What Do You Believe In?
I was once asked by my Guru to reflect upon the statement,” I believe in only one God.” It is a seemingly simple statement. However, upon closer scrutiny I became more and more aware of the serious nature and complexity of this statement.
I began by examining the word, “believe” Believe means to consider, to think, to suppose, deem or judge. If I believe in something then I accept it as true. I come with a certain trust and sense of faith. It means I walk forward with a certain sense of conviction and confidence. It denotes dedication, reliance and commitment. The opposite of belief is doubt. It means I don’t allow reservations, suspicions or skepticism to enter my thoughts, or my words or my actions. If I take a belief to heart, then it means that nothing is permitted to come between me and my belief. It means that when I open my mouth to speak there is a clear and discernable sincerity that can be strongly felt. There is evidence of this belief in the manner in which I carry myself……..in my body language……in the way I dress and my tone of voice. To believe is powerful!
Then I looked carefully at the word ”only” in the sentence. “Only” means simply, purely, and no more than. It infers an exclusivity that is complete and whole and entirely unto itself. It is not partial, it is absolute. There is no second string as in a soccer team, no stand-in, no babysitter……..no substitute. There is only the one God. Nothing and no other god can squeeze its way in to usurp attention.
And then I had to ask myself, “who or what are the other gods who might try to force entry?” We don’t normally think of the media as a god, but think about the myriad directions in which it sends our minds. “Do this and you’ll be forever young”. “Follow this path and you’ll always get what you want.” It can manipulate and cajole us into believing just about anything. It can take us on a ride that lasts a lifetime. Think about the powerful impact pictures of the perfect model of a human being has on us. Pictures of this nature are seen in every fashion magazine across the country. Trillions of dollars and thousands of hours of personal time and energy are spent each year on beauty aids for those who are lured by the god of beauty.
Make no mistake about it, these “other” gods come disguised in an infinite variety of forms and causes that constantly beckon our attention. We are bombarded daily with all kinds of pleas to do this or that or the other and we have to sort through it all and pick just a very few areas in our lives in which we would like to delve deeper. There’s no time for much else. We really have to be choosy these days! Our fast-paced, highly technological society demands it. So, the question becomes, “where do you want to put your life energy?” What is important to you? What do you believe in?
*This article appeared in the Tallahassee Democrat September 25, 2010
In thinking about this article for today’s times in the middle of this pandemic……it is challenging to say the least to hold my center……and yet I know I can do it….and so can you. We are in Kali Yuga………the world outside is in constant flux…….let it do its thing. Ultimately we live inside our own minds and are capable to create an environment that supports love, peace and hope. Change is the nature of material existence……….LET IT BE.
Through the process of our yoga practice we begin to create an inner space, an inside opening………..as a way to honor ourselves and clear the mind static and open to the deeper teachings which are embedded into our original memory….the divinity which dwells within.
Lakulish Yoga Tallahassee
2320 Apalachee Parkway
Tallahassee, FL 32301