Monday, 2 March 2015

Speaking to God, listening to God

In The Doors' song, The Soft Parade, Jim Morrison states categorically that YOU CANNOT PETITION THE LORD WITH PRAYER. Well, apart from me having an issue with the concept of 'Lord' (so feudal - why not 'Chief Executive Officer of the Universe?' - equally laughable), I disagree with the late Jim. Indeed, God is not a cosmic wishing-well to pour in our wants. Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof asked God whether it would spoil some vast eternal plan if he were a wealthy man. Evidently it would have, as his plea was not fulfilled by the end of the musical.

But petitioning God for higher levels of awareness and understanding is right and proper. And basic human needs - health, work, companionship. Nationhood? "If you will it, it is no dream," said Theodor Herzl of the State of Israel. "Ojczyznę wolną/Rać nam wrócić Panie", the last line of the hymn sung at Mass during Poland's partitions and communist occupation. Does God listen to patriots, or is strong will in itself enough to alter history?  If we pray for peace, will our prayers be answered? Why Auschwitz...? Is prayer an individual matter or a collective one?

Prayer is a dialogue; I do believe there is a back-channel, but you must be prepared and open to listen to it. Ask the right question, in the right, spiritual, frame of mind, reflect upon it in silence, and listen to the wisdom embedded in all those atoms of which you are made. The moment you realise that you are listening to God is the moment that an unbidden thought - one that you have not cogitated upon - enters your consciousness. It may not be what you have been seeking. It may only be a partial answer, or a clue to consider another way. You may find the answer disappointing, confusing, exhilarating. But you must know that it is the answer. You must be sure of its authenticity; that it is not wishful thinking nor self-justification. It may take weeks, it may even take years to hear that real voice.

In answer to my questions as to the nature of the afterlife, many years ago I heard the answer: "We are part of a continual whole." Unbidden. Just like that. Those words.

But such occurrences are rare; you have to be in the right state of consciousness, ready to receive.

And - recorded on this blog (here), another unbidden explanation, coming to me on a day of numinous wonder: "There is a seamless continuum which our souls observe through myriad eyes". Marvellous; the close presence of the Divinity.

I wrote about disasters happening when least expected. Prayer should also be about being on your guard; about considering the possibility of personal disasters, in order to avert them. Or just postpone the inevitable, postpone to a time when you are more ready to deal with them.

Next: getting into a spiritual, or transcendent, state of consciousness.

Previous post in this series: How does God speak to us?

This time two years ago:
D3200 shoots X100
[One of my most popular blog posts!]

This time three years ago:
Weekend with the Fuji X100

This time six years ago:
Sublime sunset, Jeziorki

This time seven years ago:
Dramatic sunset, Jeziorki

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