Thursday, August 26, 2010

One Voice in Many: Part 3

This is the third installment from my early work from 1980. Previous parts are on 7/12 and 8/19.

We hear the One Voice in each moment in many ways. Whether it's our own words, the words of a friend, or of a discarnate spiritual being, it is the One Voice. Whether the words sound Christian, Sufi, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist, it is the One Voice. Whether it comes as a question or an answer, it's all part of the Divine teaching us through revelation. The Voice speaking to me, speaks to a part of you, and what awakens you also awakens me in some way.

So the quest for spirit becomes a conversation held between the "We" and the "You," where the One Voice reveals that speaker and listener are the same. Ultimately, it is through the understanding of our common vulnerabilities and doubts that we can see each other and come to an experience of our common love. We each have equal access to the one infinitely wise Source, so if we share our world views with each other, trusting the One Voice, creating moments of commonality, we'll know each other better, if only through our shared uncertainties and desire for the greater understanding.

I have always asked, "Why?" I seem to have begun my journey on the spiritual path without realizing it: I moved steadily forward by backing into revelations. Church seemed empty so I backed into a reverence for nature. I couldn't justify why wars were fought over God and how one people's interpretation of God could be incorrect while another was "ordained," so I put all religions on hold and opened my mind to the truths all cultures hold dear. I couldn't find an idea of who or what God was (certainly not an old man with a long, white beard), so I refused to say the word for a long time and sought an experience, rather than a definition. The most I could come up with was that God is an energy that always was and always will be and trying to understand this enigma was my "religion"—and if I could live with that, that was faith.

I have zigzagged onward, backing away from things that didn't feel quite right, and into ideas and practices that did. Puzzle pieces have slowly dropped in place. I was troubled by how life could become so complicated, distracting, and draining to our energy when beneath the surface, there is plenty of peace, perfect functioning, energy, and wisdom. Everywhere, I saw—and still see—people who have spun off from and lost touch with their center and have forgotten the real "why" in life, who can't remember who they actually are experientially. People are looking for relief from their anxiety, often rather desperately, sometimes insanely, grabbing for the first flashy thing or settling for easy, cosmetic solutions that don't last. There are far too many empty ad-agency answers and authorities who haven't earned their stripes.

We're underdeveloped in two ways: 1) We don't have direct experience of the true self, the soul, and we have trouble maintaining the brief glimpses we do get, thinking they are abnormal in their positive nature. And 2), We have a basic misperception about the way the world works, a "perceptual geometry" that's not in alignment with universal principles. We create our own suffering. The way we think sometimes doesn't make much sense. When we feel weak, vulnerable, and insecure, we want others to be the same way. We seek agreement and common bonds. Yet when it comes to inspired self-expression and success, we want to feel unique and special and don't want anyone else in the world to be like us. We look for our differences.

Isn't it simply crazy that the way we seek to be one with others reinforces, not our magnificence, but the idea that we're powerless, miserable, and riddled with bad habits and character weaknesses? And the way we try to experience our magnificence, by being an individual and standing out from the crowd, offers us the empty rewards of maintaining an isolated position, alone, without equals? Basically, we perceive ourselves as separate from our own soul, each other, and the earth, and see the Divine and the universe as outside us. If original sin means "first misperception," this is it. The truth about the way the world works is that we are alike in our LOVE and our fears are the mirages and misperceptions. 

copyright Penney Peirce