"Read your book. You're flirting with dangerous stuff..."
Me: "Awesome. I love making people think, it's my favorite." Big smiles, Namaste, Be Well...etc... I go back to thinking about the paleo vs vegan argument. And that perhaps, I could do it...IF I could keep bacon and didn't have to eat seitan. How could I go vegan and not eat grain? It doesn't compute...what would I eat, lettuce and fruit? I'd waste away from malnutrition...nah, stick to Slow, sustainable...
"I mean, you're pretty delusional, though...." It continues. Awesome. Let it go, let it go... <-----Elsa sings in my head. "I mean..." I realize that I am in no way, shape, or form...letting it go. I was getting riled up, I couldn't help myself. DEFEND YOUR ART! The ego screams... Okay..let's do this.
"Enlighten me," I say. :Rolls shoulders back:
"It makes no sense, how can you be spiritual...and not religious. It COMES from religion. The Light you talk about...IS JESUS. You're contradicting yourself, here." Okay, a Christian. I was raised Christian, no problem.
But...Oh boy. I won't rehash the whole debate here, but I'm sure you can all imagine where it might have went. And it did, and then back again.
I will let you all explore and educate on your own, the information is out there, if you care to look and form your own conclusions. What I can do is offer a window into my own experiences, thoughts, and notions on the subject. The driving force behind the more philosophical bits in the Ana story. We all form our own ideas about things, I don't expect anyone to read anything and take it at face value. Even stuff I write. I'm just another human. Come up with your own understandings and ideas. It's okay to think, really. It is.
For me...from a young age, I had a problem with dogma. The staunch rules, the contridictions, the absolutes...and the ugliness that radical belief has caused, historically. For me, it hasn't worked, so I thought... what would? Could I keep the beautiful, mystical, inspiring messages...the wonder and awe and gratitude for Life...and let go of the oppression, the judgment, the hellfire, the cruelty, the domination...etc...
So that's what I did. Spiritual. Yes, I believe we have a soul, a spirit. I believe our soul IS our consciousness. I believe they are one and the same. I believe the mind is more than the brain. I believe there are greater forces at work FOR US and not against us. I believe that it is up to us to see, feel, and appreciate this force and to allow it into our lives and consciousness. I believe that by doing so, we evolve, we grow, we heal inside, and we influence our outer world. I believe that we are very powerful beings and that we can utilize this force, this divine energy, in positive or negative ways. I believe that it is our choice. I believe that Heaven and Hell are ideas, that exist within each of us. For some, they see religion as their savior. For me, I see religion as a human-made construct that divides and destroys us.
Throughout history, the most atrocious and destructive wars have been fought in the name of religion. The most vile and disgusting behaviors have been allowed and not spoken of.
Any school of thought, however widely accepted, that fosters hatred, judgment, annhiliation, murder, and cruelty...is not of God. God...is pure Love. Pure Love does not destroy, it heals. Pure Love does not have a gender, God is not male nor female, but amorphous and omnipresent. Love does not condemn, it accepts. Love does not wage war, it seeks peace.
Since I was a teenager, this has been my view. And I have seen, felt, and known enough, to believe that for me? In my world view? This is the path. Every fiber in my being says so.
I have friends of all different faiths. And we all accept each other. We accept and respect differences, we discuss similarities and learn from where ideas diverge. Sit back and observe social media for a bit. Especially the self-help pages. They're filled with uplifting statements, little tokens to keep you "vibing high?" I get it, that's great. I appreciate it. But if you are aware of where these messages come from...you'll see the most beautiful statements from a myriad of different faiths and idealogies. Buddhism. Christiantity. Muslim. Hinduism. Kabbalah. Taoism. Even some Paganism and Wicca. All mixed up together, nicely, toward the purpose of inspiring us. Without the dogma. All of these idealogies, existing together, without arguing, on one feed. And what we can learn from this, the LESSON here, is...wait for it, wait for it...
What if the way forward is not to create one mass faith? To simply convert or destroy? What if moving forward means to accept and respect individual ideas, toward a common purpose, sharing simple moral virtues of our shared humanity? Kindness. Acceptance. Do no harm. Love. And by Love I don't mean "romance," I mean unconditional Love, support, caring, and holding ourselves in a positive space, energetically.
What if...as I wrote in Ana's journey... what if it really is all energy? What if we are responsible for what we put out? What if religion was simply a way of assigning value and form to an indescribable phenomenon? And what if we all healed ourselves and put out positive energy, toward a common evolution, regardless of religion? What if...we actually did have that much power? If you're Christian, what if Christ flowed through you...and you had the opportunity to use that force for good? You, alone? What if Christ has returned...in the form of consciousness? What if it was up to you to connect to it? What if we are all the same, connected at the Source? And if we stopped fighting, well...wow. What could we do? How might we grow, change for the better, collectively?
These are just thoughts, and by all means... only absorb what you resonate with. Read, learn, and make your own decisions, for sure. But in case you find yourself wondering in the middle of the night...feeling, just knowing that there is more? That something...something is different, but you can't put your finger on it? It's us. We're changing. Collectively, we are evolving. We are growing more conscious, more aware, more empathic, more connected. More and more every day. Embrace it. Shift. It's happening, in a real way. We can see it, as we look around, as we observe. We can see waves of empathy, acts of Love, rethinking and evaluating old ideas that don't work. Ages-old information coming to light, information that changes perspectives.
Even the Dalai Lama has spoken on the need for humanity to embrace...humanity. Love, kindness, compassion. And to let go of the old ideas of religion, ideas that no longer serve us. We can heal each other, we can move forward together. We can create Heaven on earth or Hell on earth. It's us, it's up to us.
This shift...is what Ana J. Awakens is all about. And I won't apologize for writing it, for feeling it, for being the lucky one who got to let it flow through her. The story changed me and my world, no...my Universal view. It brought me in contact with souls that I had never known existed, which I am still so grateful for, as these people have taught me, and connected with me in ways that I still can't explain. But I'm grateful. And as much as I've rambled here, I've barely skimmed the surface. The mind, the consciousness, will only perceive what it's prepared to perceive. We only experience and "see" what we believe. This is why beliefs need to be challenged and outdated ideas need to be let go. Make room for the new. For the unimaginable. For the inexplicable. For awe, for wonder. And have fun with it! The spiritual journey can and should be one of wonder, joy, growth, laughter, perspective, meaning...and oftentimes, absurdity. But we must always remember the child inside. Love, grow, learn (unlearn), dance, laugh, smile, and delight in the simple things. The world is what we make of it...each of us. Why not imagine something beautiful, why not interpret the world in a way that empowers and delights you? There is a lot to love and to appreciate, if you look around...and let it in.
Somewhere, there is a place where spirituality and current science meet...and this is where we are, collectively. Maybe. I am never sure of anything, I am constantly in flux these days, and I love that. As it is in nature. Such is the spiritual path. Such is Life. A constant ebb and flow. Let Love be our constant. <3