Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The highest calling available to a human being

When I returned to Cape Town from the country after going through a divorce, a friend of my ex-wife introduced me to the Emissaries of Divine Light. I attended Sunday morning services at which there were no prayers or hymns, only spontaneous expressions of personal truth by the leader of the group and anyone else in it who felt moved to speak. At one of these meetings I picked up a little booklet called Seven Steps to the Temple of Light written in 1936 by Lloyd Arthur Meeker. Among many other spiritual readings, this little book inspired and guided me for 20 years in the city before returning to the country, and my ex-wife, as it still does. As a newspaper sub-editor, the frequent use of capitalisation in the text worried me, but never enough to detract from the basic message that within us is the Wonderful One, which is the same thing as the Holy Spirit, the Higher Self or the Soul. The joy of the freedom I felt reading those words during sometimes difficult circumstances has never left me.

Below are powerful words which also come from the Emissaries:

At the core of each of us there is a being of almost inconceivable majesty and light. This is the reality of who we are. Most of us, however, show only short glimpses of that reality to our world. Many people harbour a deep sense of doubt and an underlying discontent about the direction of their lives. Those feelings can persist through any pleasure and success that may be enjoyed.

Is it possible for the reality of who we truly are to emerge in the world? Is there a way to use every relationship, every job—in fact, everything we do—as a means to let our inner being become more real to us and to those around us? Many would consider this possibility fantastic. Our culture and upbringing try to convince us that we are anything but radiant beings of light. Prevailing thought suggests that the future depends on technology, and that faster, bigger and stronger makes for progress. Meanwhile, what is most precious—the experience of what it means to be all that we truly are—is largely forgotten. People find themselves out of touch with their own power to move past the bonds of culture and hereditary influence.

For each of us, the future depends on how we respond to this essential question: In what do we have the most faith? The potential we have touched to express our highest and finest in every facet of life, or our attachment to factors based in culture and upbringing that hold us back from that? In the end, it won’t matter so much for us what our friends’ answers may be, or what answer is given by the political or spiritual leaders of the day.
Our own answer will be what brings either fulfilment or futility. And while our response in words may be important, our thoughts and feelings in every moment of our living are the ultimate answer that will set the course for our future.

All of the world’s great religions and spiritual teachings point to the potential for the transcendent reality of being to come forth in oneself. The actual experience of this—beyond belief or religious tradition—is the highest calling available to a human being. Our world’s greatest need is the spiritual leadership of people who answer this call.