“Living and Growing.” What an inviting column title. Living and growing is what we are all doing every day. We are all given the gift of life (living). If we try to answer the question of how to best live this life while we are here, we embark on “growing.” In this process of growing, at least some of us (me) end up searching for truth with a capital “T.”
How does one find truth with a capital “T?”
For most of my life I have been a member of Eckankar. Harold Klemp, the spiritual leader of Eckankar, writes in a booklet entitled “Spiritual Wisdom on Prayer, Meditation, and Contemplation:” “Learn to go inside yourself because this is the source of truth … this is where you meet with the Holy Spirit, the Voice of God. If you are a member of any other religion, you have a means of going to the holy of holies, whether it’s meditation or contemplation or prayer … Go to the holy of holies. It’s the temple inside you. This is the place where all truth comes from.” He also says, “Basically, it’s opening your heart to God or the Holy Spirit and listening.” Truth is defined by the ECKANKAR dictionary entitled “A Cosmic Sea of Words the ECKANKAR Lexicon” by Harold Klemp as “truth: The ESSENCE, SPIRIT, SOUL, and life of everything that exists… Itself unchangeable and immortal….”
One morning on the car radio, I listened to news commentators discussing President Trump’s denouncing before Congress hate crimes including the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries. In spite of Trump’s words, I felt a gripping fear that my minority religion made me vulnerable to social sanctions and that my government would not protect me. I did not want to write this column or have my picture attached to it. I figured that a person would only have to Google my name and the newspaper column would come right up, and it would come up for decades. I felt like a sitting duck. Now I had several problems. My fear was limiting not only my freedom of speech but also my freedom of religion. Even worse, fear for me, acts as a barrier to going within and connecting with the Holy Spirit. Fear limits my ability to hear truth.
Eckankar is a path of love, not fear and as Harold Klemp states in another little booklet entitled “Spiritual Wisdom on Conquering Fear” (I love this series of booklets): “When fear is a dominant player in your life, it steals the joy and freedom of living … too afraid to live and too scared to die …Yet occasionally there come these little beams of light, sunshine shining into our lives. And this is the love of God. When we can fill ourselves with the love of God more and more, finally there is no more room in our heart for the darkness of fear.” How do we fill ourselves with the love of God? There are many answers to that question. Harold Klemp offers one answer in the same booklet on conquering fear. “In contemplation visualize the golden light of God coming into your heart center, coming in so quietly and gently that you may not realize it’s there. Imagine your heart center reacting like the pupil of an eye, opening gently to allow more light to come in… You are also welcome to sing HU. HU is a love song to God and can be sung by anyone of any faith.” Singing HU (pronounced “hew” and sung in a long drawn out manner) can help you fill your heart with love and in so doing, allow that conscious connection with Holy Spirit to take place.
Living and Growing. I am so glad we are engaged in this process together. It’s so simple, so inevitable, and often not so easy.
• Margaret Vrolyk is a cleric for Eckankar. Eckankar is the religion of the Light and Sound of God.