Posted by: spiritthrive | March 14, 2013

My Spiritual Journey

I grew up in fundamentalist, biblical-literalist, evangelical Christianity. In other words, I grew up in the American South. None of those classifications any longer describes who I am. Here is a synopsis of my journey and its antecedents.

The Abraham of Genesis of the Old Testament felt led in his Spirit to relocate from Ur to Canaan, because his homeland in Mesopotamia no longer served him—he had outgrown it.

Spirit led Moses to give the Israelites the Ten Commandments as a cornerstone of their belief system, newly exiled from Egypt as they were—the traditions of their former captors no longer served them.

The New Testament books tell of Jesus who offered a greater vision to his people, the Jews, trumping the Ten Commandments’ code with a message of love, honor, peace, serving and respect for all living things. He found the most revered religious orders caught up in literalism and picayune, petty interpretations of the law. Jesus invited those who would listen to discard the part of their spiritual practice that no longer served them and connect directly with the Spirit that dwells within.

A great church was founded upon Jesus’ relationship with his apostle, Peter. Catholicism spread throughout the known Western world, carried forth and embraced by the Roman Empire.

Motivated by the desire for further spiritual freedom, reformers such as Luther provided the seeds for movements that would break away from the Catholic church. They felt—contrary to established religious thinking—the it was possible to speak directly to God, that one shouldn’t be able to pay the church to escape the consequences of one’s actions (indulgences), and that holy books could be read and understood by all who were literate. Luther and others were considered sinful heretics.

I believe we are all connected, that the concept of “me” and “you” is not a good basis for a worldview. I am God manifested as an individual person, as are you. We cannot be separated from Spirit for we are Spirit made manifest. We can believe that we are separate—this is the basis of all misery, conflict and war.

When I was 8, I responded to an altar call at the First Baptist Church to confess that I was a sinner, repent of those sins, recognize I was in need of salvation, acknowledge that the only path to salvation was in accepting Jesus’ death on the cross as a substitution for my eternal death, and ask Jesus into my heart so I may love and serve him the rest of my earthly existence. In other words, I got “saved.”

Am I still saved? I have never asked to be “unsaved,” but the concept, as I was taught it, has little meaning to me now. Jesus was a great Way Shower, as were many others, and I am thankful his story of erudition, self-discovery, and speaking truth to power has often provided salvation from lower paths.

Am I still a sinner? Every day of my life is chockfull of learning opportunities, chances to demonstrate more love, kindness and gratitude, to offer myself in further service to others, to better communicate with my inner Spirit/God/Creator, and to make manifest the world I am continuously co-creating. In other words, my life is perfect! The concept of “sin” no longer has meaning to me.

Did Jesus die on the cross for me? You would have to ask him. To me, it’s still a beautiful story when interpreted metaphorically (as most holy books are intended to be), and one thinks about Jesus’ death as an example of sacrificing the needs of our ego to obtain “salvation.” What could have been more ego-challenging than to have been accused of crimes he didn’t commit?

Am I serving Jesus? I believe the story of Jesus is offered as a great example of someone embodying what has come to be referred to (in his honor) as the “Christ Consciousness.” It’s disappointing sometimes to see so many focused on “Jesus,” and so few on “Christ.” I am serving my inner Spirit’s voice, which, like Jesus, asks me to love my fellow creatures, love the God within, and radiate joy and kindness to all I meet.

Does your spiritual tradition trace its heritage to Abraham? To Moses? To Jesus? To Luther? If so, are you grateful they listened to Spirit so that you might enjoy the liberties you have today? Are you, too, open to spiritual revelation, evolution and growth?

Does Spirit reveal truth to all who seek, or just a select few?

Some who read this will make their own judgments as to whether I have satisfactorily answered questions they may have. To all I would say, do not show up to have your questions answered, be fully present to have your answers questioned.

It is unlikely I will share more of my personal journey because it is mine alone. You must do your own work.

It is then you will begin to become fully alive in the present moment of the perfect miracle you were created to be.

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