Biblical Karma

Sanskrit word (Karma)

The word Karma is thrown around casually in today’s culture. Although the textbook Hindu definition is often not applicable to the circumstances where the word is applied, most of us get the general gist of things: what goes around, comes around.

While the concept of karma is most often referenced in context of the Hindu tradition, there is actually biblical text that echoes this Vedic truth in the Christian text’s book of Matthew.

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’

30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Matthew 18:23-35

There are references to Karma in some form in Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Falun Gong (Asian-origin religions) as well as Hinduism, and as highlighted above – in Christianity. There are also many references to the concept in Judaism. Consider the following.

Mishnah Pe’ah 8:8

Whoever does not need to take [gifts for the poor] but takes, will not die of old age until he becomes dependent on people. And whoever needs to take but does not take will not die of old age until he supports others from his own. About him it is stated: Blessed is the person who trusts in HaShem, then HaShem will be his security. [Jeremiah 17:7] And similarly, a judge who renders a true judgement according to its truth. And anyone who is neither lame, nor blind, nor crippled, but makes himself as one who is, will not die of old age until he becomes like one of them. As it is stated: He who seeks evil, it shall befall him. [Proverbs 11:27] And it is further stated: “צדק צדק תרדוף– Justice, justice shall you pursue.” [Deuteronomy 16:20] Similarly, any judge who takes a bribe and perverts judgment will not die of old age until his eyes grow dim. As it is stated: You shall not take a bribe…for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise, etc. [Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19]

Mishnah Pe’ah 8:8

When the same or similar concept is repeated across cultures and time, it’s a good idea to sit up and pay attention. Whether we are using the term according to textbook definition or not, the concept of karma is something we need to pay attention to, or suffer the consequences.


Mishnah: 1st major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions.

I know that “karma” is very real and have witnessed it – in my own life, when I’ve not been wise – and in the lives of others when they’ve been intentionally mean to others, and to me.

The general concept of karma needs to be better understood and more widely taught in society. It’s an ancient principle and one that, sadly, many are missing in their basic understanding of the human experience.

Imagine what a nicer overall experience living in this world could be if everyone – especially those in positions of power and policy-making – would take heed of these ancient truths, and act accordingly.

“… anyone who is neither lame, nor blind, nor crippled, but makes himself as one who is, will not die of old age until he becomes like one of them. As it is stated: He who seeks evil, it shall befall him.”

Imagine what could be if this was the concept pondered before every political decision or legislative act… (“You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!”). And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner’s Path

Neville’s Gifts

Neville Goddard
Metaphysics
Spirituality
Manifestation
Neville Goddard

One of the most popular and compelling metaphysical teachers in the early to mid-20th century was Neville Goddard. His lectures were well-attended and he distinguished himself from the numerous preachers who were making rounds in New Thought circles by his strong command of the biblical scriptures – both the Hebrew and the Christian texts – as well as his preference for the academic lecture over the church service.

His lectures live on today and through the wonders of technology (YouTube), we can hear his teaching in his voice. I encourage all students of metaphysics to study Neville and ponder his contributions to the larger body of metaphysical spirituality.

He told many stories to illustrate the power that we have and one of his favorites, perhaps for the strength of its message, was the story of how he got himself out of active duty in the Army after being drafted.

From the site linked above:

In 1943, he was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 38, which he did not want, especially since he felt he was too old to become a soldier and had a wife and daughter at home to take care of. Through the power of imagination, as Neville told it in his March 24, 1972 lecture, he was honorably discharged after just a few weeks of training. One consequence of his brief Army training was that he received full United States citizenship, having been a British citizen up to this point.

Neville Goddard Wiki

Neville emphasized the role of our imagination in manifesting the things in life and the lives that we want. He used his own imagination when he found himself in the Army and unhappy with the circumstances and his method is worth a closer look.

He spoke of not fighting or resisting that which we don’t want, but that we should “submit to Caesar” – a biblical reference to the verse in the Christian text where Jesus is asked by the Pharisees about paying taxes to the government (ruled at the time by Caesar) and Jesus replied:

20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and superscription?21 They say unto him, Caesar’s. Then saith he unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s; and unto God the things that are God’s.

