Friday, September 5, 2008

Follow Your Own Counsel

Since I began reading the five volumes of The Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East, by Baird T. Spalding, I have found a resonance to the concepts he presents. They are so much like the metaphysical teachings I learned from childhood and studied at Unity School in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. I also did some research on Mr. Spalding and found there was much skepticism about the portrayal of his journeys in the Far East. Much of the skepticism was based on the fact that the copious notes he reported taking were never presented for review. I am only pointing this out so none of my readers will think I have not done my due diligence to determine the veracity of his writings.

The fact of the matter is that I don’t care about whether his stories are literally true or not. You may recall that in a previous posting I mentioned that rather than be concerned about so-called historical accuracy of such writings, we would be better advised to examine the message contained and how it might be applied to make our lives and our world better.

Ultimately, our spiritual, mental and emotional well-being are up to us. Each of us is responsible for the attitudes and belief systems we develop and for the results those systems deliver in our lives. We must come to the point where we can trust our insights for the Truth that will guide our lives. We must come to the point where we follow our own counsel by trusting the Spirit of Truth within us.

Mr. Spalding comments:

The gathering of thoughts from teachers and books, building them into the conscious nature of one’s being, is to establish a false determination which is largely hypnotic. . . . Instruction received from the without must be taken into the mentality and assimilated, analyzed, checked with the deepest facts of one’s own inner nature, in order to determine if it be true to the Self. One best consult the Self first and gain his outer knowledge thus at first hand -- Vol. 4, page 199
It is a great step in faith to trust the Self, but remember, that Self is God within you that has always been there and always will be there. We gain our trust in God within not from teachers, books and organizations, as helpful as they may be, but rather from sitting in the true silence with ourselves. In Buddhism this is Samadhi or concentration. This practice few of us undertake because it is difficult. It is well to remember that resolving problems that develop because we have not learned to listen to the True Inner Spirit is often difficult as well. Certainly we will study and learn from teachers and books, but our true understanding always comes from within. If we have developed the capacity to trust that inner Self, all external learning will make a lot more sense a lot more quickly.

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