Sunday, May 10, 2009

Staying in the flow

Losing yourself and letting go of all your beliefs is one of the greatest challenges we face as humans. Our lives are the sum total of our beliefs. What we believe shapes the way we express ourselves in the world. That expression then creates the experiences we have or do not have. The experiences we have further shape our beliefs and the process cycles around upon itself. By holding our beliefs as a shield against the arrows of change, new thought and evolution, we limit ourselves and the battle is lost.

As humans, we cling to our history because it is something that we believe that we know for sure. Since we live every moment in newness, we cling to that which is familiar to guide us through the unknown. But does that process really work for us or does it hold us back? If I held firmly to the beliefs I had at age 7 and refused to surrender them in exchange for more evolved ideas, my life would be so very limited, simple and stagnate. Just the idea of doing that seems laughable to most of us but in essence it’s what we do. We gather new information, reshape our belief systems and struggle to release old, outdated or incorrect beliefs.

Growing up in a small town in Alabama guided by a mother who believed that the Church had the answers to life and a father who shunned all things religious, I fell into the rift between their differences. One the one hand by being placed in the Church (Baptist and Methodist) I absorbed their teachings and took on that belief system. I really had no choice in the matter because I was never presented with an option. The Church taught that if I didn’t believe in God and Heaven that the alternative was the Devil and Hell. There was no middle ground. This life was all a pass or fail situation. In the end I would be evaluated by this same God and then assigned an eternal fate based upon the events of one lifetime.

It wasn’t until I was 18, left home and started making my own decisions that I chose to reject those teachings. I rejected the belief that I was hell bound because of my gayness. I rejected the belief that God couldn't love me because of an expression of myself that came from the very same God which had created me. In rejecting all of those teachings, I was left with nothing. Or so I thought. I had indeed left the Church but not until recently in my 40’s did I realize that I was still guided by the belief system that the Church set forth. While I rejected their rules around God’s conditional love or wrath, I hadn’t really examined my beliefs around God. I had stopped the bleeding but not healed the wound.

As I sit writing this, my mind is flooded by so many thoughts…anger, frustration, resentment, confusion, fear and greatest among them, hope. It would be easy for me to sit in judgment of the Church (all of them) and their teachings but it does not serve me to do that. That makes me no better than them because it puts me in a place of judgment which is my real problem with the Church at large. How can one judge and love at the same time? Unconditional love has no space for judgment. Unconditional love has no rules. To have these things, we place conditions upon the love and limit it. Love has no limitations, no boundaries and no rules.

As an evolutionist I believe that we must allow evolution to unfold within each of us and surrender to its flow. By simply observing anything around us and taking a historical perspective, we can see the power of evolution. It’s been said that change is the one absolute in life. Everything changes. As it changes, it evolves. Evolution however is difficult to see by using our limited vision of the here and now. That’s where the historical perspective comes in. By stepping back to observe the larger picture and understanding history, we see the mysterious hidden workings of the evolutionary impulse towards change.

The deepest of teachings often come from the simplest of experiences. In watching a house being built, we see how everything must happen in its right time. If the widow installers arrived the first day and wanted to hang the windows, they would have no place to put them. If the roofers were available on the second day, they would have no building to roof. The structure of the house must evolve first. That structure begins long before the first bit of dirt is moved. The house is conceptualized, designed and planned long before any work on the physical house begins. It all begins with the thought by someone that “I need a house”. At that point, it’s just an energy form that exists in the consciousness of someone and it can become anything from there.

Once the plans have been made, the foundation laid and the structure built then we can see the full effect of the evolution of the thought that was “I need a house”. From there the house will evolve until finally someone lives in it. This every day occurrence contains within it the lesson that all things must evolve in their own time. There is a sequence to everything. Going with the flow is easiest and gets you the biggest gain.

What things are you resisting in your life or are you trying to force? What would happen if you stopped resisting and went with the flow? Could you try? If not, why?


  1. Right on! For many of the same reasons as yours, I have real problems with organized religion. My religious upbringing was remarkably similar to yours. I have mostly "tuned out" from organized religion because of its "judgmentalness" (not sure if that's a word; if not, I just made up a new one) and lack of unconditional love (a tenet that I believe is common to most religions). One thing I still like about the Christian religion, though, is its great legacy of music. As a musician, I enjoy playing a lot of that great music that speaks to my soul, though perhaps not in a strict religious sense.

  2. Evolution? Try this blog
    for some fun - Professor PZ Myers blogs often (one of the most popular blogs in the country) and his follows do have fun. Enjoy!