Matthew 22:20-22

Neville used this to explain that when we want to manifest things, we don’t fight against the physical realities in front of us; we are not to resist, but we must focus our mind, attention and intention on what it is that we want.

He went to sleep every night in the Army barracks imagining that he was back home in his apartment in New York with his wife and child. After about a week, he had a vision where he was told that his application to leave the Army was changed from DENIED to APPROVED. Later that morning, the Captain called him into his office and signed off on his discharge from the Army, and Neville went home with an honorable discharge.

Neville Goddard
Metaphysics
Spirituality
Manifestation
Neville Goddard – later years

We learn when we study meditation as a spiritual practice that it is difficult to train the mind. Neville is referring to a discipline with the mind in the concentration on what we want and especially at night as we are falling asleep.

One way to help ourselves get into this habit at night is to use a log. Since Neville spoke of his results in about a week, I created a grid where I can document what I desire, and log the date each night when I go to bed. This helps REMIND me at the end of a busy day, and provides me a way to document what is taking place, including the outcome.

Here’s a copy of the one I created:

I have found Neville’s perspective and great knowledge of scripture to be an enlightening adjunct to the studies I have undertaken this far. He is
at times as obtuse as Ernest Holmes, but in some ways, much clearer about the processes we can use to create lives that we truly want using ancient spiritual wisdom and techniques.

YouTube has a rich treasure trove of Neville’s lectures. Most are around 45 minutes long and all are worth the listen. Once you bring Neville’s teachings into your orbit, I know that you’ll find things changing for you in ways you may have thought unlikely if not impossible.

If you find your freedom, or your “honorable discharge” using the grid I have shared, after you stop running around and telling people that you can’t believe that it worked (smile); I hope you’ll pass on your experience (& drop me a line!).


(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

We are Star Stuff

NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the cluster Westerlund 2 and its surroundings

The Science

Physicists who study the mysteries of the Universe have discovered some interesting things just this century. According to scientists who work with the Hubble Space Telescope (responsible for the image above),

…stars work as giant reprocessing plants taking light chemical elements and transforming them into heavier ones.

Some interesting data has come forth after the launch of Hubble and other similar-mission telescopes. At one time the leading thinkers on what the Universe was all about were led by the church (Catholic Church) and the teachings of the day were that Earth was at the center of the Universe.

We’ve come a long way and not without significant sacrifices. Some scientists who challenged the church lost their lives, and Galileo, whose work is foundational to today’s astrophysics (and more) threatened Pope Urban’s position on the science accepted by the church to the point that he was eventually tried by the Inquisition and found to be “vehemently suspect of heresy“.

This was a dangerous time to be found a heretic or anything close, and it was likely only Galileo’s previous close relationship with the Jesuits that kept him alive. He was forced to recant his theories, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest .

Of course, this didn’t stop the forward progress of science. It did, however, help show the irrelevance of the church on matters of science (nod to the exception represented by Father George Lemaître) which was an important step.

Today we largely accept that the Universe in which our galaxy – the Milky Way – exists began more than 13 billion years ago when for some yet-unknown reason, an infinitesimally small, dense and hot singularity began to expand rapidly.

The Spiritual

Stepping out of the purely scientific realm and into the spiritual world, there is a widespread belief that the Universe and humans are one: that we are star stuff. It turns out that there’s a lot of science to this claim. The iron carried on the heme molecule in our blood was forged in the super nova (destruction) of a dying star as were the sodium, potassium, phosphorous and many other critical elements in our bodies (about 73% of them).

Science tells us that we are made of the same stuff as the Universe; so what can we learn about the human race – about ourselves – as we ponder the following recent discoveries about the composition of the Universe:

  • Ordinary Matter: 4.6%
  • Dark Matter: 24%
  • Dark Energy: 71.4%

Scientists are learning more every year about dark matter and dark energy, but for now, let’s focus on the ordinary matter. If we are, as gurus and spiritual teachers across the ages have suggested, one with the Universe, then the physical bodies that we spend so much time and attention on in this world have a much smaller role in who we are than our popular culture would like us to believe.

Too many of us spend large portions of our lives focused, obsessed even, on our looks, our weight, the color of our hair, whether we have hair, our height, our wrinkles – our physical bodies, or as a physicist might describe it: ordinary matter.

