Written by LA Jamison
If you are reading this, congratulations! You are reading this with eyes that are taking in sensory images to a brain and into a soul that has overcome a life and death battle that started at birth! Yes, your survival story began at the journey to the ovaries. Out of millions of sperm, you made it! I don't know about you but when I watch those adventure of conception videos, I feel a little sad. You see the sperm that don't make it get trapped or distracted and it's almost like those horror movies when that ignorant soul goes down the creepy basement, "Noooo! Don't go that way" Or when someone is running from a monster, "Hurry up! Go faster! Don't look back!" Indeed, millions upon millions of sperm don't make it...but here you are! You made it to Planet Earth! Woo Whoo!
Have you ever thought about the fact that you are on a planet of other survivors with your same journey? From testes, to ovaries, to womb, to Earth? You do not walk side by side with mere random human beings that don't matter but rather survivors of one out millions.
So what does this have to do with getting around spiritual booby traps that snag us in life? This pre-natal journey, I believe, is ingrained inside our DNA, a drive to thrive and survive. We weren't only hungry to survive, all life is, but we were smart about it and made it first. What I would like to suggest to you is that there may be another leg to our journey now that we are here on this planet. Our surviving is now something beyond the physical and more of a goal of spiritual growth into eternal life as we eventually shed these bodies and transcend into a new, higher dimension of existence. Of course, not everyone believes that and this particular series isn't about arguing that point. This is addressing those who have already or even those who have at one time walked on a spiritual journey.
Once again, just like when were but sperm, we are faced with distractions, traps and obstacles that would keep us from our goal if we let it. After twenty odd some years of a spiritual walk, I thought to speak to those courageous souls out there that want to circumvent those traps. No one wants to feel or be trapped. LGBT Christians are some of the most courageous people out there, just as a quick example. They not only take criticism of society at large telling them they can't live as they were born to live but larger faith communities that say at their very core, they are wrong and hell bound--just because of who they are. This is a tough message to have hammered into you throughout your life when no one can fight who they are, let alone should they. Yet many of folks in this area (myself included) have had to dig ourselves out of the dirt of society and faith communities bury "our kind" in.
Booby Trap #1 -- Breaking Spirit Down To Secret Formulas, Words and Religious or Magical Phrases
I will start with my own faith for starters. People love to say the word "Jesus" and throw it around like a secret password for "blessings". It is as if just by saying the name of Jesus, people feel that they have rubbed the magic lamp that is going to bring out the genie who will make them feel better, heal them, and give them the righteousness they refuse to live out in real life. People who have no people skills what so ever using it to try to show that they are "in" with a "superior" being. It is to "show" and not to "grow"
Another example I've seen and been part of are people saying a certain set of pre-ordered, prepared prayers by someone outside oneself. Prayers said over and over or praying to certain ancestors for certain "benefits", much like the ancient Greeks and Romans did their Gods for certain traits is something common in older traditional churches. This may bring a certain sense of comfort in the hope that something will happen...and something may indeed happen. However, spirit is not about the obtaining of certain benefits or proofs that your magic catch phrase, even it is "Jesus", to either signify you are "In" with God or get what you desperately want by circumventing a true relationship with the divine. And, to see ourselves to low to pray to God ourselves so we must go to ancestor instead is not something scripture aspouses. It is religious self-condemnation, spiritual poverty God never asked to live us.
Another trap along this line, outside of my faith but not absent of people using it, is The New Age version of the "law of attraction" or "The Secret". Well who doesn't want to know secrets about life? Who doesn't feel that there are things we just don't understand and wish it was all just made plain to us? Its an attractive, pun intended, attraction! Yet, this is really a New Age version of the Christian's "prosperity gospel". A good idea about prayerful envisioning positive changes in our lives has taken a twist by some into a formula that should eliminate anyone deemed "negative" in our lives and a life that is free from ...well, the shit life brings. These two ideologies are formulas to make us all wealthy but not wise. It is a "You do ---->this" and "God will respond with---> that". If God doesn't do "that" ..well then, you must have not done "this" right. Oh, no shame at all there, right? NOT! Be careful with this one. I'll never forget a man who studied this ideology was in great fret because his refrigerator broke down. He bemoaned to me, "I wonder what I have done to "attract" this into my life!?" I wanted to say, "I wonder what the poor child starving in a foreign land did to attract poverty in their life?" Every bump in the road meant, for this man, that he wasn't living the law of attraction of right. Does this mean there is nothing we can do to bring ourselves more prosperity or attract what we want in life? No, of course not!~ Self is important but one has to remember that a spiritual life and journey is NOT about guaranteeing your happiness and a life of wealth and health and prosperity. God is actually shown to do a lot formation through struggling, not prosperty.
A spiritual journey is about becoming closer to God and becoming like God. It is about our eyes on God and serving others more than ourselves. If you put your concept of God into a formula to prove or guarantee your idea of success or bliss in your life, one day you will be sadly crushed when the formula doesn't work. You will be crushed because you will fault yourself for not working the formula right when really it is just life being...well life. Be careful. But, even that is okay because then you can learn the lesson you needed to learn in the first place: "we all hit rock bottom and that is when we learn that God is the rock at the bottom". You will then find the God of security in the randomness of the crap life can lay at your doorstep.
You can't live a life of no trials or suffering. Trials and suffering shape us and teach us who we really are when no one longer cares to watch. The Bible itself says in Hebrews 5 that Jesus learned obedience (yes, Jesus had to learn obedience) through the things which he SUFFERED. When the hand is dealt and we lose it all, whatever "it" is for us, who or what will you rely on? Let me tell you, people and things will fail and if you don't know that now, you will. Start a real spiritual journey now. A real one, not magic words or formulas.
In the Muslim faith, we see this play out with Muslim terrorists. There are terrorists that yell with a particular amount of angst, before they commit some tragic act, "Allahu Akbar" which means 'God is great'. Does that mean God sanctions what that person does? No. Yet, in their minds it does. This set of two words is like a torn banner...torn from a sacred document and flown at the site of horrific sites across the globe, waving in the fumes of burning bodies. It is like some secret code that these terrorists use as a sort of linguistic stamp to say God will approve what I did because I have the "secret".
This isn't how the deepest, wisest of spiritual journeyers suggests Spirit works. I don't consider myself the wisest but I do consider wise enough because I'm connected to the Wise One and I've experienced a good deal in this area. Take my words to heart and stay tuned for the Booby Trap #2