Following the Spirit

From my “ponder” series. . .

I don’t know when I encountered the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It must have been a quiet experience. I do know that when I was working as a media coordinator in the public schools in North Carolina, I went about my duties in the library with one ear tuned to what I was feeling. The Holy Spirit talked to me through my feelings. Sometimes it seemed that I was even prompting to turn left or right at a given time, not sure what I would see when I turned.

It was all a bit unnerving. My preacher had previously told me that Holy Spirit doesn’t tell you whether to turn left or right at a stop light, but my experience was different. To me, guidance spoke in particular ways in my everyday life.
Things went along well when I tuned in. The “feelings” were somewhat different from what I would term “intuition.” Intuition can be a “knowing,” and the nudges I got were not a knowing, because I didn’t understand what would transpire when I made a move in the direction prompted.

My Unconscious mind, where I think the Holy Spirit resides, must have been very close to the surface during that early period of learning how to listen. And the listening continued for long years, culminating now in a sense of knowing. I don’t get those indications of whether to turn right or left.

Is something missing, or am I just following guidance another way?

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Blessing from God

From my “ponder” series. . .

Does God play any role in the law of attraction other than seemingly being a genie in a bottle?

The law of attraction entered the mainstream just a little over ten years ago, primarily encouraged by Rhonda Byrne and The Secret (both book and film). The initial writing seemed to downplay any role that God might have in our lives. The focus was, quite a bit, on egoic thoughts and material possessions. To her credit, later writing by Rhonda in The Power and The Magic does make a return to traditional spiritual values of love and gratitude, respectively.

The law of attraction is often a secular way of receiving God’s blessings when we are too conflicted to hold a belief about a deity. But I think it is a blessing from God to keep us on the right track. I think God doesn’t ultimately care if we disbelieve (though He can help us more if we have belief in Him); he doesn’t have an ego to need the praise that traditional religion often asks us to make. So, using our minds, even though they are not spiritually attuned, will often get us what we want. This is the bottom line of the law of attraction.

Having a faith in God can bring us a much more fulfilling life, though. Just trying to think positively, and trying to feel good all the time, won’t do it for us—and it is these points that are often made about how to attract what we want.
What we want will fail us unless there is a deeper Mystery to ponder. Getting what we want is not the final answer because at some point we will be saying, “Is this all there is?”

A full surrender to a Higher Power (as we understand this Power) will ensure a better life. And this is classic spirituality.

Gratitude

Reposted from my discontinued Ponder blog:

Most spiritual traditions tell us that being grateful for our lives and what we have in them is a necessary component of a full life. If we believe that God needs our praise, then I can see that expressing thanks to Him in our prayers would make sense. But I have had more trouble understanding the “why” of gratitude since I don’t believe God needs us to tell Him how wonderful He is. (Jesus says this in A Course in Miracles.)

Of course, I can understand that we need gratitude. It opens our heart. And, not incidentally, it makes us just feel good. Writing about the Law of Attraction, particularly Rhonda Byrne’s The Magic, says that without gratitude our wishes for a more abundant life will fall on deaf ears in the universe. But is not a rote recall of things we are grateful for just seem to be manipulation of ultimate reality?

Our heart needs to be in the right place when we are expressing thanks for the blessings of our life. We need not to be manipulative, we need not to say “thanks” just because it does feel good.

There is a higher reason for gratitude.

I know that I appreciate my life, and that is a good start. Gratitude does warms our heart, and maybe that is reason enough to be diligent in feeling and expressing gratitude for our lives.

Gratitude does keep us in the right pathway back to God. Separation healed, we are on our way.