The presence of soul brings the presence of God. People report this in various ways: as a sense of lightness, inner joy, an unshakable peace of mind, and many other things. The experience is personal and fluid. But there needs to be something palpable to indicate that transformation is taking place.
Some of these indicators are fairly obvious. A person who sheds fear and anxiety knows that this is happening. When any negative aspect of yourself begins to improve, you are moving forward on the path. Yet itís equally true that the soul isnít your therapist.
People make progress with their hidden anxiety and anger using Prozac and other psychotropic drugs far more than they make progress spiritually. The two areas have become blurred, in fact, to the extent that seeking God has become a kind of metatherapy. The aim is strictly to rid yourself of some inner discomfort like grief, addiction, or loneliness.
These are worthwhile goals, and certainly every means should be used to free yourself of inner pain. But thatís not the same as finding your own essence. Something positive needs to grow. Most people crave the positive so much that they are easily fooled.
They believe that a few doses of Jesus mixed with fervent prayer brings love and forgiveness. Whatís overlooked is that inner obstacles are never easy to overcome entirely. The process always follows a rhythm of give and take, forward and backward.
Jesus canít be expected to lift sin all at once. But gradually, sin Ė the guilty knowledge of being imperfect, of doing wrong and falling short of your best self Ė gives way to righteousness, the happy knowledge that your best self exists and is emerging. In the mixture of perfection and imperfection lies ordinary human existence.
Adapted from The Third Jesus: The Christ We Cannot Ignore, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).
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