LIVING THE SOULFUL LIFE
By Scott Kalechstein
How Spiritual Are You? (A Pop Quiz)
Questions, questions, questions!
You know, am I flowing properly towards spiritual enlightenment, or am I stuck dead in the water until I stop succumbing to those slices of pizza in between my perfectly balanced raw food, macrobiotic meals? Am I helping transform the world even though I don’t do yoga and still use a pillow to keep my back straight during the few minutes that I manage to meditate every other day? To put it simply, am I making real progress on the path, or am I just playing with my crystal balls? We’ve all asked these kinds of questions, but where to go for answers!? Your own inner voice, you say? Yes, but how about you forget that for now and take my quiz instead. I have designed a precise, scientifically accurate test to reveal exactly where you stand on the spiritual scoreboard. Answer each question only after serious contemplation and sincere self-evaluation. Here goes:
(1) What is spiritual growth?
A) Something mysterious that happens to people who make the trek to India or who spend quality time with themselves in nature with their cell phones and pagers turned off. B) An etheric tumor found in the auric field of someone who takes himself too seriously. C) A natural and inevitable part of the evolution of humanity, which can be speeded up by any seeker who is willing to meditate regularly, spend at least thirty percent of their income on personal growth workshops, and get over their judgments about tofu. D) It doesn’t matter.
(2) I’m involved with spiritual growth to…
A) Do my part in healing the world by healing myself. B) Become enlightened and finally transcend being triggered by George Bush. C) Open myself up as a channel, have conversations with God, write them down, sell huge amounts of books, and become a multi-millionaire philanthropist who doesn’t care about money. D) It doesn’t matter.
(3) I am answering these questions so I can…
A) Sincerely evaluate how spiritual I am. B) Get all the answers right and feel superior to most of humanity. C) Play along with Scott and get an insight into his uniquely warped mind. D) It doesn’t matter.
(4) What in life should be approached most seriously?
A) Healing this planet of hatred and negativity, damn it! B) Oh, I’ve already learned never to take anything seriously . . . unless, of course, someone disagrees with me. C) To me life is one big joke, but I still have to meditate four hours each day to remember the punch line. D) It doesn’t matter.
(5) Do I really think my spiritual progress can be judged?
A) Yes, but only by the Supreme Court. B) ‘Spiritual progress’ is an oxymoron. Our oneness with Spirit cannot be progressed towards because it is already so, eternal, unchanging, here and now. C) You can’t rate one’s spirituality, and if you try, you aren’t very evolved. D) Is this a trick question? This whole thing’s getting too Zen for me! E) It really doesn’t matter. Now it’s time to gather up your answers and face Scott’s Final Judgment. The ‘right’ answer to each of these questions, the choice that consistently brings peace and earns you a place in the Kingdom of Heaven, here and now, all expenses paid, is (drum roll, please) . . . IT DOESN’T MATTER.
Allow me to explain:
All matter is made up of energy, and energy cannot be created or destroyed. It just changes form. A Course In Miracles puts it another way. “Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.” The quantum physicists and spiritual mystics have met at the top of the mountain and have joyously agreed — nothing really matters.
Realizing that it doesn’t matter frees us to frolic with lightheartedness and levity in the world. It has been said that angels fly because they take themselves lightly. Perhaps we are here to transform our soap operas into musical comedies and, in so doing discover our wings.
My wings are often obscured by the weight of my worries. For instance, sometimes I worry that after I die I am going to look back and evaluate my life, or worse, God will. Either way, my fear is that I will get failing grades in at least several major subjects and have to come back and go through acne again. And yet my intuition whispers that there is nothing to worry about, that when we leave our bodies we experience a compassion so vast that critical self-evaluation and fear of God’s judgment vanish just like darkness disappears in the presence of light.
When we believe in a God of conditional love who judges us in the end, we tend to evaluate ourselves harshly, giving ourselves low or even failing grades, perhaps secretly hoping that God (or even other people) will see us being hard on ourselves and go easier on us. Many of us are cross-examining ourselves on a regular basis. A stern inner critic gives the exams, and usually gives no mercy when grading them. Two of the more popular inner interrogations are “How successful am I?” and “How loveable am I?” Those of us into personal growth have added “How Spiritual am I?” to our mid-terms. In fact, it is probably these kinds of mid-term exams that lead to mid-life crises. Oh, how the makers of Prozac profit from the popularity of judgment!
Levity can be particularly helpful in bringing my cross-examinations to the light and dissolving them of ‘matter’. I may not always be able to stop taking my critic’s exam, but I can stop taking it seriously.
In the end, life is far too important to be taken seriously. Sooner or later, in the here-after or the here-now, all of us will face Non-judgment Day, the time when we meet our Maker, and boy, is She blissed!
With his musical, ministerial, speaking, and healing gifts, Rev. Scott Kalechstein makes his living preparing the planet for Non-Judgment Day, as prophesied by his Guru, Swami Beyondananda. Contact Scott at (760) 753-2359, firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.scottsongs.com for more laughter, inspiration, and in-formation.
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