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Re: Jesus in the air

Sep 11, 1995 07:00 AM
by Eldon B. Tucker


>Here's a sincere query which is likely to produce opposing
>answers if anyone cares to hazard an opinion.

We've got quite a mix of personalities and backgrounds, and
it's only natural to expect a variety of replies.

>In the last 6 months or so I have been practicing Surat Shabd
>Yoga ...

>Here's the question/problem. The more I have practiced this
>yoga, the more I find myself receptive to various forms of
>Christian devotion. Getting hymns stuck in my brain for a
>while, for example, or various spontaneous mantras with
>Christian themes. All this despite the fact that I have no
>particular conscious preference for Christianity over any other

The important thing with your practice is the nature of your
experience, and its affect on you. You're the one to judge how
you are changed by the experience; we should not project our
own expectations on what might happen and put words in your mouth.

Sometimes we have experiences that are higher that what we
are used to. Or perhaps these experiences are of an entirely
different nature. Not having previous experiences of the same
kind to draw upon, we attempt in our mind to clothe the experiences
in words and images that we are familiar with.

>My theory for this is that Christianity permeates the psychic
>atmosphere here in the rural South; anyone who tunes into a
>devotional frequency ("You turn me on I'm a radio" to quote an
>old song) is likely to pick up some of the symbols and words
>with which devotion is expressed by those around one. The
>house I lived in for the past two years was near a black church
>with wonderful music, which perhaps had a subliminal effect.

These images may be available about you to draw upon. The images
are not your experience, they are handy symbols and signs that
the unconscious may have drawn upon to help explain the unknown.

>One could also suppose that early childhood programming comes
>to the surface during trance states, which Simran and Bhajan
>may induce.

With a continued study of what is coming to you, the images
may change or drop away. Perhaps you'll come up with other
ways of perceiving what is happening. In a way, the experience
is one where the mind is at a loss for words, and has to fill
in with whatever content is available. It may be a sign of
something profound. Only you can fantom the experience, and
take it to its depths.

>But my question to you all is: how right or wrong is it to go
>with the flow of such images, sounds, etc., rather than resist

Forgetting the images for the moment, consider what is it in
life that is behind them? It is something especially rich,
valuable, worthy of exploration? If you detect gold, start

>I think a highly orthodox Theosophist would say
>something like "you're just becoming a passive medium for other
>people's retrograde spirituality, and this is a fate worse than
>death, so stop."

The stream of images before you is no more important than
what happens to be on TV, were you to sit on the sofa and
read a book with it left turned on. You cannot be denounced
for being a couch potatoe, unless watching the TV is all that
you are doing. And I don't think that is the case. I suspect
that there is a stirring of the spiritual nature that you
deeply feel, and whatever external images you perceive cannot
do it justice.

>On the other side, a more tolerant minded
>Theosophist might say "use whatever environmental factors are
>available in your spiritual practice, regardless of how
>politically correct they might be."

The practice is not the images, nor is it in avoiding the
images. It is exploring the deep stirring of the soul, the
movements felt deep within one's heart.

A fundamentalist might say
>"Jesus is calling you to abandon the wicked occultists" for
>that matter.

This would be a somewhat silly image. There's nothing to
belittle or make fun of here.

>All opinions welcome.

Yes, but don't cringe in anticipation of "opposing answers"
before we've had a chance to reply!

>BTW, as a sidenote, when I went to India in 1990, I found the
>spiritual/psychic atmosphere of Hindu temples to be something
>more powerful than I'd ever experienced in a Christian church
>in America or Europe. But during several trips to Mexico in
>the early 1990s, I found that the Catholic cathedrals there had
>something even more evocative and moving. What I concluded
>from this is that the difference wasn't in the formulae of
>belief (after the India trip that's what I thought-- that
>Hinduism was somehow more powerful than Christianity) but
>rather in the fervor of devotion.

We pick the external forms that suit our inner life. As we
change during the years, we may change the outer forms that
we use, because a different part of ourselves is wanting its
chance to be appreciated and honored in our lives. The sense
of honoring, reverence, and silent respect for the divine stirrings
within our heart is what is important. It's the sweetness of
how our hearts sing, not the external piece of music we relate
to, that is utmost in life.

-- Eldon

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