Vulnerable Mind : Free Spirit
by Theo Drake
"Saved by Grace"--but it's no free ride. I was raised Christian, taught that salvation came from God when accepting and experiencing his truth . Whenever I’ve experienced life-changing, inner transformation, whether within the Christian context or otherwise, it was when I went through an often difficult but rewarding discovery of myself. Often the indoctrinated religious bells-and-whistles were only a hindrance to the process. There's no personal freedom without knowledge and knowledge requires a vulnerable curiosity about ones-self, the world, and a patient desperation for truth.
Will God judge the truth-seeker for his ignorance? I will not adopt another's dogma simply because that dogma has the scariest version of the afterlife for those who don't simply believe it. If I ask the honest question, "does God exist?"--and what I mean to say is, the version of God that I was taught to believe in--will God eternally damn me for asking an honest question? If I feel in my heart that God is a loving Sustainer, then I will say so. I don't need to dress my sense with another's bells and whistles. Neither the paralyzing fear of judgment, nor the trite borrowing of another's truth or heroic sacrifice for a free ride to heaven is enough for me.
Christ forged a path for us, but he did not just do it for the world. He did it for himself--his own spiritual transformation and kingship. We can't just borrow his walk vicariously through belief. We are called to carry our own cross and undergo our own transformation. The power of Christ is not in the historical but the ever-present process within me: His birth, crucifixion and resurrection.
I won’t leave any stone unturned in the search for wisdom--the knowledge of God. Or, if you will, the elimination of what isn't true. If I have to turn over every rock to find out that none of them hid what I was looking for, it was a worthy effort. Now I can ignore the rocks. What was true in any culture, whether western or eastern, Christian or pre-Christian, ancient or modern, is still true today. God's wisdom is consistent throughout the ages. What is was and what wasn't isn't.
I don't believe in promising results. I don't believe in offering a method--a strict
equation--whether in the form of a religion or particular practice, but all "equations" are worth observing to understand their origins and why people used them. Even worse would be promising a person specific results from said religio. There are too many possible variables in an individual's spiritual enterprise: motives, expectations, needs, personality, abilities, etc. The greatest things that happen to us aren't expected. Life came with no user manual (until someone handed us one) and we were enchanted at every turn. When we were a child we had no references of prior experiences. This is why, especially in spirituality, we may benefit from past experiences but must continue to approach Spirit with naked, childlike wonder.
We need a fresh, yet ancient, vision for spirituality that is zealous for truth but not presumptuous--a spirit that is unafraid of its own vulnerability before the unknown nor of the Unknown itself... a spirit that is not content with the pat answers of either our ego's rationalizing, or of spiritual leaders and their conventionally accepted interpretation scriptures.
A vulnerable spirit isn’t without safeguards. If your best safeguard is merely the acceptance of what your conscious mind has learned since birth: certain methods, conventions, and beliefs--then you have no safeguard at all. A spirit that approaches the reality it finds itself in with genuine curiosity, bold humility, gazing wide-eyed at the blinding light, willing to explore the darkest crevices... this spirit might be met with adversity, turmoil and confusion but will not fear divine judgment. Rather this spirit is heroic and will have the hero's reward.
Old spiritual norms are failing. Answers that were normally accepted by those seeking easy security through religion are no longer accepted. The extremes of religious fundamentalism and mundane secularism are more and more showing their weaknesses. We hear that Faith is being tested, but “faith”, or rather, belief is being exposed as a fraud.
Answers. Answers. Answers. The simpleton asks for answers from other human minds who seem to have them. Being a truth-seeker is wanting answers but realizing that they don't come this simply. This "simplicity" isn't simple at all. Accepting another's answer on spiritual matters will lead to disappointment and complexity. The most important "answers" come from deep personal inquiry into the unknown.
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