I seem to be going through a time in life where I want to dig deeper. Years ago I would have thought there wasn’t much point in asking questions about things we may never get solid evidence about. I have come to the conclusion that we may never know all there is to know about spiritual matters. There are many theories and religious beliefs that may not be true. I believe that there are also many truths to be found in learning from one another. I rather wish that the different opinions that we all have can be shared without judgment. I wish we could all smile and shrug our shoulders and say to one another, ‘This is what I think may be true’ or ‘This is just my opinion.’ We can then in turn respond by saying, ‘I think your opinion is a fascinating one! Tell me more.’ or ‘I am not sure I agree with what you are saying but I can see how you came to your conclusions and it’s definitely fuel for thought.’ or something like that. Mutual respect. Honouring one another. Going one step further…let’s not dismiss someone’s thoughts simply because they are not in line with our religious or spiritual beliefs. Why? We may have something wrong ourselves!
This morning I was reading a book on spirituality. I won’t say what it is but I will say that I am enjoying how the author explains his thoughts, how he also explains how he’s come to some conclusions and I really love his writing style. However, his thoughts on one particular subject are not in line with my religious beliefs. Do I get angry, stop reading declaring it to be utter rubbish? No. I am fascinated by his opinions. I am wishing I could have an actual conversation with him and ask him more questions about his belief for the simple reason that I am interested in what this man thinks. I respect his opinion and see his spirit as one who is sincerely choosing to walk a path of enlightenment. Who am I to say he is wrong in his beliefs and I am right? We each have our own experiences therefore our beliefs may come from those points of reference. I also see truth in a lot of what he has to say. This is actually the second book I have read by this author and this book makes me respect him more.
I have come across people who often fear the opinions of others. They denounce them as wicked or wrong or foolish or dangerous. Ok, so perhaps sometimes it is hard not to judge when an opinion seems ludicrous. However, we can still listen from a place of love and respect. I volunteer for an organization that looks after the elderly. I visit an elderly widower who is lonely and has not gotten over his wife’s death which happened four years ago. The gentleman has vascular dementia and suffers a bit from anxiety. Although he is in his 80’s, it seems he is new to pondering about life after death. Sometimes, he says things which seem a bit odd. When he asked me if I thought there would be racial segregation in heaven, I was more than a bit shocked and it must have showed in my face at first because he looked surprise at my reaction but then I smiled at him and told him that God is love therefore he loves all people no matter what race they are. However, I try not to correct every thing he says. He tells me often that he feels his dead wife is visiting him and helping him find things he has lost. I recognize that this idea brings him a lot of comfort so I show my interest in what he is saying and affirm that I believe his wife still loves him and is thinking of him.
I often fantasize about having a dinner party with lots of people of different spiritual beliefs that stem from love. I fantasize how we all get along and discuss with interests all our beliefs and thoughts and listen attentively with love and respect to one another. Could this happen? Can a dinner party such as this maintain a sense of dignity and honour and not result in put downs, hurt feelings or discord of any kind? One day, I hope yes!