Spiritual Snobbery


There are always many facets to any of these conversations. I used to say there were various levels of conversation. That was wrong. There are no levels of things, there are facets of conversation. Levels indicate that something could be higher or lower or more important or less important. However, a diamond has many facets and the light goes through all these to make it bright. The same thing goes for our lives. In order for us to be bright, to shine, and to have a good life here, all these different facets have to be considered.

It is not enough to say I am that I am.

It is most beautiful, but it’s not enough.

It is not enough to say that I am my work,

my occupation, my relationships.

It’s not enough.

All of these are there—all of them.

We have to understand

that we are very beautiful and very important,

and that we are much, much more

than what we appear to be.

We have to give credit to what we are. We have to become courageously arrogant in order to realize what we are. Actually we become humble and arrogant simultaneously. It’s very difficult to speak about, but it’s true.

We become arrogant

once we know the immensity

of what we are.

And then simultaneously we become very humble because as much as we think we are, it hardly compares to the immensity of what is. But to be able to say I am That I AM, to be able to say I am one and the same with That that made me does require courage and a beautiful kind of arrogance.

Then at the same time

we also recognize that this is

a great, great mystery—

and when we say that,

we become very humble.

We also become very fluid. This is what the Tao teachings talk about. We have to be very fluid. We have to give up our rigidity about things. Once we become fluid, we become strong. When we are fluid, we are very strong; when we are rigid, we break right away.

This is a practice of being fluid—of being like the wind, of having things flow with us and through us. Of seeing things, of being compassionate, of being loving, of being forgiving—especially to ourselves. Of being kind, of being humble, of being arrogant. Of being willing to listen and willing to extend help when it is required so that, when the day comes to a close, we are relatively satisfied with ourselves.

Then we can say that today was a pretty good day. Yes, I could have done many things differently. But I was alive today. I was alive! I wasn’t dead today; I was alive. I got up. I ate and I enjoyed my food. I took a walk and I talked to somebody. I hugged somebody. I spoke to somebody. I did some work to earn my living. I talked to my children. Maybe I got into a fight. Maybe I got into an argument. Maybe I went to the doctor. I did all these things.

I am glad that I am doing all these things, as opposed to sitting in a corner of some room meditating about the existence or non-existence of the universe while my whole life passes and I wonder why nobody loves me, why I don’t have any friends, or why I haven’t accomplished anything.

But often we don’t make that first move! We don’t make that move to tell somebody, “I love you; I like you; I want to be your friend.” We don’t make the move to look at all beings that come across our path in an open way and not to immediately judge them based upon their appearance, their degrees, or their accomplishments. We don’t allow for the possibility of hearing somebody who doesn’t fit our requirements coming up to us and saying something wise to us. We’ve got to listen and hear. We can’t continue to be snobs.

There is nothing worse

than a spiritual snob.

We may think we’ve reached a high place, a holy place, and all the other people are way below us. And that is just not so!

It’s true there is nothing

that can give us a better feeling

about our existence than to know that

we are That that we cannot speak about.

It equalizes many things in this life.

Things are put in very good perspective that way.

At the same time we need some wisdom

to make the days we have in this life productive—

to open our hearts,

to be loving,

to be compassionate,

to be kind,

and to make those first moves.



And the ultimate truth—

the highest attainment—

is to be natural about life.

If anybody is interested, the ultimate truth is be natural—to be. To be a human being—be. That says it all.

In be-ing, everything that comes to us is part of this mystery. Everything that we attach to, everything that we see, everything we don’t see, is this mystery.

For myself, I know the Beloved has decided for me to have this form that I have now. I behave and act according to the way I am now. I am satisfied that this is how things are. I don’t spend my whole day wishing that things were some other way. I fall prey to things many times. I’m not perfect. But whatever may be happening today, it is a day. And I am thankful for a day. I am thankful for the things that I touch and feel and taste, even though many times I wish for things to be different.

Sometimes I can do things to make conditions different. Sometimes I’m successful. Sometimes I’m not successful. Sometimes I wish that I had magical powers to change situations that I really, really want to change. Sometimes I think I do have power. Sometimes it appears that I am just totally inadequate for whatever is surrounding me and it seems I have no power of any kind with these things. And then I remind myself of this mystery that I keep talking about.

So the practice here is very, very simple.

By falling in love with

our Beloved in our hearts,

by falling in love with

that mysterious thing that we are,

and by knowing,

without any question

and regardless of appearances,

that we are well taken care of—

our spiritual search is finished.




ARROGANCE


It’s such an outrageous arrogance,

even though it’s quiet and makes no demand to be heard

by anyone except me.

I no longer pour over spiritual texts

nor contort my existence into strangeness

in order to feel worthy of my life

or in order to feel I belong.

I have done enough.

I no longer hungrily attend workshops, seminars, or retreats—

incessantly seeking to clarify my philosophy,

change my character, or improve my soul.

I have done enough.

Changes within myself happen now with a gentler morphing.

There is nothing new for me to hear,

and there is no expert out there more relevant for me than me.

How did I get to this state

where I no longer feel the insatiable urge

to be fixed or an anxious desire to grow?

Have I become so complacent with myself (as others might say)

or has a deep confidence in my Self arisen to claim the day?

It’s such an outrageous arrogance—

who would have thought it of me?

Who would have thought it of me!


Shivakti




FINISHED


Oh, my Beloved …

I can go no further than those three words.

My most fervent prayers have been reduced

to this all-inclusive simplicity—

Oh, my Beloved …

I can go no further

before something rises up within me

and I am swept away.

Oh, my Beloved …

I was going to say I love you,

but you already know

and have answered me before my words are formed.

I wanted to say thank you;

but before my thought was finished

you have showered me with even more gifts.

You have silenced me, my Beloved,

and have left me with just your name

beating as my heart—

Oh, my Beloved.


Shivakti



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