Spiritual Progress -- Let your Heart be your Judge
“I sit at my computer and listen to your interviews on YouTube. Thank God for YouTube! I am struggling with spiritual issues: particularly with my religious family and ‘friends.’ They claim to be Christians but refuse to help in any way if I ask. . . which I did several years ago after losing everything, going bankrupt. They had (and still have) plenty of money and turned their backs on me. . . recently did it again. . . then buying expensive homes by the river, etc. They hate me because I don’t like their religious view. I simply don’t buy it. But I also question whether I am spiritually progressing. . . where I stand and what will happen to me when I die. What these Christians do eats away at me and I know that somehow I have to forgive them. But they don’t seem to question themselves. They say that they ‘aren’t perfect - just forgiven.’ UGGHHH. They don’t question their motives, nor do they worry about what will happen to them, as I do.
“I have problems with anger over this utter hypocrisy. If we do, in fact, wind up in realms with ‘like-minded people/souls,’ then maybe there is some cosmic justice. There’s nothing worse than hurting others and then asking God for forgiveness ad nauseum.
“Any recommendations of which book I should read? I know you have written many books. Oh, I want to add one last comment. Christianity has a twisted view/version of forgiveness. By that I mean, people who claim to be Christians can and do things that they know are wrong, things they know will hurt others and then get forgiveness. At the same time, they will condemn those whom they feel aren’t Christians for doing the same. They have this arrogant smugness about them and don’t seem to worry about their fate. This is ONE of the reasons that I have developed this utter contempt for religion. Yet, at the same time, there are things about Buddhism that resonate with me. At least Buddhists hold people accountable. From what I have understood about the life review is that it is all-encompassing; nothing is hidden; not even those deeds you thought you were ‘off the hook’ for. You come face to face with it. That is my humble understanding. I do believe in Jesus and try to live by his teachings. I seldom see any Christians doing that.”....Linda
Sounds to me, Linda, like you are ready for “Science of Mind” by Ernest Holmes. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Ernest took the best of all religions, philosophies, and traditions, put them together in a practical, organized way, and came up with what he called “Science of Mind.” He believed that the core teachings around the world all taught the same thing and they did so in what he recognized as a “scientific” manner, that is to say, in accordance with Universal Laws. A church developed around his work, formerly called the United Church of Religious Science - now called the United Centers of Spiritual Living. They have a lively website (google any of the names I have given you to find it). You can take their first year class online, or, at least by mail if there is not a study group or church in your area. Their magazine “Science of Mind” is a monthly, digest-sized, and absolutely wonderful to read. My husband and I subscribe to it and we read from it daily. I took that first year class soon after I died, at a small church in Boise, Idaho, where I lived at the time. Wisest move I ever made. I wrote about this several issues ago in the free newsletter I publish (now archived). If you’re not signed up yet for that newsletter, access www.pmhatwater.com, scroll over to the newsletter section, and sign up.
In a nutshell, realize first and foremost that everyone is here on earth to learn, express, grow through, or enjoy what presents itself to us. Picture earth as a giant school. Some people are attending first grade; some are in high school; some are doing graduate work; some are here on recess or to enjoy time out. You cannot compare yourself with anyone else, because you do not know at what grade level they are or what they are working through or participating in. We are not challenged to like each other; we are challenged to love each other. To be certain there are some people, no matter how treated, are virtually impossible to even be around. And I am myself one who tussles with this. Still, I bless these people and honor them for they are just as much a child of God as I am. In my family of origin, I am the odd one out. The rest tolerate me, well, most of them do. Others I ‘m not so sure about. The same with my husband’s family. Actually, we are both the odd ones out. We are not wealthy like the others and we do not flaunt what we have. We make no demands and love and honor freely. Most of them look the other way when around us; some are profoundly embarrassed to have us in the family. This can hurt if allowed. We choose not to engage in this type of thinking and feeling. Serves no purpose. Going to a family member to ask for help, seldom helps anyone. So why bother. I respect myself too much to be a target for ill-will. I doubt the day will ever come, for instance, when my work will be recognized and appreciated for what it is. I am often attacked professionally and demeaned by others who simply disagree. Since my protocol for research is different, that makes me suspect, even though my findings, thus far, have held up in clinical trials.
Spiritual progress? How can you judge that? How could I? My judge is my heart. If I feel I have done my best, been my best, and filled each day with smiles, how then could anyone consider me a failure? How could I? Spiritual progress is something you feel when you are authentically you, and remain true to the breath that breathes you. If you are in league with people who demean you, move out and find another group. Families are not really what you are born with. They are what we recognize in each other when open to those who smile back. Extended families (what we co-create with others) are often more loving and supportive than original families. Look around you. Find other groups of people and experiment, attend meetings, engage in discussions. One of the fastest moving trends today are Church Homes. That’s right. People who band together and start their own church, and take turns deciding which home the service will be in and on what day. They share worship, study, and ritual. Why not start a Church Home yourself? Do not belabor what you have lost. Rejoice in who you are and what you are becoming!