You cannot do a spiritual practice in a vacuum. Unless your spirituality is part of everything you do, it is no spirituality at all. Heaven and earth cannot be separated; God cannot be separated from matter. We have to live our spirituality every day, but this does not mean that we have make the world conform to our beliefs. We don’t need a theocracy – the world is holy all by itself.
This doesn’t mean that we should worship the world. Nature is not God. Just as we are more than our body, God is more than nature. But the body and nature are reflections of God, and they are reflected in God’s substance. God’s substance takes the shape of God’s idea, just as the brain takes on the neural structure of our thoughts.
The body is the manifold expression of the cosmos. Everything that exists out there exists in here, and vice versa. As above, so below – the basis of all of the esoteric sciences. To know how something works in this world or any other, we need only to look to the body. It is the key that unlocks every mystery. It is the master plan.
There are many equivalents. The breakdown and digestion of food is the same as mathematically breaking down a problem into its component parts and then constructing a hypothesis. The hand reaching out for a glass of water is identical to the root of a tree reaching out for moisture in the soil. It is the same hand. Raising the chalice at the altar is the same as the blood offering up its matter in the lungs and taking on oxygen. It is the same blood.
Ritual can only be powerful when it is performed physically. One cannot live solely in the mind. If God only lives in our philosophy or in our religion, then God does not live at all. Life must mirror knowing. But this doesn’t mean that the world should look like a church. The outer forms of spirituality are man’s inventions, not God’s. It is the principles that the forms were meant to reflect that are important. What does it matter if we follow the letter of the law and are blind to its spirit? The brain was evolved so that it could tell the difference.
Walking the talk does not mean proselytizing. The more we talk about our spirituality, the less we live it. It is principled action that counts. Not that we have to be right or prove ourselves better than others, secretly holding the world in judgement as we follow the rules. But rather it means being conscious, and then engaging with the world, applying the rules as principles to be used, not lines to be toed. Life is colorful, and we live it outside of the lines. We conform our lives to principles, not rules.
Does God like this, or does God like that? These are foolish questions. God has already painted God’s preferences on the canvas of this planet. We need to catch up. Matter cannot be destroyed, but systems can. What has taken aeons to develop can be brought down in a few decades. Thou shalt not kill doesn’t mean we can’t eat. It means that we must not destroy an entire species, not even our own. It is the system that lives. The stuff is just stuff.
I was wondering how you write about spirituality and live it. As you said, the more we talk about it the less we live it, so what about for the prophets and shepherds who are ordained to talk and/or write about it? I find this extremely difficult and that I’m coming to an impasse with all of it. I’ve seen a schism in my spiritual and physical worlds and have been trying to unify them by wanting, almost desperately, to talk about my spiritual life to let others understand what I’m going through. But today I ask, are we (as writers) supposed to share this sacred conversation between God and ourselves? I hope you can share your answer, as another Christian mystic writer. Thank you.
It’s best to share with your peers – other teachers and writers. It’s not that you’re “too good” to share with just anyone, but a teacher has to maintain a professional detachment from those who look up to him or her. I think that as long as we don’t see ourselves as perfect and we don’t encourage others to see us that way either, we stand a better chance of doing our job without creating problems. My opinion is this: none of us are perfect. As teachers, we just have to accept that. The MOST important thing is to never let that stop you. Teach what you know. A true writer writes because they have to write, not because they think they are God’s gift to the world. Your best asset is knowing that you don’t know anything. The second you think you know, the whole world knows you don’t. There’s an old cowboy saying: “The horse knows when you know and he knows when you don’t know.” So, just stick to what you “have” to say, and don’t worry about living up to it. As long as you don’t condemn others for not living up to what you say, but rather simply share with them what’s true for you, you’re okay. But only crack the whip on yourself, and hold them in love. Just remember that the world mind loves to shut you up, and if you’ve got any guilt at all, that’s the door it will use. So, don’t take what you say personally. Just say it, and invite others along on you journey of self-discovery. We’re all in this together.