Food For Thought~
A Different Kind Of
Spiritual Tolerance / Intolerance
Yes, you have heard this phrase hundreds of times, since 9/11, but have you thought about this question, in different terms? A flip side of the same coin, if you will...
Many people feel they are very spiritually evolved/evolving, and would NEVER, intentionally, do or say Anything to hurt any other being, and that they respect ALL other religions or spiritual paths.
And yet, Many of these same "evolved" people are spiritually intolerant of others, who are not as far along the path as they are, or feel they are.
I have found, many "spiritually evolved" react with hate, anger, or frustration, instead of showing love, compassion, and understanding, when someone falls short of their spiritual expectations. I am not throwing stones. I am guilty myself. :)
I searched and searched, for poetry or inspirational writing that touches on this subject, and came up with very little. There is plenty of material out there, on tolerance of spiritual choice, but not a whole lot on tolerance of "spiritual evolution (for want of a better description)"
This question of Spiritual Intolerance, is something that has been on my mind for some time. It is hard for me to articulate, but something I feel compelled to share and to question...
I have questions about my beliefs, and how they work and don't work with society, at large. So, I pose some of the questions, here, and welcome comments, more questions, and feedback on how you answer these types of questions for yourself:
I ask ...What do I do?
In my quest for enlightenment, is it my responsibility to show the less enlightened the "error of their way"?
Is it right for me to cause somebody pain, to help them to feel WORSE about who they are, when they are not ready for change at this point on their path?
Is it fair to try to change this person's path without their consent?
Do I have an emotional need or insecurity to feel pity, anger, or superiority, over their falling short of MY beliefs and expectations?
Maybe I can ask myself some better questions and get some better answers:
Is there a lesson here, to remind me, that we are ALL on a trek up this great big mountain, and each has to find their own way, in THEIR OWN TIME?
What are they here to teach us?
What lessons can we learn from them?
Are they here to remind us how far we still have to go, on our journey?
Or are they here to challenge us, spiritually, in some other way?
After all, this is THEIR path...and some choose extremely painful paths...and many will cross ours, as we travel...
All I can do, is love them the best that I know how, and remember, that I am still on my way up the mountain, and many people are further along their paths, than I.
Those who are"more spiritually evolved" will remember how, not so long ago, they were where I am now, or where their neighbor/ brother/ mother is, just trying to make it to the next level (or even to just another day)...and that no matter how far along the chosen path you are, there are always new lessons and challenges. It is not for anyone to decide what someone else should be like or what path they should take, in life. Each, must choose those things for themselves.
It is for ME, to release that attachment, and just be the most loving and accepting person that I can be. I can also be much kinder to myself and to others, because I have a long way to go, with many faults... and the negativity I see in others, may be just a mirror aspect of myself... reflected back to me.. that perhaps, I would rather not acknowledge at this pont...:)
It is for ME, taking time, every day, to get quiet, and connected to my Spirit/God/Goddess/Universe. It is taking the time to find the wonderful gifts in my life, to really feel the gratitude for all of the blessings and challenges, no matter how small or how great.
It is also for Me, to take a frustrating element and find a positive purpose. Call it "looking for a silver lining", if you will. No matter how badly I feel someone is behaving, there is always a context in which that very behaviour could be quite useful for that person. Perhaps, that is how they developed that quality, in the first place...
Of course, this is all from MY perspective, and your mileage may vary, considerably, as we all have different views on our unique spirituality and paths.:)
How do other more spiritually evolved people react or accept all the negativity that is out there, in the world? How do they keep from becoming overwhelmed by it? What do they do, to keep their heart from breaking? How do they defend themselves from the barage of psychic sludge they must deal with every day?
If you feel compelled to share how you feel (in a constructive manner), and how you answer these kinds of questions for yourself, feel free to send me an email.
I would also like to post some of the replies on our web site. Feel free to email us, here! We will not reply directly to your email. Only, your first name, will be posted with the note/letter, if we choose to post it. If you are interested in starting a dialogue about this question, feel free to post on our message board (again, with respect).
Perhaps, you can share some light with others who struggle with these kinds of questions. Through sharing, you may even find some new answers for yourself or new ways at looking at the same questions.
With love and respect,
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Food For Thought~A Different Kind Of
Spiritual Tolerance / Intolerance© Erin Gjertsen-Grandpa's General Store 2002