I don’t know about you, but I’m weary of all the attention on those areas, and very much intrigued with the larger percentage of me that has nothing at all to do with my looks.

Dark Matter is believed to act in many ways as a glue within galaxies and Dark Energy is believed to be responsible for the accelerating expansion of the Universe.

These concepts are worthy of a separate blog, but until then I will be pondering what I might be able to do in my life if I stopped obsessing over what may end up being less than 5% of who I am, and focused on how to harness the rest of me – those dark and unknown territories quite possibly related in some way to the mysterious properties in the Universe. And after all, if we are star stuff – that’s not all that far out to consider.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path  

Extraordinary faith

Healing
Practitioner's Path
Faith
Belief
Woman touches Jesus’ garment and is healed

The Hebrew Scriptures are rich with stories and imagery of a powerful God – the God of Israel. Crafted around the life events of Adam, Eve, Noah and the descendants of Abraham, the man with whom God made the first covenant, these stories highlight the great power of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is the God that parted the Red Sea so the Israelites could escape the pursuing Egyptian soldiers; the God who helped a teen slay a giant that had thwarted an entire army; sent food and water to a prophet on the run; closed the mouths of hungry lions and protected 3 young boys from the flames of a furnace and there are many more stories.

Judaism – the religion at the heart of the Hebrew Scriptures – is often seen by those on the outside of it as a religion of Laws. It is in truth, so much more. Traditionally there are 613 commandments, or mitzvot that are to be kept by religious Jews and the Talmud tells us that of those 613 commandments found in the Torah (Bresheit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Vayicra (Leviticus), Bamidbar (Numbers), and Devarim (Deuteronomy)), there are 248 positive ones (do this) and 365 negative ones (don’t do that).

In traditional Christian circles, the connection between the Hebrew Scriptures (what Christians call the Old Testament) and the teachings of Jesus is often described as Jesus coming to “perfect” the Law-based religion of Judaism so that ALL people have an option for salvation. This presumption forgets the teaching within Judaism that the righteous from all nations have a share in the world to come, but that topic is for another blog post on a different day.

The perspective that Jesus came not to condemn the Law of Moses, but to fulfill the Law has as many different interpretations as there are diverse religious streams. But if we look at it through the metaphysical lens, the relationship between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament can take on a balanced and logical perspective – one without a win/lose or right/wrong orientation.

In the early 20th century, Ernest Holmes articulated what other New Thought teachers knew: that there is a Power for Good in the Universe, greater than we are, and that we can use that Power.

From this perspective we can look at the stories in the Hebrew Scriptures as tales that illustrate that great Power through the stories of people like Abraham and Sarah; Isaac and Jacob; Rebecca, Rachel and Leah; Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah (also known as Shadrach, Meschach and Abednago), Elijah, Elisha and many others.

The stories of Jesus in the Christian Bible’s New Testament teach about how we can use that Power for Good. There are many stories in both wisdom texts. Today we’ll look at the story of the woman in the crowd from the book of Matthew (New Testament).

The teacher Jesus had begun his ministry in earnest and was drawing great crowds from around the region to hear him talk and teach. He was surrounded by a throng of people one day when a woman who had been sick for many years pushed her way toward him. She could not get his attention, but she pushed on, believing from all she had heard about him that if she could only touch his garment, she would be healed.

20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:

21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.

22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.

Matthew 9:20-22

The lessons from the life and teaching of Jesus repeat this theme throughout the Gospels:

“Be of good comfort – thy faith has made you whole.”

Matthew 9:22

28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

Matthew 9:28-29

The stories of the heroes and heroines of the Hebrew Scriptures weave tales of circumstances where they dealt more closely with God than the more modern people of the Common Era (A.D.) Think of the many stories of prophets hearing God’s voice; Moses on Mt Sinai; the burning bush; the firestorm from the heavens that burned the offering at Mt Carmel, as examples.

The teachings of Jesus built on the Power described so perfectly in the Hebrew Scriptures and laid out a framework for using that Power in a world where the interface with God was more nuanced. Instead of needing a Moses to stretch his arm out over the Red Sea to summon the wind and part the waves; in the New Testament Jesus taught the world that any individual could tap into that same Power and that all it takes is a belief in that power, and as with the woman in the crowd, the faith to accept it.

