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True spiritual beliefs or just a fraud?

By:Wendy Stokes
Date: Mon,25 Apr 2011
Submitter:Wendy Stokes

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Whilst delivering a talk recently to promote my book, I mentioned the word ‘evil’ and was surprised by the reaction of some members of my audience. As I completed the talk, I was challenged. “There is no such thing as evil, it is only the absence of light” I was told. I explained that when we deny that something exists, the denial does not make it go away, it just makes it more difficult to talk about it, and take action to redress. The man was adamant and quite angry that I had brought up the topic that can only throw light on a difficult to analyse subject. I went on to say that spiritual people, who believe in the Afterlife, should adhere to spiritual principles during life in the physical world and should perform good deeds and how can we know what ‘good’ is if we do not know its opposite, ie what is bad. I was told in no uncertain terms that I should not use the word ‘should’ and also that I should not judge people for their actions because they might have had a bad upbringing. However, I did explain that many people who have had a disastrous upbringing do not always resort to destructive, wilful, self-indulgent or harmful acts at very inappropriate times.
My perspective on the New Age of Aquarius is that it has lost its parameters and is not questioning the difference between right and wrong. It suits many outspoken people, some prominent, to suggest that we should not judge someone on account of their actions but this is very disempowering and flies in the face of many thousands of years of intensive spiritual thought. What do you think the word ‘spiritual’ means and how should we express this value in our lives in order to avoid being called a ‘fraud;

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Wendy Stokes said:

Hi Chrissie, Your post hits the nail on the head and pleases me immensely, thank you for kindness and consideration in your reply. You also have a path, which shines like a beacon from your words. Far be it from me to sound holier than thou! I agonise about whether I should speak about pollution due to the anger and other repercussions it so often causes which alienates people who dont wish to hear.
I was recently offered a space to say what I thought about modern spirituality and was too afraid to take it due to the hurt feelings it would cause, but I believe we should all speak our truth because absence of truth is tyranny and if we do not do so, we are being oppressed by the belief of others.
When I was called to jury service and waiting in a queue, a woman beside me said "I won't find anyone guilty?" My shocked reply was that I was privileged to live in a country which offers me the right to jury service to judge another's wrong-doing or aquit them. Without this very expensive privilege, the cheaper option is that a lawyer will do it for us. If we live in a society that is increasingly self-serving, the most vulnerable will suffer, so we must speak up, not for ourselves, but for those who cannot speak up for themselves. Evil can take many forms, exploitation, corruption, harassment, selfishness, and good also, protection of the innocent and fighting for a better world. I'm sure you do this Chrissie, as do many members of thespiritguides, as their posts also show.
Sun,03 Jul 2011,17:10:21 GMT

Chrissie Batten said:

Hi Wendy,
I agree with everything you say. And whilst you clearly describe the bigger picture of spirituality and all that it involves, my own passion for wholeness has led me to recognise we're rarely able to make one massive leap from human to spiritual ways of living. So I search for ways that I can help others through just some of the various stages and levels that lead them to recognise there's another, different life reality to that we've known, which encourages them to take a closer look at how they think and act.
The main problem seems to be that unlike us that have taken the time and made the effort to develop our soul and spirituality, others have not! Thus we have to remember that we started small and had to grow, and we needed help to find the best way to help us accept a reality that is not based within our egotistical logic.
So whilst we should be encouraged to speak our truth in appropriate ways, being too dogmatic or forceful can send people running from our message, because they've no interest or no comprehension of what we are saying! Meaning we might have missed an opportunity to create a crack in someones perception, that might have allowed them to open the door to the greater truth.
The world is based within an aggressive win or lose mentality, which if we perpetuate by our dogmatism, means we haven't changed at all. I don't believe we can make someone become more spiritual by forcing them to listen to our message, however valid we believe it to be!
But what we can do is show others by our own example what works, then maybe they will want to learn more about how to find what we've got.
You are clearly very passionate about your work Wendy. I wish you every success along your pathway!
Sun,03 Jul 2011,12:07:08 GMT

