The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and the acceptance of love back in our hearts.
I recently found myself seeking something greater than myself. Something greater than what I have ever had before; something greater than what my mind has ever conceived. I believe that such a thing has existed, is existing, and will continue to exist beyond man, with neither his supervision nor acknowledgement. I say this because; man is, as I have come to believe, prey to the deceit that he is supervisor of all that happens on earth. Yet we only have to look outside, to see how the trees sway harmoniously to the wind, how the sky lights up with millions of stars, how the ground smells wonderfully of rain before it falls, how our animals can sense our emotions yet we claim to be different and superior to them, for us to see and believe that indeed, we are not in control of everything we know but are only beautifully part of the mystery that encompasses us. Our knowledge of these things does not make us their masters and the only gift we have is the gift of knowledge. Every human being can feel this in themselves. This is the humble search for the divine in everyone.
Many institutions of the world have conspired to ensnare us into a battle of the superior. For many years I succumbed to the pain and embitterment that comes from witnessing the wars and conflicts borne as a result of tedious, fanatical expressions, not of the ultimate divine, but of man’s egoism. Our search for the truth, blanketed by ill-seduced motives led us, not to the unraveling of the beautiful, but rather, to the disheveling of it. The heart’s deceitful nature, though blinding us with visions of enlightenment, only led us to contest for power. The elite became the misled. The followers became the misguided.
In all this though, I have come to quietly understand there exists something greater which has borne the world’s temperaments in silent sacrifice.
It can be pictured as a deep river of silent waters that sits quietly upon the land, only soothingly going over rocks and pebbles, illuminating, reflecting, satisfying, fulfilling, completing, unchanging with the times, non-repulsed by the seasons, ever present, always mystifying. This thing, of higher intelligence, can only find one word in the human dictionary to describe it…Love.
It is inconsequential where we are or what we are. Love is found everywhere without, and in our moments of utmost silence and reflection, within us. It is the gentle warm rush that clouds one’s soul when tears are choking the life out of us. The soothing presence that we find in the lonely plain field when the world has abandoned us unto ourselves. It is the settling re-assurance that we are not alone. It is the thought that engulfs us that there must be one in charge and whoever it is, must be the complete… and He is ultimate love in himself.
Most of us spend times contemplating the existence of the divine. Yet even while clouded with the pain of disbelief, we are testimonies of the love that He is. Our doubt comes from the witnessing of matters which we think that indeed, if there had been a being of greater superiority than the human mind could conceive, He would be stringent and would not let pain happen. I used to question this way too, until when I recently understood and grasped the concept of loving someone.
It was vital to understand what makes the Divine, extremely superior, yet, when conceived by human eyes, sometimes detached. Being a being of love in Himself, understanding His character requires us to understand the nature of love. Yet love is not what I ubiquitously comprehended. It has taken me a while to know this. That love may not be that which is compassionate, or beautiful or passionate, as much as it is that which is most sacrificial. Sacrifice denotes the highest form of love but in the case where sacrifice and obedience are pitted against each other, obedience is greater. In the case of the Divine, the greatest sacrifice is that which He sacrificed His ability to compel like He would beings devoid of reason. Yet, He instilled in us the ability to reason and with this, came the gift of freedom. Craving pure and true love from us, while at the same time not wanting to lead us away from himself, He sacrificed His power to command us into obedience, instead relying on our need to be complete through finding His love, within and without of ourselves, that for us, it be a choice, a choice to find Him and love back.
I have been afraid to love back for a while now. Loving people is opening up one’s heart to crevices of pain by deception and untruth. All my life, I have sheltered my heart closely, holding onto it, with fear. Not even the Divine could express His love for me without my entertaining of doubt. I have been devoid of much pain, yet I have been devoid of much hope as well. It was however, only recently, that I found that my mind had gradually become the slave to skepticism. Unbelieving and daunting. Painful experiences made me question my approach to life. Would the sheltering of self be the one thing that leads to suffering?
The ego is a veil between man and God. The ego is a creation of the human mind, the perpetrator of the human hubris. We have been given the choice to love. The choice to sacrifice, the choice to obey. We have the love of God in us yet our egos cloud us. I have spent time before, satiating it, contemplating how to push people away, now I spend time contemplating how to accept the love in me and draw closer to God. My ego has been the veil between God and me and between me and the people I have loved. However, the time has come for me to allow the love to consume me and the fear to dissipate.
Accepting God’s love that instructed freedom in me, I accept my love that will do the same for the people I have loved. Hopefully one day, when granted forgiveness, they will draw close to me with the choice of loving back.
Kasyoka Mutunga (20)