"I believe today more than ever a book should be sought after even if it has only one great page in it. We must search for fragments, splinters, toenails anything that has ore in it, anything that is capable of resuscitating the body and the soul." Henry Rollins
That's how I read most books searching for that little bit of information that will take me to the next step. Books hold different meanings for different people. I can read a book and think certain passages are quite profound; whereas the next person will find completely different passages enlightening.
Fellow blogger, Thurman, suggested a book for me to read. Our crappy library in town didn't have the book that he recommended, but had other books by the same person. The book I am currently reading, Paramahansa Yogananda In the Sanctuary of the Soul A Guide to Effective Prayer is a book like that will mean many things to many different people.
When I first opened the library book, someone had underlined what was apparently important and meaningful passages...to them. The person marred the book in, thank goodness, pencil. My first order of business was to undo with my pink pearl the vandalism done onto this library book.
Yes, books and words can have a profound effect on us. As a writer, that's the effect that I hope to have on others, but it's really uncool to write in a library book. Buy the book and mark it up if you must. Better yet, take notes in a journal. Make comments and reflections. I guarantee that it will mean more in the future if you ever revisit it.
Okay, with that said and off my chest I would like to share with you how some of the personal ore in this book has got me reflecting.
Paramahansa Yogananda states, "The world's various religions are based more or less on the beliefs of man."
Wow. I love validation. In an earlier post, I commented how all writings (referring specifically to the bible) can be manipulated and that I refuse to accept a religion that is based on a book written by man. For the very reason that Paramahansa Yogananda states. Books are written by people and people slant their writings to what they personally believe. Even me.
I'm not saying that the bible is a wash. It's the perfect book with mystery, advice, myth, historical fiction, drama, history, etc, but to take the translation literally and tell folks that they are going to hell if they don't believe the bible is the salvation etc, etc, etc seems a little over the top for me.
Paramahansa Yogananda has some great thoughts. As I read though, I am having to look past his use of primarily God as a male figure using words like "He ,Him, and Father." I consider the Divine to be gender neutral neither male nor female as we know male and female.
Even Paramahansa Yogananda says that we are created in God's image and that we are children of God. He teaches, "You are an immortal being. You are neither a man nor a woman, as you may think, but a soul, joyous, eternal." If we are created in God's image and we are neither a man nor a woman, than God is neither a man nor a woman.
Many people are writing about the Goddess and reconnecting with the Divine Feminine within themselves. It wasn't too long ago that the feminine along with the masculine thrived in all of us and was the norm. As folks awaken to the Feminine Spirit, many good changes will happen on this Earth. As we heal, the Earth heals.
I am not criticizing Paramahansa Yogananda. He tells the truth. I am saying that when reading him, try to see past the weighted usage of masculine terminology and allow the feminine aspect of the Divine to speak through his teachings, too. He writes, "We have seemingly become separated from our Father...(the reason for yoga is) to regain the lost paradise of soul consciousness by which man knows that he is, and ever has been, one with Spirit."
It is more than that we, as humans, feel that we have become separated from our Father. The bigger problem is that we have allowed ourselves to feel cut-off from Mother. It is through the reconnection with the Divine Spirit, masculine and feminine aspects that we reach soul consciousness, which has never left us. The Divine Feminine is like the tiniest of seeds and once the seed is planted, begins to grow whether one is aware of it or not. Once the light enters the dark chasm, there is no more darkness.
As always, I feel immense gratitude to fellow scribes and philosophers for without their courage to share their wisdom and thoughts, the ore may remain buried.
As always, thanks for reading.