Wendy Stokes said:

Hi Chrissie, Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post. Can spirituality be separated from life, from relationships, work, politics, etc., a person on a spiritual path has a central core belief to their life and everything else in their life takes an ancilliary role to this overriding belief. Spirituality involves integrity and caring, a life that has been appraised as being of worth, of value, other than monetary value. What is wrong with judgement? We all make 1000 judgments each day, about what we eat, who we take time to be with, etc. Why should the Godhead not make judgments on his (or her) creation? Those that judge would not be judged by those who believe no judgment should take place, this gives them an unfair advantage. We would be controlled by criminals of all kinds if we did not pass over our judgments to others to do this for us. Are child rapists entitled to their warped opinions? Is the War Lord guilty of genocide to be excused? Will we allow our world to become so polluted that innocent species such as dolphins and whales, a far older species than our own, all die in pain? No, intelligent people who know the difference between right and wrong must fight evil in all its forms, speak up and not be afraid to speak our truth. Surely, consequences for selfish actions that cause others suffering unnecessarily, should be condemned! Let me know what you think please!
Sat,02 Jul 2011,20:06:00 GMT

Chrissie Batten said:

Hello Wendy.
I think your discussion covers so much more than spirituality, as it encompasses the psychology and actions of man - which often have nothing to do with being spiritual. I believe there is no 'one spiritual truth' that is clear to us yet, as we are evolving from one stage of human development into another combined state of human/spirituality, which is probably nothing like we have anticipated or been led to believe!

Times are changing rapidly for us humans, where nature and our mentality determines our next hurdle. But part of our predicament is the way we get our mind stuck in what's right, wrong, good, bad etc. Where in order to convince ourselves we are ok, because we know where we are at, we remain clouded by a false illusion that fits in with outdated ideals that support our egotistically controlled confidence.

Whereas the reality is we are all moving, changing, growing and learning, and part of our task is to learn how to allow ourselves to just go with the flow of our higher nature and spiritual guidance, because that is where the truth lies - (according to our current beliefs, which could change at any time as new spiritual evidence presents itself to us).

I believe everyone has a right to their opinion, and whether we agree with it or not, everyone is at different stages of spiritual development, where their spiritual experiences and reality of truth will differ from others. But this is okay and is how it should be, as we all have to learn in our own way.

If we are strong in our understanding of our spirituality and metaphysical world, then we really have nothing to egotistically prove to others, and so can allow others to have their own ideals about the world, but learn from our differing experiences of it.

The world is a cruel place, and always has been! But it seems there are many people who are fed up with feeling threatened and are seeking solace through their concepts of spirit. So we are all leading the way really, aren't we? We just have to ensure we don't strive to return to the past, because that's where our problems started. Whereas if we allow ourselves to enter the unknown realms, we may find a way do do things differently.

Sun,26 Jun 2011,22:54:19 GMT

Wendy Stokes said:

Dear Jan Thank you for your valuable post. Unbelievably, violence, horror and evil are sought as exciting entertainment. This desensitises people and pushes boundaries so many people do not know what is right and wrong anymore. Religion has no voice because the New Age has replaced religion in people's lives. The High Priests of Spirituality only wish to speak of abundance rather than fairness, self-centredness rather than generosity to the poor. Altruism is jeered at. So often I hear of a vicious attack on the news. "I thought it was a joke, a friend in a mask. I could not believe I was attacked/raped". Children witness thousands of acts of violence on TV before they even start school. If Lightworkers do not speak out and condemn evil, in all its forms, it will be allowed to proliferate. it has no boundaries.
Thu,26 May 2011,06:46:29 GMT

Jan Pearce said:

Hello Wendy, you are articulating many of the thoughts I have had over the past few years on the same subject. I used to work in mental health many years ago and saw some very distressing things, indeed found myself in a number of potentially dangerous situations. Life is not always as easy and pliable as some in the New Age movement would have us believe.

I often suspect, and indeed dread to be true, that the victims of people like Myra Hindley must have, at some point, looked into the eyes of their attacker and seen the presence of evil intent, at the very least. I believe that evil exists but that few of us are actually confronted by the reality of it.

