Religion is the creation of people and cultures.
Spirituality is the direct personal relationship with Tao.
maybe life lived on the edge is about daring to remember who we are…..never accepting the status quo, and re-defining ‘extraordinary’…..masks are burned away, self-delusion is sacrificed for surrendering, and being authentic is the ultimate freedom…..
For many raised in traditional Christianity, the idea of original sin burdens us like a spiritual version of inherited debt. By contrast, Joseph Campbell’s interpretation of the same story presents our ‘fall’ as a matter of forgetting our true nature and needing only to remember. A different story is found in Sigmund Freud’s theories of the unconscious portrayal of the murky realms that lie beneath our awareness. And the meaningless cruelty and selfish behavior that dominate local and world news only serve to drive this impression home. No wonder the teachings of innate goodness so consistently found in esoteric spirituality often fail to penetrate our conventional appraisals of human nature. People are often surprised to discover that esoteric teachings occur within the Christian tradition. But because they threaten established authority, they have often been ruthlessly suppressed. Before spiritual illumination, we see the world dualistically; we perceive ourselves as separate, vulnerable, and deficient, and we look outside ourselves for completion. After awakening to our true nature, we realize there is only wholeness and we are That. So the esoteric teachings are bound to meet skepticism and confusion. Searching for truth through the eyes of a self, we can never see what is. The mystic sages redirect us back to what is real- our own being……John Greer
‘Far out at sea, a tuna fleet surrounded a group of spinner dolphins swimming over a school of tuna, catching them in a gigantic net. Small, powerful speedboats circled the animals, creating a wall of sound that disoriented and terrified the dolphins, who sank down silently into the net, only the movement of their eyes showing signs of life. But when a dolphin crossed the corkline at the edge of the net, it knew it was free. It burst forward, propelled by powerful wide tail strokes….It then dove, swimming at full speed…..down and away into the dark water, only to burst from the surface in a high bounding series of leaps. This quote by Jeffrey Masson shows the dolphin moment reveals a recurring sequence for us as human beings. Confined against our will- we go lifeless as we feel the need for space. Feeling confused, fearful, enervated, not sure where the edge of the net is- this is the depressive, confusing struggle that always precedes freedom. But like these dolphins, we know the instant we are free, as an inner power overwhelms us, and we are compelled with joy to explore the deep which gives us the grace to break the surface, bounding briefly into a Oneness that is hard to imagine. This whole process describes in a moment of nature what Jung called ‘individuation’- how a divided individual sorts through their deepest confinements in order to pursue a wholeness of being….Mark Nepo