Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beware the Spiritual Path

I have been compelled to write this post for a very long time. After a long period of hesitation, contemplation and finally, victimization, I am acting. 

Here is a warning: this post may evoke strong feelings and may be considered controversial by certain individuals. 

A little background music, please. 

I grew up with extended family members that were not of the same faith. My immediate family was ridiculed for our chosen religion. We were a minority. My first exposure to organized religion was one of bitter righteousness. Clarification: the profession of righteousness while acting in a manner that was, to my mind, directly opposed to any of their righteous religious tenets.

If, at this point, you do not understand what I am writing about, let me throw this out there 

"Judge not, lest thee be judged"

Now, I hear judgments ALL THE TIME from the religious types. And if you don't hear them, you are not listening, which may be a positive thing. The above is a loose quotation from THE BIBLE that the righteous religious ones thump on. Seems that it only applies to other people, not them.

What is the answer or the antidote to the negative aspects of organized religion?

It is the now famous answer, "I am on a Spiritual Path".

I do not know about you, but I have suffered more at the hands of these "spiritual" people than the right-wing religious radicals.

There. I said it. It is out there.

How about His Holiness, The Dalai Lama's brilliant quote, "My religion is kindness"? True for him. Not so true for many of the people that I have encountered in the past year who like to mouth it. Problem is just that - they talk it, they do not walk it.

True Story: I made a silly, meant-to-be humorous jab at a life-long 'friend' of mine on the Devil's workshop, Facebook, after a woman who I do not know interjected a comment in a conversation that three old friends were having. Well.....apparently, my absolutely stupid comment led to a prosecution, a conviction and a lifelong sentence of penitence.

The 'mystery woman' started private messaging me with all kinds of judgments, hateful insults, psychoanalysis of me and bile. She was so domineering that I deferred to her. Sensing a potential problem and volatile situation, I did not want to hurt 'my friend', so I just "took" it and offered no defense or rebuttal.

The uninvited messages continued, fueled with arrogance and anger, delightedly humiliating me.

This particular woman proclaims to be a Buddhist. Okay. ACT LIKE ONE. And guess what? Her "religion is kindness".  

She certainly was not kind to me!

Am I not a sentient being?

My cherished, life-long friend, with whom I was in nearly daily contact, eventually dropped me as a 'friend'. My friend is also on a 'spiritual path'. I wonder where that path starts? Where does it go? Where does it end? 

How about being kind, conscious and spiritual in PRESENT (REAL) TIME? Wow. There is a concept!

How about interacting with other human beings? Therein lies the true test in life. Can you truly evolve as a spiritual being in a cloistered environment or running off to an ashram in India? 

Word! Life is hard because human beings disappoint and hurt each other. Being a hermit will not hasten your spiritual evolution.

I called 'my friend' last week to inquire about his well-being and to ask him what was wrong between us.

He did not answer the phone, but immediately replied by email in such a hateful, hurtful, rage that I literally vomited in my sink.

And I am clue-LESS as to what is wrong. My stupid comment on Facebook was not bad, nor ill-intentioned, or even contrived. It was silly. I mean, seriously, what in the heck is going on?

I am no saint, but I am imperfect (gasp!) and it greatly disturbs me to think that I have hurt anyone or anything.

I wish that I knew of my transgression(s) so that I could learn, evolve and get through my own life as best as I can.

What has transpired causes me much pain. I love my lost friend. Perhaps it was an illusion. I believed him to be the kind, gentle soul that I knew so very long ago. Perhaps he was under the illusion that I am the same, self-absorbed, thoughtless kid that I used to be.

I live in one of the most Bible-thumping, self-righteous, right wing places in the United States. Frankly, I now believe that I would rather deal with the religious types than the spiritual path types. 

...and I cannot believe that I actually FEEL this way!

Do you think that I am pronouncing judgment? Aaarrrgggghhhh!! I am so very weary of self-examination!

At least the radical religious extremists are honest in the portrayal of their standards. No pretense. Period.

If you want respect, TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE.

If your religion is KINDNESS, BE KIND.


In Love, Truth and Beauty.........

This post is dedicated to Anonymous


  1. ACK! ((((Big hugs)))T. Seriously - I actually read a quote this morning (and I was feeling a very-little bit of what you are talking about). I *know* you'll get through this fire. Suck though it may. The reason I KNOW, is because you *do* walk your talk♥

    Stop Being So Religious


    Do sad people have in


    It seems

    They have all built a shrine

    To the past

    And often go there

    And do a strange wail and


    What is the beginning of


    It is to stop being

    So religious

    Like That.

    "The Gift" - Hafiz

  2. Thanks for the love, Sunshine! I have WAAAAY more to say on this topic, but was a bit timid.
    Appreciate your comment here.

  3. Love the Hafiz quote too.
    Thank you!