Posted by: rusch | August 13, 2005

From within; Instead of without

In my travels around this great world of ours, I have found that there are many different kinds of interesting people. All of them have their strengths; their weaknesses; their ups; their downs and in general everything that makes them human beings.

For the most part, I like people most of the time. I have a variety of friends from different countries, different ages, and from all walks of life. What I like about them is that they are all different, they keep me entertained, and most of all, keep me interested in the human race and keep me from becoming a hermit.

There are two groups of people that I would like to discuss that have made an impression on me. They are, those that cultivate spirituality from within; and those that count on external sources for spiritual enrichment.

When you spend a lot of you time among the religious, and if you are observant enough, you will begin to notice some striking characteristics of that both possess.

Those that are dependant on external sources run from one event to another seeking the next spiritual experience. They count on others to study and interpret the scriptures for them. They think that spirituality comes from external sources and therefore are looking for books, tapes, music, retreats, fireside speakers, and the like that will let them feel spiritual.

While they often find what they are looking for, what they have found often does not last, and the individual is left marginally better then before. They have little understanding of their faith, great amounts of zeal, and in the end often find frustration and pain when the usual external sources can no longer satisfy their spiritual needs.

I understand this category of people because I used to be one myself. As a young man, I went to the retreats, to the Sunday night devotionals, and spent a lot of my listening to sermons on cassette (CD’s were just too expensive) in my car as opposed to the alternative rock that listened to at the time.

There was a great amount of zeal in my life, but there was little if any understanding. If asked any questions about my faith, I could not provide satisfactory answers. In many ways I repeated what I had heard others say, but my own understanding was greatly limited.

Because I was not able to, or did not know how to cultivate spirituality from within, I was often left depressed, wondering when I have the next spiritual experience.

People who cultivate spirituality from within are often much more satisfied with life. They are happier and have a better understanding of what they believe and are constantly enriching their faith through constant study and prayer.

They are able to enjoy the external sources of spirituality, but are able to take those experiences and fit them within an internal spiritual framework that the external seeker of spirituality more often then not lacks.

In the life of the cultivator, there is greater satisfaction, greater fulfillment, and a quiet commitment that surpasses the apparent and often short-lived great amounts of zeal exhibited by those who depend on external sources for spiritual fulfillment.

Those that have figured out how to have their spirituality come from within by and large stay firm in their faith, as opposed to the external seeker who quickly becomes dissatisfied and often casts aside their faith of the month because it can no longer satisfy.

The question that needs asking is how do I make the transition from being an external seeking to an internal cultivator. The answer is this; instead of being a passive listener, become a doer of things, a seeker who strikes out on their own in search of God. Instead of listening to what others have to say about the scriptures, read them for yourself.

Years ago, I had profound experience that led me to believe that I could have spiritual experiences on my own and that they were not dependant on anyone other then God and myself.

For years a copy of the Book of Mormon sat on the nightstand near my bed. I began reading the book on a whim and was surprised that I actually felt what I only experienced from external sources, except it was stronger, and more genuine. It was that day that I discovered that I could have spiritual experiences almost whenever I sought them through careful study and prayer. It was that day that I began to build a framework that has served me for years.

It is really that simple.

There will be less despair, and the seeker will be able to deal with negative things of life that plague everyone at times. They will be more likely to learn from, be strengthend by them, and move on with life a better person then before.

Do not think for a second that you must be dependent on others to increase faith, and to have powerful experiences.

Until next time, take the time study. Take the time to pray. Start to act and cease to be acted upon.

In the end, you will be a better person then you were before, and you will have a greater sense of fulfillment regarding your faith then you ever thought possible.


Responses

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