By Aare Kola Oyefeso.
Man is fearfully and wonderfully made we read in the Bible but how many have really pondered on the true meaning of this statement. We are obsessed with our physical nature and we believe all we see is all that exists. Very very few if at all are aware of man’s spiritual nature.
The purpose of this discourse is to make us aware of our spiritual dimension, beyond what the stethoscope can pick, and what the surgeon can see with his scalpel, upon dissenting a man either as a living being or cadaver. This is because it is through the awareness of our spiritual nature could we really worship God in Spirit.
In one of the ancient creed I culled; Man to man shall speak, soul to Soul shall reveal. This is saying man can only speak to someone at his physical level. Only the soul which is of divinity can only reveal itself to the Oversoul which we refer to as the Creator and by different names in different climates.
We read in Psalms 46 vs 10; “Be still and know that I am God” This plainly tells us we wouldn’t find the Lord in the hustling and bustling of the earthly life, but only in the inner closet, as emphasized by the Messiah. This is for the fact that only the soul can communicate with God. It is for this reason Jesus will leave His disciples and go to meditate in the wilderness.
Meanwhile,very few if at all, know about the spiritual dimension of man, as a result of which our lives lack balance. How could it when man doesn’t know all his four mutually related attributes which are, the physical,mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. The very best of humans referred to as men of intellect may know of the first three, which are the attributes of the mind. But the essential,being spiritual and of the soul remains unknown and unexplored.
In effect, modern man has made tremendous progress about worldly and external things particularly in the last 50 years, but the body which housed his soul he knows little or nothing beyond its physical aspects. It is like we haven’t bothered to even read its manual.
Yet, in order to live a purposeful life, a live of equipoise and experience our full potential,we need to develop all our four dimensions. These four dimensions of man may be compared to the four tyres of a motor car. If one of the tyres is flat,the car cannot function properly. This depicts the plight of man in trying to operate with one of his tyres flat out.
What we have found out is that most of us dedicate a good deal of energy in developing our physical,mental and emotional nature. At times, we could just develop one at the expense of the other two. Very very few people have any inkling about their great spiritual nature. In fact larger number of the world’s populace have no idea this exists at all.
Ironically, the secret to a balance ,meaningful and harmonious life lies in developing our spiritual dimension. To do this however, we need to reorient ourselves. This new orientation borne of clear thinking and towards spirituality, will earn us a new perspective-the spiritual perspective. It will affect the way we view and respond to the world. It will assist us define the way we approach daily life,redefine our values and priorities.
By so doing ,it will provide us with a true picture of who and what we are. This understanding will offer us the key to a deeper and more constant happiness, by opening the door to a more balanced and complete life, in the manner a vehicle with four good tyres run smoothly, better than the one with a flat tyre.
Just as we had hinted in previous discourse,as the fish needs fresh water to live and the lion the wilderness to thrive, so human beings need spiritual food and spiritual life to feel well and to develop their full potential. The key to true happiness lies in bringing back spirituality into our lives. By the same token,the key to a happy,carefree and fulfilled life is to make spirituality our first priority.
Oblivious of how to search God within as taught by Christ that we should enter our inner closet, and by other Saints that transcendental meditation is the only way,most of the known religions have continued to point to externalities.We will explain what is meant by transcendental meditation as we continue.
Meanwhile,every religion has its own idea of how to realize God.Certain similarities,however appear in most of their ideals. Patently,they show evidence of;
1, Rituals and Ceremonies 2,Holy Places of Worship 3,Temples and houses of worship 4,Holidays and Festivals 5,Fast and Penances 6,Formalized Prayers and Recitations 7,Identifying dress and symbols 8,Most Importantly,a priestly or ministerial class
The problem we encounter when confronted with these external ideals of worship is how to determine which one contains the essence of truth. For example,Muslim feel we must make at least one pilgrimage to Mecca in our lifetime. To the Christians,Jerusalem is where the holy land is. The Sikhs prefer Amritsar to both Mecca and Jerusalem.
Should we believe the Lord who fathers us all would feel strongly about Jerusalem over Mecca or Amritsar over Jerusalem or vice versa? Or in the manner of dress the Lord prefers those who cover their heads to those who go bareheaded to worship Him?
In all of these,we seem to forget we have overtly introduced our customs and traditions into our religions. Or how do we explain a situation where Christians think it is sacrilegious to enter Church barefooted, while some sect of Christians still regard wearing of shoes into their Church a taboo?Some say Friday is a day that is holy to the Lord,while others think it is sinful to work on Saturday,Sunday or Monday. All these notwithstanding the fact that the Messiah deprecated such beliefs by performing healing on a Sunday.
How many thousands of avid seekers have suffered untold deprivations,such as fast,sitting on hot plates,standing in one place for hours on end,refusing to be treated and allowing disease to ravage their bodies thinking any of these would bring them nearer to God?
These austerities such as penances,pilgrimages,rituals,recitations and the like may have to a good extent, purified their thoughts somewhat or lulled them into a feeling of attainment,but they are a far cry to the ultimate desire of merging into the Lord. It is against all these Prophet Isaiah admonished;
"For what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? sayeth the Lord, I delight not in the blood of bullocks,of lamb,of he goats. When you come to appear before me,who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; Incense is an abomination unto me;the new moon and sabbath,the calling of assemblies,I cannot away with; it is iniquities,even the solemn meetings. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth And when ye spreads forth your hands,I will hide mine eyes from you; yea when you make many prayers,I will not hear ; your hands are full of blood