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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Preacher Man Can

I have a friend who calls me regularly for coffee. During that time, she will ask me if I would like to go to paradise or heaven. She would also add that there is not much time left, so I better decide to join them in their journey. Paradise, it is said, is free from attachments in our Earthly existence of illusions. What we experience on Earth is but a paltry comparison (to paradise). She said that once I have been to paradise, I won't want to come back to live on Earth again.

Then, as we were talking, an old lady interrupted to sell us some tissue paper. As I was digging into my pockets, I was shocked that my friend waved the old lady away. Luckily, the old lady persisted and by the time I recovered from the shock she was still there to complete our transaction. Did my friend realise that it is very likely that this old lady needs the money badly and that what she is doing is not begging, but an honorable business? We don't always have to buy tissue papers from them, but to refuse one in the middle of all the preaching just seem out of place to me somehow.

My friend is always preaching to me and yet she says that her practice is not a religion. I find that hard to reconcile. Anyway, her group is not the only one claiming to have exclusive tickets to heaven and that they are not a religion.

Why can't we let everyone live the way they want and walk their own spiritual paths? We are all unique and therefore our paths are all different. Why must religions, spiritual practices, 'fellowships' or call what you may, go out and 'convert' people? Is it so that they score some browny points with their god or merits to get closer to the heavenly gates? If one is so conscious about 'helping' others, does these 'merits' or browny points make any sense? Eventually and inevitably, these browny points will lead to promoting Fear and yet another conscious collection.

Perhaps to be in paradise, we just have to stay away from paradise and live the way we think it is worthy. I think what is worthy is only Love. The basis of all worthy and all we encounter is Love. In fact, if we take away all the sex and money, we will easily see that what is worthy is only Love. Conversely, if you want to follow any crime, follow the money and the sex.

Incidentally, I got this message from the Daily Contemplation (an email subscription):


One filled with joy preaches without preaching.

-- Mother Teresa



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What I took from one of my favourite films (I shouldn't tell you the title in case you haven't seen it) was that the protagonist chose to do what she really felt was the kind thing even if it meant losing the right to enter paradise or heaven. It resonated with my own thoughts. A friend once said, "I'm helping out for good karma." I remember thinking that the help provided could actually be insincere or self-serving. It may not mean much to me to help but so much more to the recipient. So I personally want my offer to be as sincere & honest as their gratitude.

On another note, when my father was dying, he asked a priest, "if everyone claimed they had the right way to heaven, then who's right?" The priest simply replied, "there are many maps to the same place."