Wouldn’t it be nice to read scriptures or prayers that are personally inspiring?
Try reading those old religious passages that once had no meaning for you. Read them with the new understanding you will learn here, which I teach much more thoroughly in my upcoming book, Awaken Your Soul, and here on my website tedorenstein.com. You will see that these prayers were never meant to be taken literally.
When I was young, I was taught to understand the Bible literally. That caused me to accept that God long ago had stopped communicating with humans. Those miraculous things happened in the days of the Bible, but they do not happen today. I now know that the spirit of Oneness, known by some as God, still speaks to us through those religious texts and through life.
The people who wrote those words were writing from the spiritual inspiration gained from connecting with their inner spiritual core of Oneness with all beings. In a manner of speaking, God was speaking through them. You can study, feel and meditate on their words to find your own spiritual connection — your godly direction — and get closer to the Oneness within you. The Oneness is what unifies you with all living things.
Think of God and Oneness
The Oneness that connects all beings is beyond words, but words can be a springboard, catapulting you to your spiritual dimension. When you hear or read a prayer, try to think of God not as an external being but as the spiritual source within all people that unifies them.
It is often difficult to understand the meaning of the words in religious scriptures because they were written hundreds or thousands of years ago in the context of their times. You must see beyond the idiosyncrasies of their times and places.
You may be saying to yourself as you read this that you have tried, but those old passages are difficult or boring. You should study them while in meditation. You will eventually find yourself miraculously open to them and actually connect with their previously hidden insights. If you do not yet know how to meditate — a form of prayer — read my blog on the subject here. at tedorenstein.com. (I also teach it more in-depth in my upcoming book, Awaken Your Soul.)
Those scripture passages were never meant to be taken literally. Words are of this earth, not of Heaven. Words are limited, and the inspired people who wrote them knew that.
There is a traditional Buddhist saying: “Words can be like fingers pointing to the moon. If you continue to look at the fingers, you will never see the moon.”
When in scripture you read of the “voice” of God, think of it as the inner inspiration received by the people in the event while they were connected to their internal spirit. It is a “voice” from within, not a dictate from an external source, nor an audible roar from a cloud.
When you read of acts of God, think of them as acts and perceptions of inspired people while they were connected to their inner spirit. Heaven is within you.
The Deeper Meaning of Scriptures
A literal interpretation of scripture misses the true value of the stories. Aside from those meant to be genealogical or historical recitations, take them as teachings of a greater point, such as the parables of Jesus. They are meant to be springboards, catapulting you beyond words. Find the spiritual meaning within them. You can find the essence of Oneness in the writings of all religions and of non-religious, spiritually enlightened people.
Reading the writings of spiritual masters is an entry form of meditation. In the first stage, you read a passage repeatedly so as to find its spiritual truths. Then you meditate upon those truths until you see their spiritual meaning. Eventually, you will no longer ponder those truths but will spontaneously and intuitively know them.
Interpret the prayers and the passages in the holy text with a new understanding, and let that lead you to divine inspiration. You must focus on every word and phrase, hovering over it, repeating it, and meditating upon it until you can hear the word of God within it. Do it until it touches your soul.
Read them over and over and study them until you discover the spiritual meaning within them. You can find your more profound understanding of your inner Oneness within the prayers of all faiths.
You can be selective with the passages you ponder. For example, some parts of the Bible were meant to be a recitation of the rules and regulations of day-to-day life. Aside from those types of passages, there are many scriptures that can lead you to your spiritual self. Start with those with which you have felt had a deeper meaning to you. Or choose one that remains mysterious to you and give it additional time and thought.
Don’t just read them and continue on — the full meaning won’t come all at once. With some passages, your understanding will grow deeper and deeper as you recite them over and over and meditate upon them. Discuss them with others. Study them until you see their spiritual underpinnings and the word of God shines through.
The wisdom within spiritual texts can help you look deep within yourself, and they can guide you toward your godly inner place and your life’s meaning and purpose. Much of what I am communicating here came to me while immersing myself in Biblical and other spiritual writings of people who have found The Path.
For instance, in Psalm 27, David says, “when the wicked, my enemies come upon me and those evildoers feed upon my flesh, they have stumbled, fallen.” Do we take this literally? Does this describe people biting him and some magic power that made people fall?
Search for the meaning within the words. If someone is so angry as to figuratively “eat the flesh” of another, can you imagine the degree of anger seething within them? Who does that really hurt?
A person who practices loving kindness and “walks in the truth,” as David says in Psalm 26, does not walk in fear of evildoers. He who “offers sacrifices of joy” spreads happiness to others. He is within the light of the unity of all. That person will rise above the tumult and the negativity and will be calm, happy, and content because he understands the nature of hate.
He understands that the barbs thrown by the haters cannot really harm him. They, in fact, really hurt those who do the hating. To hate and do evil, a person must really be hurting deeply inside. Thus they stumble and fall, as in the passage.
As you study a spiritual passage, let the voice rise from the page and enter your soul. It will give you insight into the nature of something meaningful.
Try this exercise:
- Read a passage literally. Imagine you are involved in what is described and consider how that would affect your life.
- Meditate over it for five minutes.
- Reread it and consider its hidden spiritual meaning. What is the message?
- Spend five minutes writing about that spiritual meaning.
- Meditate upon what you wrote and expand upon your writing.
- Read the passage again. How does it help your spiritual development?
There are many books written by people inspired by their revelation of the One. The more you read, especially while meditative, the more you will progress along your path to spiritual enlightenment.
While spiritual texts can help, only you can make the leap out of your ego to the Oneness of your inner spirit.
You can be lifted beyond yourself, beyond your ego, closer to the Light, closer to enlightenment, away from your petty fears, jealousies, and the things that make you small and unhappy. Your soul includes your personality, but your spirit is the pure Oneness freed from your ego, from desire, and from failure.
You may find that you experience God in a way that you never have before. You may find that you see God for the first time — not through your physical eyes, but in the manner spoken of in the holy books of all spiritual traditions.
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