In February of 2013 I blogged about spirituality and the twitterverse. Given all of the current uses being made of social media that cannot possibly be seen as beneficial to human life on earth, I thought it timely to repeat that blog:
I define The Metaphysical Crockpot as an open spiritual exploration; a journey of spiritual evolution in search of the essential keys to living a spiritual life. I use the metaphor of a metaphysical crockpot in which I place varied spiritual ideas together and live with them as they "stew" slowly in the crockpot of my mind. This means also putting in ideas that I disagree with or that make me uncomfortable. The simple fact that I have a problem with an idea means that it has appeared in my life with something to teach me. So to be on an open spiritual journey means to open one's mind. The beginning then of an open spiritual journey is the point of non-judgment.
Non-judgment does not mean holding no faith in any idea. One other concept regarding my spiritual crockpot is that I am at all times free to remove any idea. Living with these ideas is asking for inner guidance and allowing my inner guidance (the Divine Presence within me) to lead me to the right combination of "spiritual ingredients. If I may stretch the cooking metaphor a little more, the process is often similar to what chefs refer to as a reduction. Basically a reduction is boiling a sauce allowing the liquid to evaporate. This leaves behind a thickened sauce with greatly intensified flavors. Spiritually this is like allowing inner guidance to boil away all that is unneeded and leaving behind the greatly intensified flavors of the essential spiritual keys. What remains over time then is that deep reduction that is an inner knowing allowing for living in faith. So a process that begins with non-judgment can lead to deep faith in those ideas that have spoken as one at the deepest level.
I have found that what happens in my life is the process creates spiritual food that is full of harmony and balance, but is never static. There are always new ideas for greater spiritual evolution. I also believe that each person is on their own unique spiritual journey and each person will have different "ingredients" in their crockpot. Here are some ideas from others about openness on the journey:
Walt Whitman said in This Is What You Shall Do, ". . . re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul . . ."
The following is from the website www.The-Spiritual-Quest.org:
"One is never obligated to accept any information as true or required, we maintain the right and the obligation to accept or reject any information that we are exposed to. However by refusing to explore that with which we disagree is closing our minds to further enlightenment.
God is Love . . . he loves everyone . . . we need to see beyond our own current human perspective. Our current perspective, which we inherited from our upbringing, may seem foolish or unfounded to those of another religion, country or culture. If such a person would just take the time to inquire and understand you and your perspective they would be all the wiser for it. Would we be as open with someone we disagree with? Our growth comes through knowledge and understanding mainly focusing on what we don't know or what we disagree with."
May I lovingly recommend that everyone start cooking up something wonderful. Make life delicious!
Gene Ford Runnels
Dyan Diamond says in her book Love You! How to Live in Love, "'Alone time can help us maintain our inner peace. When we do not pay attention to ourselves, we can become needy, dependent and express ourselves in less loving ways. Without aloneness we can perceive the experience of closeness with others as challenging . . .
When our lives are busy with children, careers, hobbies, family and friends, it can feel very challenging to find time alone. When we feel like there is no room in our lives to take care of ourselves, we can choose to look at our schedule. What can we let go of ? Self-care and self-soothing are very important in helping us keep balance and love in our lives.
"We need a certain kindness and generosity to ourselves before we learn kindness and generosity to others." Lin Yutang"'
It is important to take time alone away from the busyness and stress and general craziness of the world. It is important to be silent for a while in order to be in touch with ourselves. As Dyan Diamond says this aloneness with ourselves is the path to inner peace. However, we live in a world that actively disdains solitude. We live in a world where silence has become an anathema. Let's think a bit about our own inner peace and the world at large. Most of the following can be found in Newsletter Number 3 - The Silence Imperative:
I believe the future of humankind depends on silence! On our own inner silence, on silence in every individual heart
. . . We live in a world that actively disdains quietude. For example it seems almost impossible to escape television. It is in restaurants while we eat. It is in doctor's offices while we wait. It is even lately at gas pumps while we pump gas, and in front of us on treadmills while we exercise.
And today there is so much more than just "elevator music." There is music at the supermarket, music at the mall. Music in almost all commercial establishments. Music is a most beautiful and blessing vibration of God, but not when used simply to distract. Notice how often in restaurants you will find music competing with several televisions tuned to different stations. It becomes simply noise. Simply DISTRACTION. This constant presence of television and music is the noise our egos use to hide from the reality of who we really are. They are there to keep us from the benefits of solitude.
Today we have all manner of media devices we carry with us so as to constantly have some form of distraction. Distractions which keep us from facing ourselves. In the world today we never have to be disconnected from the "monkey mind" of society. With these devices, never has the fear of knowing one's self been on display so obviously and everywhere. This ubiquitous avoidance of self-knowledge displayed in plain sight is completely overlooked for what it really is. This active societal disdain of quietude we find all around us is purposeful- and negative. What is to be found in the silence is the still small voice of inner guidance. The fear of the world at large is that we might actually "Be still and know." So the world constantly attempts this bombardment of noise and distraction. This noise is fear.
So as Dyan Diamond says, to take time alone is a way to keep love in our lives. REGULARLY TAKE TIME AWAY FROM THE WORLD. To spend time alone in silence is the path to experiencing the Divine Presence within. Taking peaceful time alone to go within allows us to truly know ourselves, to love ourselves. To love others.
Gene Ford Runnels
Rev. Gene Ford Runnels