What do You Know For Sure
The other day I was flipping through the channels, and I came across some sort of special involving Oprah. It was an extremely interesting segment, where Oprah was really opening up regarding her background, her spiritual path, etc. One thing that really struck me was when she asked the interviewer (and the audience at large) a very simple, yet profound question, “What do you know for sure?”
This seemingly simple question really got me to think about my own life, background, and spiritual path. It also made me ask myself several questions. First, have I really progressed, even after many years of seeking and practice? Second, have I really come to any greater understanding of myself or the universe than I had a decade ago? Third, is there anything that I can definitively say for sure?
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am in the process of editing a book that I have been working on since 2004, where I really explore the teachings of the eight major world religions, and discuss how I have used those teachings in my own path. The editing process has been extremely interesting, because I can literally see how my views and thoughts have changed, sometimes drastically, regarding God, the spiritual path, and even who I really am. There have been portions that even at eight years old still remain relevant and accurate to me, while there are sections that are less than a year old, that I have heavily revised and updated.
So to answer the question on whether or not I have progressed, I guess that depends on what I mean by “progressing”. Too often, we tend to try and categorize things so that we can plot out our progression or regression. However, when it comes to the spiritual path, our journey only ends when we die, but I can at the very least say that I am a happier person, and my wife seems to think that I have become calmer, more rational, and more loving, so I’ll count that as a success!
Regarding whether or not I have come to any greater understanding of myself or the universe, I have to say that I have, or at the very least I have become comfortable with paradoxes. I believe that through meditation and introspection, I have begun to understand who “I” truly am, as well as how I am unique, yet interconnected with all of creation.
So what do I know for sure? Really, there are only three things that I can say I know for sure. 1) I believe that we each have a purpose in life, and the driving force behind that purpose is to be happy. My pursuit of true happiness is what started my spiritual seeking to begin with, and has been the driving force of my pursuit to live in the now. 2) At the very least there is a divine force that is the creative energy behind the universe. Now then, I am open to debate on what this divine force (God) is or isn’t, and I’m sure that my views on what God ultimately is or isn’t will continue to change and adapt. I also know that I will never know all there is to know about God, and I’m Okay with that. 3) That giving and receiving love and compassion are vitally important in order to make ourselves happy, as well as those around us.
These questions also got me thinking about my son, and whether or not I am properly facilitating his own development. While some people might think this to be silly or premature since my son is only three, but I feel it is my absolute duty to ensure that he knows that he is loved, as well as assist him in becoming the best person he can be. Perhaps I can even assist him in avoiding some of the pitfalls that I experienced in my youth? Or, perhaps those things that I view as a “pitfall” where actually instrumental in making me who I am today, so perhaps pitfalls are intrinsically necessary. However, I know that I will always be there to love and support him, and I will do my best to make sure that he knows that.
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.” – Albert Einstein
Practical Tip: Ask yourself the simple question, “What do I know for sure”. Ask yourself this question, and use it to really examine your beliefs. Don’t be afraid to tackle the tough questions, the things that you think you really know, yet have never examined critically. Sometimes the greatest discoveries come only after breaking down barriers that we never knew existed.
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