Yes! Very good stuff here, QB. Thank you.quietblue wrote:The practical test of all these strange religious experiences of mysticism, ecstasy, and inspiration is to observe whether these phenomena cause an individual:
1. To enjoy better and more complete physical health.
2. To function more efficiently and practically in his mental life.
3. More fully and joyfully to socialize his religious experience.
4. More completely to spiritualize his day-by-day living while faithfully discharging the commonplace duties of routine mortal existence.
5. To enhance his love for, and appreciation of, truth, beauty, and goodness.
6. To conserve currently recognized social, moral, ethical, and spiritual values.
7. To increase his spiritual insight--God-consciousness.
True religion is not a system of philosophic belief which can be reasoned out and substantiated by natural proofs, neither is it a fantastic and mystic experience of indescribable feelings of ecstasy which can be enjoyed only by the romantic devotees of mysticism. Religion is not the product of reason, but viewed from within, it is altogether reasonable. Religion is not derived from the logic of human philosophy, but as a mortal experience it is altogether logical. Religion is the experiencing of divinity in the consciousness of a moral being of evolutionary origin; it represents true experience with eternal realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfactions while yet in the flesh.
You know.....at the end of the day, I don't think these kind of labels serve me as they may serve some of you. I feel mostly like a regular human who has all of the desires listed above but who thinks about it in rather simple terms. I know I am not the smartest tool in the shed. I know I will never be a great intellectual. I can bearly hold my own in these deeper conversations. But I know about the truth that is written on the inside of me .... and it isn't something that is a product of rational thinking or intellectual conclusions. When I hear truth, I think I recognize it. It kinda resonates inside me and I see the fruit of it as it expands and directs me.
This earth life is awfully confusing. So many different perspectives and groups and people who think so many varied and opposite thoughts!! I can't make sense of all of it. Sometimes I feel like each division is focused on some wedge of truth....some portion that excites and fulfills. But it seems at times off balance and missing a centeredness....something that really resonates and appeals to me. I think I would rather see things as they really are even if I can't see that far. And I think in the end, it is the simpleness in my thinking that means the most. Mostly, I feel much like a child that hears the long expansive parental oratory and who says at the end, "ok...but can I just do what God wants me to?"