I suspect that when we hear a booming voice from the clouds or a voice coming out of a burning bush that it’s easier to expect a miracle than when we have to settle for touching the bottom of the robe of the prophet or teacher. That’s what makes the story of the woman in the crowd so extraordinary. She took a brief encounter, blended it with extreme faith and achieved results that had eluded her for more than a decade.

Jesus summed this up later in Matthew:

“…For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

The synergy between the Hebrew Scriptures and the Christian New Testament comes down to this metaphysical Truth:

  • God is that Power for Good in the Universe, greater than we are,… (documented in detail throughout the Hebrew Scriptures);.
  • and we can use it! (the teachings of Jesus in the Christian New Testament).

If we are willing, we can learn incredible lessons from both the Judaic and Christian perspectives and live lives that are transformed on every level. And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Kid’s Sheet for The Sick Woman & Jesus & other Metaphysical Bible Story kids sheets are free to use with attribution

Rights and responsibilities

Ephraim's blessing
Practitioner's Path
Spiritual learning
metaphysical bible stories
Ephraim’s Blessing

In the Book of Genesis in the Hebrew scriptures, tucked in among the well-known stories of Noah’s Ark, the Garden of Eden and Abraham is a wonderful metaphysical lesson about rights and responsibilities.

The story of Jacob (renamed as Israel after wrestling with an angel) who after many years of believing that his son Joseph was dead (recall that Joseph had been Jacob’s youngest, and favorite son and was sold to slave traders by his jealous brothers years before), is reunited with his grown son and meets his 2 grandsons for the first time.

Being very old, Jacob desires to give the traditional blessing to Joseph and to his 2 sons. As was the custom, Joseph positioned his sons with the oldest (Manasseh) at Jacob’s right and Ephraim at Jacob’s left so that the oldest of his sons would receive the right hand and the blessing of the firstborn – the “better” blessing.

Jacob moves to place his hands on the young boys and crosses his arms, placing his right hand – to confer the primary blessing – on Ephraim, not Manasseh. Fearing his father was subject to his advanced years, Joseph reaches out to move Jacob’s hands, but Jacob resists.

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a multitude of nations.

Genesis 48:17-19

Jacob foresaw that while Manasseh was talented, and would find success; Ephraim had a great deal more potential for good, and greater achievements for the Hebrew people. He then circumvented the traditional blessing process and laid his right hand, and bestowed the blessing on Ephraim – the grandson he knew would do great things.

There’s an important lesson in this somewhat obscure story for modern times. Modern as we are, we too are often bound by tradition. In organizations we get caught up in titles, length of service or affiliation and credentials. Mesmerized by these man-made measurements, we tend to defer to the people in these groups (the Manassehs) and ignore the Ephraims – those without the time in rank, the titles or credentials.

But at what cost?

If we choose our leaders based narrowly on time, rank and credentials; overlooking those with great energy, vision and the ability to create meaningful programming and lead strategic progress, but without the traditional position in the birth order, we deserve the results we get.

The wisdom in the story of the blessing of Ephraim is that traditions are meant to be challenged – especially when there is an obvious different choice. Too many times though, like Joseph, we try to micromanage the natural progression of things by insisting on blessing the firstborn, because – well, we always bless the first born!

Jacob saw the great benefit of giving his blessing to Ephraim – bucking the tradition, and making the decision based on the best interest of the movement, which for him was the people of Israel.

Jacob understood his rights and the rights of Manasseh. He also understood the heavy mantle of responsibility as the patriarch of the nation of Israel, and he chose carefully, intentionally and based on the best interest of the many – not on the feelings of, or fallout for, Manasseh.

Like much of the biblical canon and most ancient texts, this is another wisdom tale with no expiration date. And the lesson is that we get to choose: we can fall in line with those who’ve been here the longest, and doing things “the way we’ve always done them” or we can cross our arms and bestow our blessing on the ones whose contributions will seed “a multitude of nations“.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Balance, harmony, success

color wheel
spiritual balance
practitioner's path
Michaels crafts
Color Wheel (Michaels.com)

A few years ago I had the opportunity to do some very basic graphic design work and was able spend some time learning a few things about this skill set.

