Open: I partake of spiritual wisdom and knowledge from a variety of sources and open myself to different insights.
Instruction: Open to other sources.
For the early part of my life, I was only open to spiritual and religious insights from one particular denomination of Christianity, and I know I am not the only one who has had that experience. I am also certain, especially in other parts of the world, that there are other people who were only open to one particular branch of the religion they inherited at birth. Jewish people teach their children about Judaism. Hindu people teach their children about Hinduism. Some parents might teach their children about other world religions, and for the most part we pass on what we learn. If that religious or spiritual path works for each generation, then I suppose there is no harm in not exploring other world religions. No harm, perhaps, but on the other hand, we might be missing out on other concepts and teachings that might enhance our spiritual/religious path and offer new insights. They could give us different mental pictures and understandings to clarify our thoughts in order to bring us closer to The Divine.
As a dedicated Christian, I committed myself to reading the Bible from beginning to end in a year’s time, and I continued that practice for several years. There were a lot of boring days when I read about the lineage of families that meant little or nothing to me. What I have discovered is that there is a lot of other religious material that I could have been reading instead of finding out who begat whom. Instead, I could have been reading, for example, Zen stories that were similar in nature to the parables of Jesus, and those stories could have provided practical advice for how to live in peace. I could have been reading stories of Native American spirituality and how it survived in spite of the efforts of missionaries and the government to wipe it out. I could have learned that my specific branch of Christianity was not the only religion, or even the only form of Christianity, that was taught and believed by the entire world. I could have learned that when anyone said or implied that they had found the only way Home, chances were someone, and maybe everyone, who claimed divine exclusiveness was mistaken.
Today’s Assignment is to take time to let your mind open to the possibility that there might be value in other religious/spiritual belief systems. If this thought doesn’t resonate with you today, then let it go and come back to it at a later time. Perhaps it might make sense later, perhaps not. We have no desire to rescue those who do not want or feel they need to be rescued (see Step Thirteen).
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