Ian, I love how you expressed your belief system............you can tell you have thought long and deeply about it...........one thing I have treasured so much myself, since leaving the dubs is that I have been able to follow my own natural and deep curiosity about spiritual things!!! Since leaving the dubs, I've read and read and researched all kinds of teachings! Right now, I am studying with a shamanic elder who was taught by her grandmother, who was a shaman elder. A couple of things you mentioned resonated with me, also.....my deep love for nature and Mother Earth, and the awareness of the circle/cycle of life and death. One thing Maggie has shared is that death walks with us on our left hand side..........as a shaman we need to realize this, and accept it as a natural part of the cycle that is life. I love what you said about not being afraid to die, just HOW you die.........you put my own feelings into words perfectly! Thank you so much for starting this topic and sharing your thoughts with us!! Hugs, Terri
SPIRITUALITY - A PERSONAL OUTLOOK
Like dear Ian, here too there is a resonating with the words of Ramana. What is most intriguing and pertinent was his love for truth at all costs, and his ability to point the way via honest and diligent questioning and investigation into our most cherished beliefs of self and other, in a "me" and a beloved separate.
He was willing to cut through all sacred beliefs to see what lay beneath. He was willing to no longer give attention and significance to personal faiths and positions which separate us into broken and fragmented, separate and isolated beings, that must evolve to some higher plain. He knew that truth was right here, right now, or never. He had no interest in what is relative and changes; but rather in the truth which unites us in unending and changeless wholeness -- now and always.
He asks us to look deep within our most intimate sense of being, and see first hand what is it, just under all of the thoughts and beliefs, which remains pure, untouched and unmoving. He asks us to clearly see that: "God meets us where we are" (beautifully said, Andi).
"You are awareness. Awareness is another name for you. Since you are awareness there is no need to attain or cultivate it. All that you have to do is to give up being aware of other things, that is of the not-self. If one gives up being aware of them then pure awareness alone remains, and that is the Self." - Sri Ramana Maharshi
Thank you for that personal insight.
I was a JW all my life, and all though other circumstances conspired against me I my eventual demise and leaving the 'truth', I was very influenced and moved by my living in Asia for a while. I came into contact with Hindus, Jains and Buddhist ideas that I had never experienced prsonally.
I am no expert on Buddhism but am beginning to lean in that my direction myself.
Ian, thanks for your thoughts on spirituality. I too believe personally that there are many paths to enlightenment and that they lead to the same place. I'm so happy that you have found peace with your spirituality, that and the vigils have certainly helped with your fight against the cancer!
I struggle with understanding one thing with Christians, I hope to understand this some day, but for now its a mystery. Christians believe in an afterlife, and they believe (for the most part) that they will be going to heaven. WTS believe that they will be either resurrected or cease to exist. Yet I have never seen anyone fear death more, cling to life more, or try to legislate against merciful endings in dire medical circumstances. (This is not to give an opinion on that last one, I haven't decided how I feel about that yet myself.) However if you knew you were dying and going to heaven wouldn't you be looking forward to that? I don't get it.
I couldn't agree more with being at peace with death, just hoping for a peaceful transition. Of course that has not been tested with me, either.
All in all you have given much to think about. You would be an interesting person to chat with over a beer or tea!
Yet I have never seen anyone fear death more, cling to life more, or try to legislate against merciful endings in dire medical circumstances. (This is not to give an opinion on that last one, I haven't decided how I feel about that yet myself.) However if you knew you were dying and going to heaven wouldn't you be looking forward to that? I don't get it.
As a Christian, I believe that this earthly Life is NOT all there is. And while I'm greatly blessed during my presence here (darling husband, wonderful house, sweet pets, amazing friends and church family) there is nothing on this earth that excites and relieves me more than the idea of going to heaven. There have been many moments in my life that I have pleaded for my Father to take me home. But here I stay. I believe it is because I have yet to complete what my God have assigned to me to do during my lifetime. Should I go tomorrow, I think I might mourn my own passing. Not because of losing my earthly life, but because I know that my husband, friends and family are behind mourning me as well. THAT idea breaks my heart...today. And yet at the same time, I have a feeling that I will have an understanding of Life that they don't yet have. That the beautifulness and glory of Heaven is so amazing, that the loss of what I left behind is but a simple surface wound. The relief and joy of the afterlife overwhelms the pain of not being with my loved ones.
((( Ian ))) You are far more steeped in ... IT ... than I, however we are so very close to the same understanding. Thank you so very much for sharing more of who you are and where you've been, and are going.
Love Hugs Healing Peace
Very nice post, Ian. You and I have had several good discussions on this subject, and I've always found them very interesting. I can only say that I'm very envious that you've found peace with your spirituality. I know it gives you a lot of comfort. I wish I could say the same thing for myself. You're an amazing person, Ian. ((((Ian))))
Something else that helps me greatly is lighting incense, particularly Nag Champa (I find this the best of all incense for getting in the right spiritual mood - I have some burning right now!) plus listening to New Age-type music, as I am doing whilst typing this. Buddha Nature by Deuter is good, as is Ayurveda by Chris Conway, Seven Stones by Nigel Shaw and Tibetan Meditation by Phil Thornton. Tai Chi Vol. II by LLewellyn is also excellent.
The main thing is to try and walk in one's spirituality at every moment of every day. Not easy, I grant you, but not impossible, either. Achieving this puts a whole new perspective on how we perceive the world and, believe me, one's life is all the better for it!
The main thing is to try and walk in one's spirituality at every moment of every day.
Yes, to live life with "attention and intention" is a challenge, but deeply rewarding! Terri