Where the rubber meets the road.


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a figment of your imagination
What good is any of this stuff if we can't use it?

It is my understanding of Christianity that most folks think that when one dies they are going to meet the father...

And in Hinduism, that we are reentering the cycle of rebirth, and what happens to us is karmicly related...

And in Islam, that the good student following the teachings will be headed to many rewards in heaven...

So how do we utilize these tools when something horrific happens, why do we mourn the loss of those we know and those we don't know when we believe they are going on to their just reward?

Our spiritual beliefs in many cases are very strong, we are vocal about what we believe, what will happen....yet when something in the physical realm occurs are we utilizing these teachings....or reverting to our material earthly thoughts?
Good question Wil!

I think that all of these ideas about what happens on the "other side" stem from an emotional, perhaps egotistical desire that our, and our loved one's physical existence not end. So it makes sense that the compensation mechanism never really cancels out the loss, because the potential for that loss was what caused us to invent the mechanism for coping with it.

I think we hit here the difference between "belief" and faith.

Belief "clings", faith "lets go". I see our paths as being ways of exploration where eventually, as T S Eliot says, we "return to the place we started from and know it for the first time". For me, not to grieve the loss of a loved one because of a "belief" in their ultimate "survival" is a denial of our fundamental humanity and a betrayal of it. Lack of grief is a sign of clinging, not of letting go.

I think Martin Luther, perhaps unbeknown to himself, hinted at this when speaking of the death of his own daughter............."How strange, to know that she is now with Jesus in paradise, yet to feel such sorrow" His sorrow was not lack of belief.............well, at least in my eyes. His sorrow spoke of a true faith, perhaps beyond even his own eyes.

There is the story from the Buddhist tradition, where a great Zen master is walking through a village. He hears cries of grief coming from a house, so enters in. He finds the people there grieving for the loss of a loved one. The master sits down with them and begins to share their grief. A disciple of the master comes by, and seeing him sitting there weeping, he says...."Master, you of all people should be beyond this sort of thing". And the master, between his sobs, responds, " It is this that puts me beyond it"

For me, we live in a "great mystery" without signposts. Beliefs seek to give us signposts, yet most point in the wrong direction. We try to learn by rote from what we think a "belief" should imply and thereby force ourselves into a "religious" straight-jacket.

"If we wish to be sure of the road we tread on we should close our eyes and walk in the dark" (St John of the Cross)

To my way of understanding, to have faith that "all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well" is not to empty ourselves of tears and therefore of our humanity; it is not to cauterise our emotions to make them resemble and comply with some assumed state of heart that a particular belief would seem to imply. For me it gives the strength and courage to "let go" and "let God"..............or "Buddha"!!