I still consider myself an amateur, and bow humbly to those educated as graphic design professionals. Still, I enjoy keeping my fledgling design skills in play and maintain an Adobe subscription to support my habit.

I was viewing some training on color theory and the basics of this theory struck a chord with me about life and nature; our spiritual selves and spiritual communities.

Most of us learn the basic color wheel in grade school. The primary colors: red, yellow and blue. The secondary colors: orange, green and purple.

One of the first things we notice, aside from the colors, is that there is an ORDER to them. The primary colors are positioned equidistant in a triad. The secondary colors are also comprised of equal portions of 2 primary colors and the triad that is their placement lies in an exactly opposite triangle.

I’ll save the Dan Brown symbology references for another blog but the simplicity and the order are impossible to miss.

This pattern of patterns continues as we expand beyond the primary and secondary colors to the tertiary colors.

The genius of the patterns that we see in the color wheel are the foundation of what is known in art and graphic design circles as “Color Theory” and it is these principles that determine whether something is pleasing and balanced to the typical eye, or harsh and unpleasant.

My exploration of the intersection of color theory and spiritual learning took an interesting turn when I discovered that Sir Isaac Newton is credited with the development of the first circular diagram of colors in 1666. Long-time readers of this blog may recall that I often compare Newton’s Laws of Motion to spiritual laws so this discovery about Sir Isaac and the color wheel was exciting!

My research on color theory for beginners led me to a terrific website, where I found this explanation:

Harmony can be defined as a pleasing arrangement of parts, whether it be music, poetry, color, or even an ice cream sundae.

In visual experiences, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and it creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience. When something is not harmonious, it’s either boring or chaotic. At one extreme is a visual experience that is so bland that the viewer is not engaged. The human brain will reject under-stimulating information. At the other extreme is a visual experience that is so overdone, so chaotic that the viewer can’t stand to look at it. The human brain rejects what it cannot organize, what it cannot understand. The visual task requires that we present a logical structure. Color harmony delivers visual interest and a sense of order.


In summary, extreme unity leads to under-stimulation, extreme complexity leads to over-stimulation. Harmony is a dynamic equilibrium.

Basic Color Theory

Here are some of the key takeaways:

  • harmony as a pleasing arrangement of parts
  • inner sense of order, balance in the experience
  • non-harmony means boring or chaotic
    • extreme unity = under-stimulation (yawn)
    • extreme complexity = over-stimulation (Eeeeek!)

If we use this basic framework to think about our spiritual communities, what can we learn?

BALANCE and ORDER

A balance of perspectives, opinions, talents and skills is needed for any community to not not only survive, but to thrive. A balance of focus and programming is critical as is a sense of order about the ways things are done. Reactionary programming and last-minute deployment result in as much chaos as poorly balanced programming.

I travel regularly and visit different New Thought centers and churches, and it is obvious to me, often upon entrance into the building, where this principle is understood and where it is not. A narrow perspective and tight control over everything that happens in the organization results in a boring, and monochromatic place. A frenzied “we must (financially) survive” orientation where anything goes, from psychic fairs one weekend to spiritual healing, book clubs, classes and rummage sales in between Sunday services creates chaos.

A blending of complementary knowledge, skills and ability with careful attention to the balance of power among these results in a pleasing arrangement of parts; in harmony. And the energy of harmony (or disharmony) can be perceived almost immediately by those who visit a business, community group or church/center.

Successful spiritual organizations don’t emerge from nothingness. They are born out of a holy intention that is followed by careful and focused attention to the important aspects of organizational growth and maintenance. Strategic planning efforts that include careful consideration of the wisdom inherent to the color wheel are better positioned to reap sustainable harvests and not because *I* say so, but because this lesson is hard-coded throughout nature.

Whether we study scientific principles, such as the Complementarity Principle which posits that we “cannot exhibit both wave-like behavior and particle-like behavior at the same time”; or Newton’s 1st Law of Motion (every object will remain at rest or in uniform motion in a straight line unless compelled to change its state by the action of an external force); the principles of Color Theory or the wisdom texts from across the ages – the foundations are clear. There is a method and order to Life. If we can observe, learn and incorporate the guidelines of this method and order into our thinking and perspective, we are much better positioned to achieve our goals and will likely begin to see our dreams unfold in front of us like palm fronds laid down on our path.

