I will start this segment on the spirit with a story I had previously written.
The Tao of Coffee
Two scholars spent the better part of an afternoon in a local Portland Starbucks arguing the theories of Evolution versus Creationism. Getting nowhere, they took the advice of the Chinese guy working there and decided to drive to the beach near Astoria to visit a sage named Chung Lee who reputedly had the answers.
The following morning they took off for the beach. Upon arrival, they soon found his cottage hidden amongst the coastal dunes. Although the cottage was empty they spotted the old sage not far away sitting on a high dune facing out to sea.
After approaching him, the old man turned, directed his eyes upon them and asked, “Where’s the coffee?”
The two became puzzled. “Sir, One said. We were told you could help us with the greatest philosophical dilemma of our age . . . perhaps even give us some insight into the theories of which we are about to speak.”
“Yes, of course.” Chung Lee answered. “But go now, next time you come, bring me a cup of Starbucks coffee, then we will speak of your theories.”
Early the following morning they checked out of their motel and returned to the hill. One carried the large cup of Starbucks coffee that he’d purchased in town. After greetings, he handed the old sage the still hot coffee and sat in the sand beside his friend. They both opened their portfolios, each anticipating a quick and decisive victory.
Chung Lee, while sipping his coffee, quickly went over each theory. He then handed the papers back, looked out to sea and finished the coffee before he began to speak.
“The two theories are mere disciplines, and although seemingly opposing views, upon deeper reflection are one and the same. The difference lies in your interpretation and in your desire to understand the mystery. But alas, the mystery cannot be contained within a theory, so you are both beating your learned heads against a brick wall.”
Going on he said. “Each theory is merely a doorway, and theory can never explain the goings on within the room. You need theory to find the doorway, but once opened this very same discipline becomes your stumbling block. Theory will never reveal truth, only the pathway to it.
The two looked at each other, excused themselves and walked back to the car.
“This is a wise man?” One asked the other. “”He sends us for coffee, then he comes up with this gibberish?”
“Yes, it is strange,” answered Two. “Yet his reputation is such that there has to be something we are missing. Let’s give him a chance to prove himself.”
The two went back to where the old man was sitting. “Sir, excuse us, but neither one of us understands. What are we missing?”
The old man held up the empty cup. “This cup will always contain a mystery, but as you smell of it, sip of it, and enjoy the taste of it, you one day realize you don’t really care HOW Starbucks made such a good cup of coffee, you are just glad they did. And thanks be to the mystery, as long as there are people like you seeking to understand it, I will never have to worry about getting my morning cup of coffee.”
The old man dismissed them with a smile and returned his gaze to the sea. (end)
This is why religion can never advance us along the pathway any more than it already has for ALL religions become a box at a certain point, and spirit refuses to be contained in a box.
Therefore there must come a time when every seeker breaks free from the mold of their religion and begins to follow the long arduous path leading back to themselves. For in the most simple of terms we are not learning when it comes to the spirit as it resides on it’s own . . . we are awakening to it.
The learning takes place within the trinity of mind – body – spirit as trinity seeks to manifest that which the spirit already knows.
Sounds complicated, but really it isn’t, it’s just that words can’t convey the mystery of God all that well . . . but kindness can.. . empathy can . . . love can . . . 🙂