In the world of metaphysical thought there abounds the negative vibe of suspicion. For me, it’s clearly observed in the mutual wariness between the dogma-defined Christian Tribe and its experiential next door neighbour, the Spirituality movement. I picture these two clans of thought standing back to back at the garden fence, unwilling to acknowledge that the other may just have some valuable glimpse of ultimate Truth.
I guess we’re back into the analogy of blind men each having a hold on the Elephant of Mystery. Holding onto the Trunk, the Christians believe that they have it all worked out in the person of Yeshua and all his extrapolated traditional add-ons. The Mind, Body, Spirit folk have their hands on the Ears, believing that they convey Cosmic Consciousness, the answer to all our dysfunctional ills. And the result? Separate teacher-gurus, publishing houses, conference circuits, rituals and sub-cultures.
I guess that I’ve jumped into the wide chasm of mistrust between both camps, in my desire to write for both. We do so love our sense of Divine ownership, our compulsive, obsessional belief that we have it all and don’t need to cross into the mindset of the other. All that I need is my big black Bible, a good church and, of course, Jesus. I’m saved and on my way to the sweet by and by, unlike the other lot! Alternatively, I’ve had enough of the Nazarene and the guilt trips of his hypocritical followers, for I’ve found my inner Self, the authentic home of Cosmic Love. I’ve finally cracked the Me thing and don’t need an external divinity, thank you very much. Just top up my supply of crystals and mantra chants and I’ll be fine with my free-flowing chakras. Let the other lot do the us and them thing, for I now love everyone even though I don’t engage with them.
And so the partially sighted march on into certainty, brushing aside the challenges and opportunities for further growth which the other tribe provides. The meeting of minds rarely occurs, though in the case of contemporary, Christian writer, Rob Bell, it has taken place, though at the cost of being demonised as a heretic by fellow admirers.
So, is there really anything to learn from each other? Well, I most certainly reckon that there is. I’d better explain.
The Christian Tribe
Can the Christian band of brothers and sisters learn anything from the Spirituality movement.? May, I humbly suggest that they can. Firstly, the generousity of Divine Love and its inclusive nature. We are all born in the divine image, despite the protestations of guilt ridden St. Augustine. Something deep within, very deep within in most of us, possesses the essence or imprint of Divine Love. Hidden by ego and its swirl of fear-fuelled defensive postures, there is a pearl of great price lying there in the sands of our pained psyche. Only ego sees and us and them – God or Cosmic Source sees all mankind through the Window of the incarnated Tao-Logos, the Beloved Son. We followers of the Nazarene can afford to be much more expansive in our view of the Queendom and who populates it.
The Spirituality Tribe
The SpIrituality Tribe tend to focus on the positive sides of life. All very good, methinks for such a take on Self and others is much-needed in our pessimistic media-driven world. I love the exhilaration of celebrating this mystery called Life. Yet, there is a brokenness in our space-time world that many spiritual folk choose to ignore. Violence isn’t one of the main topics at Mind, Body, Spirit conferences. The violent execution of the Nazarene is irrelevant to our Self growth and meditation, goes the party line. Sometimes the Galilean gets a quick acknowledgement as a spiritual, wisdom teacher, before being airbrushed out of the main tribal metanarrative. Yet, I reckon the tragic end, and claimed resurrection of Yeshua bar Yosef cannot be ignored. It challenges our cultural and metaphysical take on Reality, especially Source Reality. I’d love the Spirituality gurus to discuss the Nazarene more often, something that might help their ex-Christian followers reconcile with their religious pasts.
Of course, I could go on and on. It’s a topic for further discussion and mutual respect. Meanwhile I’ll continue to try to do my little bit in encouraging the estranged neighbours to look each other in the eye, for, it’s there that we can truly glimpse Other. Left to our own devices we head into exclusivity, together we get to have a clearer picture of the Mysterious Elephant in the Cosmic Room.