For most of my life I have been a skeptical (and cynical) atheist who believes in science above all. A month or so ago my analyst said to me
"You contantly negate life."
So I said "Don't alot of people do that?"
And she said "Yes, but you are one of the best."
We then proceeded to talk about spirituality, a topic which I have shunned my whole adult life. She asked me how I could go through life thinking it was all about nothing. I told her I was used to it, and was inwardly annoyed that my psychologist would pester me about such nonsense.
A few days later, I was taking a walk by myself on a beautiful day and, for some reason, the words "open your heart" came out of my mouth. I stopped in my tracks, at once surprised that I would say such a thing, and at the same time oddly happy. It did not last long, but I could not forget how it felt.
When I got home, I went to audible.com and looked for any audio programs that seemed to match what I had touched in that moment on the street. I purchased Its Never Crowded Along the Extra Mile and was completely absorbed in this quite lengthy presentation (and listened to it non-stop). He said nothing, really, that was not common sense in some fundamental way, yet the way he teaches seems to touch that same place I had momentarily entered.
I have since listened to more of his audio programs and watched his PBS special and have enjoyed it all.
I now find myself in a bit of an internal struggle. I want to find a spiritual side where 'believing is seeing' but am still very much a skeptic at heart and find it difficult to let go of that world view. Part of being a cynic is a strong aversion to being 'taken in' or made a 'sucker' and it will take some time for me to completely trust my feelings.
Now that I have found this board I am hoping to get some perspective on how others have come to this way of looking at life, especially those that may have come around from where I am (or was until recently -- its still hard to say).
Hi Charlotte and welcome to your right and perfect place, at least for the present time - moment. I think it very safe to say that we have all been where you are - and we have all moved from that spot to where we individually are today.
Did you ever realize that one who calls themself an "atheist" does indeed believe in God or a Higher Power? In order to not believe, we must also believe - it is the duality in which we live.
I can just picture you walking along and hearing a voice within you telling you to open your heart - a heart that has been closed with skepticism for so long. And the "oddly happy" feeling you experience, you want to have again. When you say it did not last long, it last for an eternity - it last while you were in the moment, as Wayne would say. And in that moment of joy, you had no past thoughts nor future expectations - just being there with the thought of opening your heart. And what might you being opening your heart to? It matters very little whether you are ready to change your life, because you have already crossed that barrier by not only opening your heart, but listening to it as well.
The internal struggle is very normal for all of us - it is the Ying/Yang we all experience constantly. It is the "struggle" between ego and our truth. It is a "struggle" in believing what we think we see, or believing in what we know we are deep within us. You are, by your definition, a skeptic and must be shown what spirituality is. First of all, spirituality is what you feel within you, what you know at some level is your truth. Wayne will tell you that you are a "Child of God" and you may find that hard to believe because a part of you (ego) does not believe in God. What Wayne is telling you is that you are One with God - you are a thought within the Mind of God - that you never have been separated from God - nor could. Now in the world we live in, and make, we have a feeling of being separated from God - from being isolated, even often times forgotten by God. We look around our world and wonder how a God could exist and still allow what we see. In our view of the world - yours and mine - everything we see is of a temporary nature - nothing in our world will last forever. It is a world of temporary conditions at best. The truth of you and me, is that our reality is one of eternity - everylasting. So the world we see is not our truth - is not our reality - and at best, is our projection of the thoughts we hold.
Your term "taken in" is most appropriate for you to say because that is precisely what you will eventually do - be "taken in" - be led within you to the knowledge that has forever been you. I would strongly recommend that you begin to meditate - in that silence, that Wayne can lead you to, you will find a peace so powerful and yet so comforting, that you will realize the truth of you. And once experienced, you will want to go there often.
I realize that your "awakening" as I call it, is difficult yet refreshing for you to grasp. As a "skeptical, cynical atheist" you did not see the real beauty of your world. The real beauty comes from within you and it pours from you to the world you look upon, including the people you see.
Nagativity can feel like a "billion pounds" on your back as you walk through life. It can burden you down so that each and every thought you have is a "heavy, dark thought" and life is seen that way. But the "good news" is the word "thought" I used above. Because the negative thoughts are yours, you have the power within you to change them to positive thoughts. Any thought you hold - any thought - can be changed by you, if you choose to do so. And as each negative thought is changed, you will feel a burden being lifted from you. You will walk differently, appear different to others, and know within of a change happening.
Welcome to your right and perfect place - it is precisely where you are to be. And if by chance you do look down, you just may see that you have started your spiritual path back to your truth. While all of our paths are seen as different, they are all heading to the same place.
So forget the past (whatever you thought you were) and let go of a future based on a past - and simply enjoy the now - the present moment - your place of eternity.
Namaste - Ron
Hi Charlotte - you are in my thoughts this day which means I will see you in your truth. After posting to you, I came across - not really - God placed it before me - the book by Oriah Mountain Dreamer "The Invitation" and her poem is written just for you - and just for me - and for all of us. Here it is
"It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living.
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are.
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...
I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments."
Namaste - Ron
Thank you for your thoughtful words, and I look forward to learning more in the weeks and months ahead.
" Hi Charlot )
The most valuble lesson so far in my journey was to, " Open my heart and my mind ".
The abundence of joy, enlightnement and self discovery since letting go of old resistance has made a huge change into my life.
" THANK YOU DEARLY IMAGE " D XO
" I wish you the very best Charlot ". )