I just read a wonderful blog post by Dr. Jim Lockard on Spiritual By-Passing. It has been exactly where my mind has been lately. Thank you, Dr. Jim. For those of you out there who wonder why your life is not demonstrating in the way that you’d like, please read this article. I will not reiterate what Dr. Jim has stated, but I will bring you my version of spiritual by-passing and why it is so dangerous to the true spiritual life.
If you want to know if you are spiritual by-passing, it’s simple really. Are you stating empty affirmations that have no meaning to you, while underneath the service a whole other show is going on? Let’s say you are having money problems. So, you say, “it’s all good. My life is perfect. I am rich, etc. etc.” You go on with your business, ignoring everything that is in turmoil, bills you can’t pay, all the time not looking any deeper or taking responsibility for where you are.
Or let’s say you are sick. You don’t look at the facts, you just keep reiterating that you are perfect health, you refuse medical attention. God will take care of this. Do you really believe this?
Or… You come to any New Thought Center or any church for that matter and get a real charge on Sunday. You are excited and elated for a moment, and then you walk out the doors. It is business as usual. Those moments of elation in church were a spiritual by-pass. You cannot sustain that because you have no idea of how to take what you felt in there and bring it into your life. You’ve got too much “stuff” in your way and you are not willing to deal with it.
In essence, a spiritual by-pass is about ignoring and denying your life experience by skirting your deeper issues, while Spiritual living is actually walking through every experience ready to explore, discover, dig into the shadows and create an upheaval of old beliefs and things that are limiting you. Spiritual living calls for the commitment and conviction to uncover your True Self by letting go of all the limitations and mental and emotional baggage that are covering it. It’s work!
Socrates is quoted as stating that, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that any life was not worth living. Of course, life is worth living, however, what worth is your life if you are not letting that creative, passionate and self-loving self out into life.
Examining your life, taking responsibility for where you are (without blame), but with true loving and compassionate introspection with the willingness to change is definitely making life worth living. Uncovering God as you is an excavation process.
I believe we are here to express our Divinity, to realize that thought force is greater than material resistance and, really, to just be happy. However, how can we be happy, truly happy, unless we are willing to allow ourselves to be happy.
Living the Spiritual life isn’t about going to church or being religious. It isn’t about spiritual by-passing our life. It is about deep feeling, deep knowing, deep commitment to make contact with the Divine within and live from that place. It is a journey. It isn’t an easy, breezy one either. It takes time, practice, falling and getting up again, and so much more. However, the rewards of the spiritual life are like that Bible quote about the “pearl of great price.”
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.“ Matthew 13:45-46
At one time, I wondered what was meant by selling all that we have. Now I know it means letting go of everything standing in the way of a truly fulfilling, loving and magnificent spiritual life. It is definitely the kingdom of heaven and it’s right here.
Love and Aloha,