Evaluating My Spiritual Evolution Part Two
Evaluating My Spiritual Evolution; I sat in the passenger seat of the moving car, mesmerized by the scenic view that was slipping by. It had rained the night before and the otherwise polluted air was fresh. The sun shined with such brilliance and; in the absence of the pollution everything appeared crystal clear.
The radio was rolling advertisements in quick succession. One would believe that the ads were energy boosters- just what the body needed to get it up and going so early in the morning. I tried to ignore its sound by focusing my attention on the beauty of the landscape.
A booming voice caused me to jolt. It was another ad; but this one caught my attention. In the background was the singing of a song about ‘Harvest Time’. The voice of the main speaker carried a serious and commanding tone. Jesus was beckoning to all sinners to come home before the day of destruction, he blurted. His listeners were invited to a Sunday gathering at which the ways to avoid the impending doom would be outlined. He ended with ‘you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.’
The last statement resounded within. And as I shifted to make myself more comfortable in the seat, it appeared as if my ‘mind’ started to play tricks on me. I was no longer in a country dominated and governed by Christianity. I was travelling in a country governed by Islam. ‘You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free’, bellowed from an Islamic religious ad. I was confident that Islam was the only truth. It was all I knew. It was intertwined into every fibre of my socialisation and culture. My entire family – immediate and extended – were Muslims. We were frequent visitors to the Mosque and ardently adhered to every rites and rituals. We felt free because we were on Allah’s side. Our conduct and beliefs had earned us a ticket to a land flowing with milk and honey. We were free. We wished Christians and Jews would realize the truth.
I slowly tilted my head towards the driver and asked; “What if this is not true?”
“What?” he asked.
“This,” I said.
He made a quick and puzzled glance in my direction. “This what?”
“Our belief – Christianity – the Bible,” I said with a nonchalant shrug and a wave of one arm.
“But it is,” he retorted. “The Bible says this is truth.”
“Can the Bible speak for itself?” I asked in a non-committal tone of voice.
“Yes it can.” His tone revealed his shock at my answer.
“No,” I said. “It cannot. What happens if you find out that your truth is distorted; and that there is more to know than you presently know?”
The air between us started to feel uneasy and I felt trapped. I realize that the road I was going down was a dangerous one. I was asking the driver to question his beliefs. The beliefs that have been cherished and handed down for many generations. The beliefs that are a fundamental part of his identity. It was ‘who-he-is’ and he would not let go of himself for fear of being lost. This had to be true. There can be no more truth. Everything else is false and wrong. In fact, nothing else should be explored or talked about. And ‘how dare you question my beliefs?’ was the question on every breath he exhaled.
A thought flashed across my mind. Dogma does not give way to introspection and spiritual growth. Individuals have to be prepared to question their actions, thoughts and beliefs if they are interested in a spiritual evolution. ‘Seeking from within’ is synonymous with introspection.
- Since introspection is so important why are people afraid to engage themselves in it?
- Have you ever found yourself in a position where you are afraid to question a belief of yours?
- What causes the fear?
- How do you go about overcoming the fear?
- Do you at anytime feel imprisoned by beliefs you are afraid to question or critically analyze?
- Did this lesson trigger within you any feeling of discomfort, anger, confusion or affirmation? Explain.
- Complete the following statement five (5) times. ‘What I learn today is…’
- ACTION PLAN: This lesson has caused me to decide to take the following action towards myself, others and nature…