You know, I think I figured out why I don’t read a lot of spiritually based books! They seem to be filled with RULES! Things you “must” do; things you should “never” do; things that are “only possible if”… Rules!
I am reading a good book that is very thought provoking in many ways. In some cases, I love the concepts that are presented. In others, their view or perspective just doesn’t resonate. Almost always it is in an area where they have laid down the rules and have stated emphatically some requirement, or series of dos and don’ts.
In this particular book about evolving consciousness and becoming more aware; they are talking about what happens after we die, and also the journey to enlightenment. They discuss past lives, dimensions, levels of consciousness, and many other topics that are interesting. However, they write about them as if they have the one true perspective.
I realize that for me this feels arrogant and very limiting. Say for example their perspective is that we live multiple life-times, but they also say you “should never” focus on exploring those lifetimes, because it is a distraction and will prevent you from doing your real spiritual work in this lifetime. Well first of all, what if I didn’t believe in multiple lifetimes? What if I do, and by exploring these lifetimes I come to know and understand more about the choices, patterns, habits and behaviors that are playing out in this lifetime?
It’s just an example, but these rules do nothing to support our personal and unique journeys. None of us, even if we participate or identify with a particular religion, practice or belief system, are having the exact same journey/experience as anyone else. We are all originals! So how could one set of rules apply to us all?
Additionally, they are talking about something that we can’t know for sure. It can’t be proven. We are being asked to believe in something that happens before we are born or after we die… Most of us have a concept of what we believe happens when our physical bodies die. From the perspective of absolutely nothing, game over.., to heaven with pearly gates, and everything in between! I have my thoughts about life after death, however, that doesn’t mean mine is the “right” or “only” truth. It is only right and true for me.
As I think on this more… Maybe reading these types of books is ideal! They introduce us to new concepts; while they help reinforce or weaken our commitment to our existing beliefs; they trigger an internal review of our current state of being. They create an entry points into esoteric, mindful contemplation. “Does this feel right to me?”, “How does this information match-up to, align with, or challenge my existing thoughts and beliefs?” Do I have have new information that resonates more than an old belief I am holding onto?”
Instead of being frustrated as I read this latest book; I will remain open to learning some new things. At the same time, I get to notice that for me, when it comes to our spiritual journeys, rules get in the way!
With Light, Love, and Laughter