Deep Within

Another Journey Lies Ahead, inside ourselves  …    Deep Within   ...


So far, our explorations examined what we are, where we are and where we came from - investigations outside ourselves. Now another journey lies ahead - inside ourselves - deep within our hearts. 

In ancient times, pilgrims went to Delphi to hear from the Oracle - Pythia the sibyl - who sat in the vapors there. Among the writings enscribed there was the famous saying:

γνῶθι σεαυτόν = know thyself

Delphi magic mist

The Temple of Apollo at Delphi

Seeking our innermost self is the first step to freedom, spiritual strength and maturity - 
    - valuables we want to rescue from religion as it fades.

Sometimes I tell this related story from my own childhood:

It reminds me of when my father taught me to ride a bike and then a horse
              or first handed me the car keys and told me to drive.  
And so, trusting him, shaky at first, I began to pedal, then I took the reins  
              and later I began to drive, cautiously.
But then I set the course and the further I went, the steadier I became. 
        And then one day I noticed that he was not guiding the bike any more - I was.

The lesson ? :
Knowing yourself is the first step to guiding yourself,
becoming self directed from within - proactive and in control 
instead of being reactive and directed by people, society and religion - from outside us.

Jesus and my grandfather were two backwoods carpenters that were recognized for guiding themselves and those around them with strength and calm, independent of life’s storms and society’s bribes. That is what I think Jesus meant when he said his "kingdom was not of this world" and taught us to recognize that we are in society’s world, but can be “not of it." 

Thinking back, I don’t think I ever saw my grandfather lose his temper or become impatient with me, across all our years, even though people tell me that I was very hyper as a boy. What strength, as I put him to the test! Just like my carpenter grandfather - we, you and I, can do that too - shaping a young boy just like a piece of wood, preparing the surface, strengthening the joints, testing with a touch.

This strength of which we speak comes from inside, deep within. The terms we use to describe our issues might be the carpenter metaphors that we just used, terms about seeds and growing that Jesus liked to use, or modern terms - thinking, feeling and belonging - that a moden atheist like me uses. 

I have seen such strength up close, in my grandfather and read about it in Jesus. Now I want to develop it in myself … and you. There’s an ember in us that we can develop into a flame. Just as stars ignite their hearts of fire, so can we, developing what the Bahai call a Radiant Heart. Being self guided is a choice, like happiness. Using this strength, making this choice to build our own worldview, we soon learn:

Each of us makes our own worldview, as unique as our fingerprints.

The lesson is the same, whether from Jesus or the Bahai or an atheist like me:
Quit kisssing up to society and instead guide yourself by the light within you.
Posses this light. Plant it like a seed. Nurture it and it will feed you.

The Bahai say it well, what excellent advice and the source of great strength:

Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart

From the Bahai: the Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh:

"O SON OF SPIRIT! My first counsel is this:
Possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart,
that thine may be a sovereignty
ancient, imperishable and everlasting"


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