Friday, January 06, 2006

Diversity in Spirituality


Diversity and variety are good aspects, blessings, of the spiritual Way. In that great Way, there is a path for everyone. Different people are attracted to different aspects of spirituality, and it is wide and wise enough to accommodate them all! For example, there are many varieties of yoga, some involving physical positions (asanas; this is hathayoga), and some involving only meditation (rajayoga), some only devotion (bhaktiyoga), and some, everyday, practical work (karmayoga).

Spirituality, in this way, imitates nature. There are tens of thousands of varieties of butterflies and roses. Including all flowers, there are hundreds of thousands of types. The same diversity (variety) is true of crystals, stars, human beings (fingerprints, etc.), and most other phenomena. Nature hates monochromaticity (boring similarity) and loves diversity.

So, in truly following the Way of Love, a person can choose from a broad spectrum of kinds of Christianity (forms of gnosticism), Judaism forms of kabbalism), Islam (forms of sufism), Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, nature-faiths, etc. You have the God-given freedom to study any or all of these paths, and select which most appeals to you. You can also create your own personal spirituality, by selecting all that is good from all traditions, and weaving them together into your personal "spiritual tapestry." This path, which is followed by many mystics, is "spiritual eclecticism." It is perhaps the richest and deepest of all paths, for it contains the jewels of many traditions.

Many religious groups are myopic and exclusive. This means that they practice bigotry, and exclude others from wisdom, knowledge, or even Love. Any religion that does this is practicing harmful judgment, and the very mystical definition of "evil" is "deliberately harming sentient beings." So, these paths are selflimiting, and they are definitely harmful to good and innocent people. Many of the newer denominations and cults are this way. People of Love avoid them due to this hurtful teaching. For true spirituality, being Love, is the opposite of exclusive; it is inclusive. That is, it includes all our sisters and brothers all over the world, and, for that matter, all through the galaxies. Real spirituality is ttruly universal, and has abandoned all forms of closemindedness and parochialism. It has also left behind dependence on certain Scriptures, human leaders, dogma, and other constrictive factors. It is not historical, and is not bound or limited by any historical event, or series of events. Spirituality cares nothing for history, but is a "here and now" expression of the highest Love. This universality is why it embraces all, is open to all, and welcomes all.

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