Our previous blog should make two things clear: 1) the diamond path is difficult; and 2) all of this “grinding” is supposed to produce a diamond! In other words, there is redemptive suffering and neurotic suffering. The first is worth giving away all of our possessions and the old, limited self that we thought we were; the second is a waste of time. The trick is trying to figure out the difference.
Here is a working list to help us keep straight whether we are on the diamond path or whether we are delusional. The very, very first thing to keep in mind is that real spiritual experience is very different from “belief.” It transforms our consciousness into the beautiful diamond that we have always been, but did not realize. It is not a “head trip.” We now know that we know that we know.
Secondly, the experience of union that we feel produces “a view of the harmony of all things within the ultimate harmony” (Shoneberg Setzer). We feel, along with Julian of Norwich, That “all things will be well, and all manner of things will be well.”
One feels, thirdly, a sense of living in a holy universe, charged with the radiance of “God.” The universe, the body, flesh, every cell, every creature all are stained glass windows, icons, through which we encounter the divine.
Another indicator of the authenticity of our experience is whether or not our experiences and insights free us up and invite us to serve the universe in some way. Inauthentic spirituality cuts us off, makes us feel centered upon ourselves. We are still self absorbed.
A fifth indicator of authentic contact with transpersonal energies is that we feel greater energy to enter into life. Neurotic individuals chase their own tails, going around in circles, trying to “fix” themselves and others.
A sixth thing to keep in mind is that we humans, at least at this stage of our evolution, are never consistently living any of the above qualities! Do you remember the blog about The Wounded Healer? This should serve to keep us humble.
Speaking of humility, a seventh indicator of genuine contact with things divine is that we are acutely aware that our words are inadequate. So much for our blog! Poetry, analogy and paradox come much closer to the truth than our inadequate words. Yet we still feel called to speak about the unspeakable, always with a sense that there is more to be said and ever better ways to say it.
Next posting: Looking for the Ocean
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