Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Life's Final Exam

One of my favorite thoughts from Buddhism is the idea of discovering the face we had before our parents were born. This is the face of the true self. The true self is who we are in God. Unfortunately, the face that we present and that others see is usually the face of our false self. It is not who we really are. The process of becoming a Buddha, or an "enlightened one" is to peel away the layers of the false self and discover our true self. This process of awakening is part of all spiritual journeys, regardless of the tradition. All Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews and Hindus are all seeking this in some fashion. What would our world be like if we all attained this state of awakening? What would daily life be like if we were all our true and good selves? The world would never be dark, and evil would cease to exist, because we would all be glowing and full of goodness. The point of all spirituality and spiritual practices is not to rack up brownie points with God. God doesn't need anything from us. The point of the spiritual life is the transformation of the human heart. You can go to church ten times a day but if nothing is happening or changing within you, you may as well go to the track. Everything in the spiritual life, and the transformation of the human heart, is all about love. If there's no love, there's no spiritual life. If your spiritual life and your daily living are not making you a more loving person, you're spinning your wheels and you are stuck in the mud. I think life's final exam will only have a few questions. It won't matter what you were in life. God won't say, "Buddhists to the right, Hindu's to the left. Christians, Muslims, and Jews, go to the head of the line. The only thing that will matter is who we were and how well we can answer the following questions.

Did you let go of your ego? How much did you love? Did you live with joy? Did you forgive? Did you notice the color purple? Were you grateful for all the beauty in life?

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