It's been a month since I have written here. I've been going through some inner conflicts re: "organized" religion. I seem to need to have spiritual conversation with others, & I am doubting if it needs to be in the context of a church.
Perhaps it is simply because we the people are flawed, but it seems that in "organized" religious groups there rises politics, need for money, power, ego, control, lack of sincerity in the journey & other issues. It seems that in small groups, there is a more sincere exploration & dedication of the spiritual path.
I had thought that I had found a church where I could grow spiritually, experience the Presence of God, learn to apply Christian principles in my daily life & make great spiritual friends. Maybe I have, but today it doesn't feel that way. Today it feels like church is about the rigmarole, the doingness, the busyness, the control, the ego of leadership. It feels like that which serves the people is not relevant. It feels like a headtrip, without the heart; the intellect without the feelings.
I am a part of a couple of small groups of truly sincere people wanting to know, wanting to be with the Presence, wanting to spiritualize our lives. This where I am challenged & fed spiritually, not on Sundays. So, do I keep playing the Sunday game in hopes it will get "better"? I know that I am too old & too tired to go back into the ministry myself. I ask myself, "Is there anyone, any place where there is organized religion & actual spiritual awareness together?" Are the "leaders" just doing a job, or are there some really exploring their relationship with God & wanting to walk the path & help others walk it?
It occurs to me that maybe walking the path is always a personal thing. The mystics, the great spiritual ones were often to themselves & only marginally part of "organized" religion if at all.
I am somewhere in the last third of my life. I am sort of running out of time for this life. As far back as I can recall, I have known moments with God & felt intense yearning to be there more & more of the time. I don't want to waste the last days/years with form rather than substance. I truly have the goal for consistent enlightenment in THIS life. So, the question presents itself to me, "What is the path to enlightenment?" Jesus told us that "by the fruits you shall know them." So, I ask myself, what organized religion produces those who are enlightened in any numbers? I really don't know of any. Sure leaders claim to be enlightened, but seldom are, maybe not ever. I don't think the really enlightened ones actually claimed that for themselves. They were much more humble.
The closest I have come to an enlightened person that I know is the Dali Lama. I was privileged to spend a week with him in Newport Beach some years back. He radiated joy, humility, & a palpable presence. But Budhism is not my path. Where are the Christian enlightened ones these days? Where are the apostles on fire with God's Presence? Where are the medieval mystics who directly experienced the Light?
Dear God, You know my heart. You know how I have sought You these many years. You remember, as do I, the glorious moments of Oneness we have shared. Lead me to You more fully. Show me the path to enlightenment. Give me the vision & courage to walk it. I am open to Your guidance. Let the mind be in me that was in Christ Jesus.