My fear is that it is becoming easier, in some ways, to ignore the dark. These days we are exposed constantly to the dangers, inequalities and sadness of the world through the mass media which now exists in our lives It does bring these situations nearer but they can also appear reduced to yet another item on the TV or in the papers.

I believe that we are losing out on the potential power of kindness. It has been relegated to the past in some ways and is seen as inconsequential and 'soppy' but I regard it as a very effective way of moving through the world and, maybe, diluting the validity of evil. Some of the clever and vindictive posts on the internet, which destroy people's lives, trail evil in their wake simply because kindness, as a quality, has been demoted and shunted off to the sidelines.

Kindness can change lives and motivate people, evil merely destroys the victim and the perpetrator. I think that real spirituality requires courage and that we must accept that fact - it is not an easy one.

Sun,22 May 2011,16:46:15 GMT

Wendy Stokes said:

I agree with you Cheryl but many people are confused because we have lost the dividing line between what is right and what is wrong. People are judged on what they look like and how much money they have - rather than how kind they are. I personally think the most important message during the New Age of Aquarius is a return to true spiritual values and that lightworkers, like ourselves, must confront and challenge where we see wrongdoing or ruthless self-serving psychology masquerading as spirituality. So many of the people in the world have no clean water, little food, no education or health services, people living with disability that can be cured, mothers die in childbirth and children die of diseases that are easily cured. We cannot justiify an abundance lifestyle and call it true spirituality, surely unless we are moving the parameters massively from what was accepted in the past, in the 1950s for instance.
Sun,08 May 2011,18:30:35 GMT

Cheryl Campbell said:

We all know that they is always good and evil around us, we only have to be alive to see this.

Spirituality is not about trying to hide this fact, or pretending that it does not exist, it is about bringing spirituality into our daily lives via our thoughts, words and actions while pushing evil further into the background. Spirituality is like most things in our life, it has to be worked at and hard work is what brings success. Remember, the next time you have bad thoughts or feelings about anyone or anything, do not take action, instead, take a deep breath in, breed out a long breath, that in itself allows the bad moments to pass us by. We can all try to be good to each other while also being good to ourselves. Is that not spirituality?

Sun,08 May 2011,17:25:04 GMT

Wendy Stokes said:

Thank you to Amanda and Helen for thier contribution to the debate about good and evil. We need to understand the benefits and value of our beliefs to see if they are valid or not. Do we think that benefits and the value of our spiritual path should be entirely about ourselves in some narcissistic way? Can this be considered a spiritual path, or it is just self-indulgence? Fear, ego and greed are all different values, some have some more than others, psychopaths have no fear, great ego and lots of greed, for instance but this is not spirituality and more than just a passing 'dark moment'. How do we define a spiritual life path? A mature adult needs boundaries, morals and ethics to live a harmonious and 'balanced' life, is this enough or does a spiritual person need to do something, act in some way to prevent suffering in the world?
Wed,27 Apr 2011,11:59:38 GMT

Amanda said:

People often neglect the definition of and talking about the 'negatives' in the world such as evil. If people do not accept that they exist then they do not have to admit that they may have committed bad deeds or not lived as wholesome a life as they wish to think.
It is easier to say that we live good lives because there is no bad than it is to work towards improving ourselves.

I have no suggestion on how to prevent yourself from being called a fraud when talking about such things, but remember that it is not your problem when people cannot accept that which they do not wish to see.
Tue,26 Apr 2011,22:04:11 GMT

Helen Shrimpton said:

to me spirituality is about NOT judging, NOT making rules, NOT setting boundaries, it is about letting go of fear and ego.

It never ceases to amaze me how many folk who call themselves spiritual are clouded with fear and ego and greed.

Spirituality is about balance, without light there is dark and no human being can say they have never experienced a dark moment, it is the learning from the dark that allows us to move closer to the light, NOT pretending that the dark doesn't exist!
Tue,26 Apr 2011,21:19:50 GMT
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