As with most of the things I have learned along my own spiritual journey, these are very simple concepts however; they are not easy to implement. This is mostly due to the complications laid on top of them by us – the people involved. And so we study, we experiment, we keep moving forward and we (hopefully!) continue to learn and grow and perhaps someday, will indeed achieve that pleasing arrangement of parts – that order and balance that create a true harmony in whatever it is that we have built.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Peanut Butter, Jelly & the Benefits of Spiritual Living

Solana Beach, CA
Spiritual retreat
Affirmations
spiritual living
Psalm 121 as an affirmation

Few verses of biblical scripture bestow more comfort than the words in Psalms 121.

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand.The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.

Psalms 121

In other translations/versions, such as the New International Version, verse 3 says “He will not let your foot slip“.

One of the most common questions I have heard over the years from those who question the benefits of walking a spiritual path, is if spirituality is such a good thing, why do spiritual people still have messy life issues like everyone else.

When we read verses like this one, which promises some robust protections, it’s understandable that some might question the veracity of spiritual teachings.

We all experience life in all its wonder – good stuff, and some not-so-good stuff. The assumption that a spiritual practice prevents all negative experiences is flawed and, well,…wrong.

Those walking the spiritual path absolutely experience all the ups and downs that come with living on this planet, but there is a difference in the way they respond to such events, so I’ve decided to create a Top Ten list to explain some basics.

10: People walking a spiritual path understand that there is a Power for Good in the Universe – greater than we are – and know that they can use it.

9: They understand that life is a mirror and will reflect back to them what they think into it and so are impeccable with their thinking and thoughts.

8: They know that some of the most challenging circumstances, situations and people are opportunities to learn. Instead of cursing a negative event or happening, they are very likely to turn inward to seek the Truth that lies at the core of the happening.

7: They know that the more grateful they are for what is right here, right now in their lives – the more they will have to be grateful for down the line. They can ALWAYS find something to be grateful for – no matter what is taking place around them.

6: They understand that spiritual laws are universal and impersonal. Gravity works equally on Nuns and Criminals. Similarly, spiritual law works in our lives whether we are conscious of It or not.

5: They know without a shadow of a doubt that the energy they put out into the world will come back to them. As a result of this knowing (that often comes after some hard lessons), they are quite careful in the way they show up in the world.

4: They comprehend that while many people are spiritual, the lessons are individual. Therefore, spiritual people are highly unlikely to proselytize – regardless of the opportunities that abound. They know that when the student (family, friend) is ready; the teacher will show up for them and they know not to push that timeline.

3: They understand that there need not be any sense of hurry or worry – just a calm, peaceful sense of reality. They allow the Law to work through and express Itself in, their experiences.

2: They believe wholeheartedly that giving opens the way for receiving, and so they give generously and regularly.

1: They accept that whatever it is that they seek, is seeking them. They understand the power of intention to attract into their lives that which they desire.

A spiritual friend of mine once described it as this:

Spiritual people drop their sandwiches on the ground like everyone else; theirs just tend to land jelly-side up more often.

spirituality
spiritual living
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PBJ & spiritual living

I haven’t done any research to validate the jelly sandwich statistic, but I do know that things in my own life did a 180 when I began to study spirituality in depth and walk a more spiritual path.

And I think that’s the essence of much of the teaching found in wisdom texts like the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, the Dao de Ching and others and taught by enlightened men and women across the centuries.

Spiritual people know that their help indeed comes from spiritual Law (e.g. the Lord in traditional texts); they know that these Laws are constant – that the Power for Good in the Universe does not slumber nor sleep; that they are covered by the grace of their alignment with spiritual Law. They know that the Law can and will preserve them from evil; that It is ever present in their coming and going – from this time forth, and for evermore.

And so it is.

(C) 2019 Practitioner's Path

Quotes derived from the writings of Ernest Holmes, Florence Scovel Shinn, Wayne Dyer, Mary Baker Eddy and others.