The following article was previously posted at my Infinite Life, Infinite Joy blog.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
"Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." (John 7: 24)Yesterday, this man joined me at the bus stop. I said hello. He asked me if I was going to a certain area and I said yes. He was also going to the same place. I said I was either going to catch the bus going the direct route or the one going via the scenic route. Besides, I was in the mood for the scenic route. The first bus that arrived was the scenic route. Before I said goodbye to the man he told me I was a very "good girl." I didn't know what he meant but I thanked him all the same.
"The Lord is everywhere
And always perfect:
What does He care for man's sin
Or the righteousness of man?" (The Bhagavad Gita - The Song of God translated by Swami Prabhavananda & Christopher Isherwood)
I was also pondering about what a friend had said recently about his experience with spirituality. He was frustrated about knowing truth but not seeing this truth being demonstrated in his life.
How does one walk the spiritual talk? Do you have to be a good person?
On my scenic bus ride, I observed how on one level there appears to be nice areas that are clean and have great recreational facilities; and not so nice areas that are deprived. Some parts of London have people who are friendly; other parts have people who seem hostile.
Another way to define these areas or people is by vibes. You are drawn to people who have positive vibes or have similar vibes as you; and you recoil from people or areas of negative vibes. This way, you choose what areas you wish to live in and others you won't be seen dead in.
Going by appearances or vibes is what I call surface mentality. When I lived with that mentality, there were areas in London I couldn't stand. At one point I so hated London I wanted to emigrate to Australia so I could be away from the stench, pollution and chaos. I was also very sensitive to negative energies. I practised psychic self-defence by creating energy shields around me to protect myself from negative thoughts and emotions, and from electromagnetic waves and pollution. The more I defended myself the more there was to defend myself against.
Many people survive by surface mentality. They focus only on being good, law-abiding, citizens. They live in nice areas, have lovely friends and lead charmed lives. In that case, how come so many good people end up being attacked, involved in an accident, get sick, or affected by some natural disaster? This suggests being good or choosing good experiences doesn't always cut it. Positive thinking is not enough. You have to step out of the surface mentality of appearances and delve deeper to the substance of all appearances, which is Love. Love is Reality.
When you live from Reality, you are no longer distracted by appearances because you know there is only Love. It doesn't matter what's going on around you; you focus only on Reality.
Back to my friend's question about how to walk your talk. I believe it is about walking by faith and not by sight/appearances. For me, it is about realising that Love is all there is. I don't try to figure out how Love is but I trust that the Love is alive and let it be made manifest in His own way. When I find I am in an area that the surface mentality objects to, I remind myself that the substance of everything is Love. Then I observe as Love unfolds in ways that astound the surface mentality.
You know you are walking by Love when you stop trying to defend yourself against anything. Love needs no defence.
Perhaps when that man called me "good" he was seeing me as I really am. Who knows?