Saturday, April 7, 2007

All Paths

I am of the firm belief that whatever path one is walking, it's the right path for them. Lately, I've read in several places the refutation of the belief that "All paths lead to the same place" meaning, it doesn't matter what your spiritual beliefs are, we're all gonna wind up in the same place (I suppose they mean heaven) in the end. My meaning of "whatever path one is walking, it's the right path for them" is not at all the same as the other. What I mean is that whatever one is doing in one's life, whatever "mistakes" one has made, whatever successes one has had, those experiences are exactly the lessons that individual needed for hers or his spiritual journey. But I also believe that we must take responsibility for our actions and choose God. Every day, every moment, we are given the opportunity to accept awareness of God. Many times each day we are given choices to act according to what's right for us or wrong for us (and by right or wrong, I don't mean sinning in any conventional sense; rather, more like choosing what is healthy and good for us and for others according to our "inner voice"). When we choose what is right and good (for us) we're drawing ourselves closer to God (enlightenment, if you will). When we choose what is wrong (ego), we remain distant from God, but we're allowing ourselves the opportunity for a lesson that may be somehow helpful in our lives.
It is possible for a person to go through hers or his whole life and never choose "right"; to stay in the dark, unaware of God or unwilling or unable to acknowledge God.
I don't know what happens after we die. I lean toward heaven/nirvana/enlightenment being a state in which one lives in full awareness of God's presence in the world: The veil has been lifted and one is aware that God is ALL.
Hell would, by contrast, be blindness to God's presence-the loneliness of life lived unconnected.
I have two friends who have worked with people who were dying: One is a hospice chaplin and the other worked in a nursing home and "midwifed" the transition from this realm to the next with many elderly people. Both have said the same thing: That a person seems to die the same way they lived. If one lives one's life closed and fearful or selfish and ego-centric, one will die the same way. If one lives one's life as if life is a joyous adventure, one will die that way. Conscious living=conscious dying.
Because we have free will-because we can freely choose to act according to God, all paths do not lead to the same place: We are free to choose God or to reject God, we can be righteous or fearful.
My intuition leads me to lean toward reincarnation making sense. My reasons will be for another post but I can only think (hope) that those who choose blindness will have another go-round to find God.

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