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Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Oct 12, 2010 | Comments (0)


Spirituality For Dummies

I was watching television the other day. There was a doctor who had spent much time studying the brain and how it handles stress. The conclusion was, once the brain is developed there was not much a person could do in how they handled their emotions. They were given a bit of an ability to deal differently in some situations. However, most of how they responded was already preordained, programmed, and predictable.

It reminded me of the time I was an Army Chaplain in Korea in the late fifties. The Korean farmer’s most prized possession was his Ox. One time I was riding in my jeep past a rice paddy. I saw this large ox just standing motionless. There was a long wooden staff in front of its nose. My Korean driver explained to me the ox would not move as long as the staff was there. Obviously the stake was no match for the ox. However it still would not move any further. There are many people whether they are religious or not who have this stake right in front of them and they can go no further. Until they can recognize the issue they are blocked.

It is a scientific fact that all of us have gone through deeply troubling times and have had a sense of Peace. In other times, we would have been in shaken disarray. Why is this? It is because there is a Presence that is unconditional, inclusive and always in all of us. This Presence is not ours. That is, we can do nothing about it. It is just there. All we can do is to be open enough to experience it. Our problem is all of us are not always experiencing this Presence. The reason is because we have a block in front of us. We do not recognize it is there and we do not know how to get through to it.

The Presence has four major qualities. It has a Peace we can experience when situations do not go well for us. There is a Love we can experience when we are rejected, criticized or abandoned. There is a Joy that nothing we do can take that happiness from us. Most important of all, there is a Wisdom that passes our understanding.

It is a scientific fact when experiencing a sense of Peace, Love and Joy we will feel, think and act on a higher level of Wisdom than when we are feeling stressed by events, unloved by others, and insecure about ourselves. This is all regardless of how our brains have developed. The Presence is always there and available to all of us.

Knowing this fact is not enough. In the rational head we would want to figure out how to get around the stake. When we learn how to use our conscious heart we will learn how to get through to it. Getting around it is to practice exercises which sometimes work and sometimes do not. The only reason they work is because somehow the eyes of our conscious heart became open to the Presence.

The conscious heart is not rational. It cannot be explained. No one can tell you how they opened their heart. Yet, we all have moments when we know we did it. That is why spirituality is not for the rational head. The rational head becomes the block to getting through to it. The rational head in fact is a dummy when trying to understand spirituality. That is why spirituality is for dummies. It is not hard to experience the Presence rationally. It is impossible! It comes simply from an opened heart. Perhaps it is too simple for the rational head. That is why spirituality is for those willing to be rational dummies


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