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Posts Tagged ‘Spirituality’

Spirituality to me is the search to know our true selves, our identity and to discover the real nature of consciousness. This quest has been the foundation of all the great spiritual teachings, and the goal of all the great mystics. Throughout the history of humanity it has been said that the self we know is a very limited form of identity. Ignorant of our true selves, we derive a false sense of identity from what we have, or what we do — from our possessions, our role in the world, how others see us, etc. And to create an identity we tend to take up things in due course of time. It has been rightly said that ” The value of identity of course is that so often with it comes purpose”.Because the world on which it is based is continually changing, this derived sense of identity is always under threat, and our attempts to maintain it are responsible for much of our “self-centered” behaviour.

As already said before, behind this identity is a deeper identity, what is often called the “true self”. This can be thought of as the essence of consciousness. Although our thoughts, feelings and personality may vary considerably, the essence of mind remains the same. If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person? The answer is No !! We are each very different people than we were twenty years ago, but still we feel the same sense of “I”. This sense of “I-ness” is the same for everyone, and in that respect is there something universal that we all share? Yes, our inner mind, consciousness, our souls and our sense of spirituality !!!

When we discover this deeper sense of self we are freed from many of the fears that plague us unnecessarily. Frances Moore LappeI once said ” I’ve grown certain that the root of all fear is that we’ve been forced to deny who we are”. The moment we realise that a greater inner peace, an inner security does not depend upon events or circumstances in the world around us, we become less self-centered, less needy of the other’s approval or recognition, less needy of collecting possessions and social status, and become happier, healthier and more loving people. In many spiritual teachings this is called “self-liberation”.

Most spiritual teachings also maintain that when one comes to know the true nature of consciousness, one also comes to know God. If God is the essence of the whole of creation, then God is the essence of every creature, and every person. This is why the search to discover the nature of one’s own innermost essence is the search for God.

Spiritual enlightenment is a must for every human being. And as we go on with discovering our own self, we discover our strength and weakness. And thus able to nurture all the little nuances of our life, making our life not only lot more easier but most importantly peaceful and happy. A coherent existence of mind and body is the ultimate mantra of peaceful life and the only way to attain it, is through spirituality.

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By The River Piedra I sat Down And Wept – Paulo Coelho

Spirituality, Mysticism, Optimism and Love. thy name is Paulo Coelho. After I finished reading ‘The Alchemist’ , my expectations from ” By the River Piedra I sat Down and wept…” was high and I was surely not disappointed. I could sense the same aroma of Paulo’s brilliance as I did with ‘The Alchemist’. The only difference I believe is , this novel rides high on religion.

A tale of two lovers, “By the River Piedra…….” is a beautifully crafted love story, blended with composed actions,exotic locations, powerful characters and mesmerising folklore which certainly makes it an inspiring journey. Pilar, a student in the town of Zaragoza was suffocated with her daily life until she encounters her childhood friend whom she knew since her early days in a Spanish village Soria. The plot unfolds dramatically when Pilar realises that her friend has now become a renowned spiritual leader, which embraces femininity of God – paganism (Great Mother), the ancient fertility goddess, the Virgin Mary. And not only that ,her friend has the power to work miracles as well. Meanwhile, Pilar receives an invitation from hes friend for a spiritual event in Madrid where she is faced with a blunt truth- her friend’s love for her which he harnessed right from their childhood. And as he leads her on a magical journey through the French Pyrenees,which includes stays at hostels and visits to churches and chapels, the two find themselves at the monastery at Piedra where the two had spent time as young kids.It is here Pilar begins to realize that this chance encounter is
going to transform her life forever and that her friend must ultimately choose the path of his own life, his love or his spiritual journey.

At this juncture, Paulo subtly introduces ” the other” !!! A conflict we all have within ourselves and deal with as human beings.The part of our own psyche, the confusion, sense of denial, the fear and host of other emotions that prevents us from achieving what we aim for.Just like the fear of failure in “The Alchemist” prevents us from acheiving our goal…”I am afraid that great disappointments waits me, so I prefer to dream..”. In the same way the fear of rejection prevents lovers from expressing their feelings, their love. Pilar wonders and worries, as a result of the existence of ‘the Other’ that lives within her, what will happen to the love that she has for her friend and vice verse.

The magic of Paulo’s novels lies in his characterisation…so real …so down to earth. The moment you hit the first two pages you tend to flow with the characters and actually start living their lives. The characters and situations are so well crafted that you reach to another world with their dreams and fantasies. I found myself engulfed in Pilar’s world all through and as the novel ended I felt the way I should after reading any good book- happy and satisfied.. The novels definitely gave me a high, it leaves with lot of things to feel good about, also to think and relate to your own life.
“By the River Piedra….” is great. An excellent storyline written with even more excellent techniques.It is indeed a great read, thanks to the linguistic genius of Paulo. Paulo’s underline message through this novel is simple,… there are no rules when it comes to love, as there are no rules when it comes to worshiping the Almighty.As he puts it “to love is to be in communion with the other, and to discover in that other the spark of God”. The only limitation I feel is the spiritual inclination of the novel. The presence of the Goddess in friend’s life and his dilemma of choosing Pilar’s love, or accepting the duties for the betterment of the world, might hang lillte superficially on the readers mind. Paulo also talks about discovering spirits and through these lovers,  he wants to tell his readers that anyone and everyone can speak the language of angels and perform miracles. Little difficult to comprehend his idea of religion and God though.There is always an air of mysticism that lingers in his novel and “By the River Piedra……” is no exception.Readers who are used to Paulo’s style of writing will understand the depth of his words but for others it might end up being little absurd and vague.

Nevertheless, I must admit that Paulo’s novels are anytime a pleasure. A friend of mine after reading this novel said, ” I wish I were Pilar” and goes on to add… Paulo through this book made me believe that to love someone is to love life itself…..Perfect !!!!

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