My thoughts on prayer rattle on as I attempt to find some sense in the practice. I am trying to put aside much of what I’ve learnt up to this point and approach prayer with a blank sheet in front of me. My issue is that so much of what I have learnt on the journey to this point really doesn’t stand up now I know what I know. And the contradictions that exist! Just a thought but wouldn’t it be wonderful if life came fitted with a reset button we could push and start over. I mean, so many devices now come with a reset option which can be, oh, so very useful.
OK. This is where the journey has brought me so far. I am now thinking that prayer is an expression of the relationship that we have entered into with the Divine, the Universe. It should not be a stand alone activity that we do when we go to a “prayer meeting”. It’s not something that requires a ritual to achieve. Indeed, if there is a ritual involved hasn’t the focus shifted to the individual rather than God? The necessity of going through a process of preparation, for me, speaks against the possibility of intimate relationship. Like, you can have my attention but first you have to jump through these hoops, climb this mountain, swim this sea.
Relationship is where I have arrived at in my journey to understand prayer. The greater the intimacy the deeper the prayer and, may I dare to suggest, there is a place where words cease to be necessary and a deeper form of communion takes over. This possibility makes so much sense of texts such as “Be still and know that I am God”.
Have you ever wished you could put into words the things you are feeling? Emotions run deep and words loose their adequacy when trying to describe these. Feelings fill our worlds and defy explanation. Think, what if you could share these raw feelings without anything being lost in translation?
There is much written about the Universe being made of energy (please don’t let the term ‘energy’ distract you. But do realise that we have personified God and made something of God that is limiting. And this is due to our limit understanding). But then, God is purest energy and gives rise to everything. Energy manifest in many ways depending on its vibration. The faster or higher the vibration the purer it is. At a human level things such as depression, low self worth, bitterness are manifestations of low energy whilst love, courage, humility are found at higher energy, higher vibrations, which increases until we achieve higher consciousness and find the God force, ultimate energy. Hold this thought for a moment.
I believe, indeed my experience has taught me that God is a noisy god. God communicates continually. All about us, moment by moment we have the possibility of being ‘spoken’ too. It’s an integral reality of our world. But we don’t hear so we deny God, or at best, as said in our last letter on Prayer, we default to ‘I didn’t hear anything so God was obviously saying “No”‘. You read my thoughts on that position didn’t you? Listen, my radio isn’t playing that sweet rock music I like so, I retune it and, violå, I’m a happy rocker. My prayer life…sucks…so I retune it?
Those who lack the courage will always find a philosophy to justify it.Albert Camus
It sounds easy? The fact that I and, I suspect, so many others spend inordinate amounts of time struggling to understand prayer, be enlightened, achieve a higher consciousness, live life unaffected by the debris, is, perhaps, a testimony to the fact that it isn’t. That we emulate those few who appear to achieve this, be they priest, mullahs, yogis, gurus, whatever, amplifies this fact.
Where do we go from here?
Let me ask, if you’ve spent years blandly acknowledging the existence of an ultimate deity, the occasional flurry of prayer when life got tough, then what do you know about God? Or maybe you have compartmentalised life as so many have and do god stuff on certain days and at set times and live life as you always have the rest of the time. Putting our ‘godding’ in a box is so useful as it stops it interfering with the rest of life, don’t you agree. Or perhaps, up until now, you’ve just denied God’s existence. Whatever, the radio needs retuning if you’re going to have a functioning prayer life. This is going to take work.
The simplest way to understand the situation (simple being good) is to think of a time in your life when you met a person who was, shall we say, different, in a good way. Interesting, exciting. Brought a degree of comfort into your life. Maybe even made you feel all warm and fuzzy when you were with them. Made you want to be a better version of yourself. You began to change.
Whether one moves slowly or with speed, the one who is a seeker will be a finder.Rumi
Now transfer these thoughts to the Divine and imagine what is about to happen if you start hanging out with God. You’ll change. Your energy level will rise. As said, the possibility of God consciousness exists. Believe me you’ll change and for the better. You won’t have to work at making the change and this is where religion fails with its rules for behaviour. Don’t work at keeping rules, work at being in relationship. How? Well how would you go about it (did you go about it?) with that special person we just imagined? There’s your starting point, a good starting place.
So, having reached a good starting place I leaving you until the next letter.
Yours, fiddling with the radio dials,