Hard Times

and the Spiritual Path

In meditation this morning, I dwelt upon the idea of “how do we cope in times like this?”

Three concepts of dealing with life’s difficulties floated up into my conscious awareness.

The Parallel Path

There is a path parallel to the one we are on.  The parallel path is small and thin, like a hiking trail, in comparison to the road we all travel.  The road has interactions with many people and this comes with more blocks and obstacles.

The parallel path has less obstacles.  This is the path of self-reliance.

Self-Reliance here, is a reference to not needing the attention and help of other people – getting involved too much in the lives of others brings their problems into magnification over one’s life.  One’s spiritual life can be forgotten, with the embrace of issues all around.

This can lead to the question: “But shouldn’t I fight this present evil?”  To which my meditative state induced an answer: “If you fight the present problems, you will always be fighting the present problems.  From one life to another.”

This answer reminds me a lot of the Hindu story of Arjuna.  Arjuna is talking with Krishna (a God) and in the presence of Krishna he feels he would never leave or waiver.  All it took, however, was to see smoke on the horizon.  Once he saw the smoke, he left Krishna to investigate it.  He found a village in turmoil.  A fire broke out. He rushes in to help.  That tragedy leads to another, and another.  Until in time, he finds he has lived many years in the village and had forgotten his life with Krishna.

Invoking the Divine Light

Another approach that surfaced during meditation, was that of invoking the Divine Light.  By whatever means is within our grasp (depending on your faith, religion or spiritual beliefs), we can invoke the Divine source.

Keeping a focus on the invoked light of God, we can stay in the Light, even though Darkness surrounds us.  Imagine a man with a lantern, walking through a dark landscape.  Wherever the man walks, the Light is with him.

This requires one to be in touch with their rational self at all times – invoking the Light of God and putting a focus on it.

Keeping One’s Head Down

Lastly, another idea came to mind: staying low.  I visualized how a snake moves through the grass… unaware of the turmoil in the sky above.  There could be a war going on around the snake – fighters in the sky, shooting at each other, but the snake keeps his head low and stays about his business.

Spiritually speaking, this amounts to focusing on one’s self, as opposed to the problems in others.  It’s akin to the Biblical passage of taking care of the beam in your own eye, instead of fixating on the mote in your brother’s.

Not Getting Caught Up

A key theme here is not getting caught up.  This is very hard for me.  I get triggered when I see hatred.  I immediately lash out.  I get even more upset when I see people defend and twist the words of the hateful, in order to normalize them and make it more palatable.

A part of me feels I need to speak up and condemn it.  To fight it.  This tends to make me angry.  The anger clings to me like wet clothes and people around me, feel it.

I know, deep down, I have to let go.  You will find at times, articles I’ve written condemning people or groups… perhaps condemning is too harsh a word… but I do write against many folks who espouse ignorance over spirit.

But perhaps it’s best I leave others on their own paths and focus on mine.  I don’t want to ignore the problems around me… but I think all issues are best solved spiritually and not carnally.

Part of me wants to warn the believers of a faith that they are traveling off into dangerous territory.  That by leaving their foundational teachings for a carnal goal of political power, they have corrupted the core of their teachings.

However, the advice I received in meditation today was to the contrary.  This advice pointed me in the direction of staying focused on the spiritual… the path of self-reliance (not relying on the physicality of others, but only relying on spirit – in the parallel path), the invocation of light (focused on the light, instead of the darkness) and the idea of keep focused on my own issues.

I can’t say if this advice is yours. We each have our own paths in life.  I write this and make it public in case it does have merit for another.

What do you think?

0 points
Upvote Downvote

Total votes: 0

Upvotes: 0

Upvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Downvotes: 0

Downvotes percentage: 0.000000%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

America: Religion & Hate

Quote: Thich Nhat Hanh on Feelings