That doesn’t mean I don’t have work to do. It doesn’t mean that I can’t work to help the helpless, be the person I want to be, or think of all human beings as if they are God’s children. It doesn’t mean that I can’t Work On a Political Campaign, work to elect someone to represent me who reflects the values I cherish – honesty, integrity, compassion.
Every once in a while, I think of the story of Jesus, however you see him – as myth, as prophet, as great spiritual teacher, as brother, as the way-shower, as the Son of God – as he turned the money-changers out of the temple. If He can do that, why can’t I? I can. I can turn money-changers out of the temple, remain compassionate toward them, and stay in touch with my soul. That, I believe, is the evidence of a spiritual life.
I must always remind myself that I wasn’t always a student of metaphysics, nor was I a seeker of peace. It took the death of a child to set me on this path. What I am finding out is that it has a lot of interesting stops along the way.