There is an ancient Chinese proverb, “better to see something once than to hear about it 1,000 times.” Its something I had to think a lot about during and after my walks on the pilgrimage routes of northwestern Spain.
It was on the Camino that I had an epiphany that God cannot be believed. God, the universe, or whichever term you would like to give it can only be experienced. With every step on these ancient paths walked by pilgrims for past centuries the conviction grew that there is a force so much greater than the human mind can comprehend.
Words skimming the surface of meaning
As a teenager, I grappled with traditional Christian dogma that takes the Bible teachings literally. “You must just believe and not doubt,” the pastor scolded. The human mind tends to simplify, label, dissect, and rationalize over that which cannot be explained by words alone.
The ancient languages such as Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus, Sanskrit, Egyptian, and Irish Gaelic have retained the richness of imagery and multi-lateral meaning. The ancient cathedrals and monasteries along the Camino are filled with precious works of art from an era where the observer found his/her truth in the contemplation thereof. The emphasis was not on “preaching” but in singing and chanting of liturgy.
The divide between religion and the spiritual
There is a deep divide between religious dogma and the spiritual. Religion is embedded mostly within an external theology while the spiritual is experiential and rooted in the mysticism of the ancients. The tradition survives in the Christian mystical teachings, Sufism, the Jewish Kabbalah, and Buddhist mysticism. Practise of certain rituals, meditation and the “mystical experience” through higher consciousness creates the connection to God or the Universe.
Find your own inner truth
Finding your own truth and reconnecting to your own natural rhythm is the big challenge of our times. With the pull of the monkey mind with its 10000 distractions flickering from every digital screen, and pulling the mind into many different directions, we are left with a feeling of emptiness and spiritual hunger that is often compensated with addictive behavior.
Happiness is a state of “Being” and not something to be achieved, found in the silence on holy ground, in the green and blue spaces of nature, the opening of the senses to the magic of the moment.
In becoming mindful for the subtle messages of the universe transmitted in dreams, images and symbols, life takes on an entirely different meaning.
Reino Gevers – Author. Mentor. Speaker