by Michael Ketterhagen
“We are shrines of the Divine.”
--Swami Rama of the Himalayas
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit,
who is in you, whom you have received from God?
You are not your own;”
--Paul of Tarsus, 1 Corinthians 6:19 (NIV)
“I have never been separate from God, nor can I be, except in my mind.”
--Richard Rohr, The Universal Christ
Both the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga and the Christian Tradition believe the same thing—God is in us! We can never be separated from the Source of Life within us. Even after death, according to these two great spiritual traditions, we are united with our Creator, whatever we call that Being.
Richard Rohr, thoughtfully, tells us why so many people are not aware of this truth. Or if a person does believe this truth through faith, why there is often doubt about it. Some Christian traditions say that this spiritual fact can’t be true because we are sinners. Other Christian traditions say that it is only true when one has received forgiveness of sin through a sacrament or confession.
Our mind is the issue.
The mind is always open to doubt when there is just rational knowing. If one has not experienced directly this Source of Life within us, which guides and directs us through life, then moments of uncertainty can creep into one’s knowledge. But if a person directly experiences that loving, compassionate, brilliant presence within, there is no question about the validity of this spiritual fact. It is no longer rational knowledge based on faith what someone has taught us. It is experiential knowledge based on faith in one’s experience, which the Yoga Tradition calls the highest form of knowledge.
This experiential knowledge of the divine within can only happen when we are able to move our awareness inward. We can experience the Divine Source of Life through our senses, like when we see an incredible sunset after a wild storm, or smell the beauty of flowers totally surrounding us, or when a feeling awareness of the unity of life fills us up, but that is an experience of the Source of Life outside of us. We need to go inside to experience the Creative Force of our Life as truly in us.
That means we need to learn to shut off the rational mind. That takes practice and often is a gift from the Divine within. When we are able to focus and still the mind, we will know that we truly are shrines and temples of the Divine.
I pray to the divinity within you!