12 signs that your life is controlled by your ego
Illusions carry only guilt and suffering, sickness and death, to their believers. The form in which they are accepted is irrelevant. No form of misery in reason’s eye can be confused with joy. Joy is eternal. (A Course in Miracles)

How can a rational, educated person turn to spirituality?

I was raised Christian. For some time as a teenager, I was a true believer and reading the Bible or going to church brought me great comfort. But in college, I learned to place my faith in rationality and reason. I realized that the stories in the Bible cannot literally be true. I came to find religion silly and declared myself a proud agnostic.

For the next 22 years, my life as a non-believer was normal. There were constant peaks and valleys, good times and bad, but I played the game and accomplished almost everything that is supposed to make us happy.

Still, I lived in a constant state of stress, woke up frequently in the middle of the night with panicked thoughts, and suffered from pain and illness. I practiced deception and was needy in relationships. In business I was dishonest and, in friendship, I was always trying to prove superiority. Somehow nobody ever seemed to agree with me about how special I was—so I tried ever harder to conquer the world.

By age 40, my approach clearly wasn’t working. My life was falling apart, and my suffering was unbearable. Could I turn to the church for comfort? No. Not only did I not believe the stories, I utterly detest institutions and do not believe they offer salvation.

Then I started reading a book called A Course in Miracles. It isn’t a religion, but it does require its students to take a leap of faith. The author, Helen Schuckman, claims that Jesus appeared by her bedside and told her what to write. Obviously, I didn’t believe that to be literally true, but found the text fascinating and kept reading.

The thing is: every word in this book—which is about the same size as The Bible—is dripping with a wisdom and truth that is beyond question. There are no inconsistencies or holes—but you do need to suspend disbelief, to humble yourself, and to accept the use of words like “Jesus”, “God” and “Holy Spirit”. These are words I had strongly rejected for 22 years—and yet slowly I was beginning to embrace them.

If you truly go through it, A Course in Miracles offers assured salvation for anyone like me—someone who was raised Christian but has not been living the faith. It is not for everyone. If it is for you, you know.

I later found that there are also other paths that deliver spiritual awakening outside the structures of religion. For some, religion offers the community, the tradition, and the stories they need which often point to a higher truth. Others, like me, are turned off by conformity and ritual, and are suspicious about the worship of stories which are not exactly true. Yet we can agree, across faiths, that there is a higher truth!

For people like me, our path toward awakening is more of an inner journey, taken in freedom, guided by direct language—but we need the right guides or we will continue to be misled by our ego. 5 years later, I have been re-reading and writing about the book nearly every day. It always offers exactly what I need, and like any spiritually alive text, each time I read it I pick up something new. This is also the case with the works of Eckhart Tolle, the Tao Te Ching, and countless others.

Everything we care about: love, feeling good, health, fun—it is of the spiritual dimension. It cannot be seen or touched—it is formless. There is a spiritual dimension of truth and it is not of this world. It does not contradict rationality, it requires not that you believe in any crazy stories, but it does require a willingness to suspend disbelief and look at reality honestly.

This is what I write about and practice each day, and I wish you the same ongoing joy, freedom, and abundance in life that I have found—which is yours after spiritually awakening to consciousness and aligning with perfect love.

Posted by Abscondo

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