Touched by God: A Search for Higher Truth

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Others try to persuade you not to use. But maybe what you're hearing doesn't seem to add up with what you see. You may know people who use. They do well in school. They start on the football or basketball team. You see them smoked out only at parties. And it's the same in the media, where many celebrities enthusiastically endorse pot smoking but seem to suffer few ill effects from their habit. So you may dismiss the warnings. Despite popular perceptions, even casual drug use can have devastating consequences.

Today's anti-drug messages highlight some of them but tend to focus only on the physical effects of use. The teen who's asked Christ to be Lord of his life should know that drug use can damage his soul as well as his body.

Dharma Talks | Spiritual thoughts and insights looking for the higher truth. | Page 2

Think About It. Contrary to popular opinion, you are not a cosmic accident or mass of protoplasm wandering aimlessly on the planet. Rather, you were specially made by a loving Creator who intends for your life to be dynamic and purposeful. He made you in His image.

You are an eternal, spiritual being with a miraculous mind and body that bears His reflection. And He wants every part of you to be pure. This is only possible when your spirit lines up with God's Spirit. When you sin, you disrupt your companionship with God and begin to slide away from Him.

This is often a subtle, slow process — at least at first. Do not be fooled by those who claim they use drugs as a means to enhance their spirituality. It works just the opposite. Many drug users find the only way to relieve their guilt is to turn their backs on God. They go through a reasoning process something like this:. Therefore, I'll claim there must not be a God, or I'll conclude I can no longer serve Him because He certainly must hate me now. Willful, repeated sinful behavior can cement such fundamentally flawed logic — what the Bible calls a hardening of our hearts or being given over to "a depraved mind" Romans It's not that God wouldn't take us back.

Instead, we have no desire to return. Without question, it's an enormous risk to take. Doubtless, some will reply, "The Bible doesn't say anything about drugs, so get off my back! Drugs were virtually nonexistent during biblical times. Thus, substances such as LSD, marijuana, heroin, Ecstasy, cocaine, methamphetamine and any number of others aren't mentioned in Scripture. However, God makes it clear that He prohibits drunkenness see Proverbs , ; 1 Corinthians ; 1 Peter The application to drugs is obvious: Substances that compromise our minds and bodies are out of bounds.

The truth about finding your inner calling when you are older than 26

Consider the following:. The Bible explicitly instructs us to refrain from getting high. Scripture specifically instructs us to avoid an induced buzz. For example, the apostle Paul writes, "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit" Ephesians The reason Paul gives for this instruction is that it leads to indulging passions without restraint, a.

He contrasts drunkenness with being filled with the Holy Spirit of God. The principle behind the passage is simply this: Stay away from stuff that will confuse your thoughts, weaken your inhibitions and make you more vulnerable to sin. Can you think of a drug that doesn't do all those things? Whether depressant or stimulant, psychedelic or dissociative, legal or illegal, substances that mess with your mind get a poor rap in God's book: "In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper.

Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things" Proverbs Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. God instructs us to honor Him with our body. In 1 Corinthians 6, the apostle Paul condemns sexual immorality. He says, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body" 1 Corinthians We do not own ourselves. Ultimately, we belong to God. He lives inside of those who trust in Him and takes a dim view toward those who destroy His habitation — even if they do so in the name of pleasure.

Now, don't forget that God is not against pleasure. He wants us to enjoy life and have it to the full John But He knows that the "pleasures of sin" Hebrews eventually take us further than we want to go and cost us more than we want to pay. Plus, no matter how good the trip, an artificial high never really gratifies. It's that way with drugs and all "enjoyable" sins: Their emptiness takes us away from true enjoyment in God. Jeremiah compared Israel's search for satisfaction in sin to broken cisterns, man-made reservoirs designed to store water.

We must avoid all types of wrong behaviors in order to grow. Drug use numbs our will to pursue God and His purposes for our lives. Paul repeatedly instructed his readers to be careful about the decisions they make. The passage immediately before his instruction not to get drunk reads, "Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is" Ephesians God wants our thought life under His control. Did you know that God cares what you think about? In fact, Paul goes so far as to describe a war waged all over the world, fought in part for your mind:. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.

On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. The way we think is central to the way we live. How we think about drugs and how drugs make us think are both vital. A drug-fogged mind can keep us from properly seeing what's right and what's wrong in many situations. The virtue of self-control is critical for a disciple of Christ.

Self-control is one of the primary virtues of the Christian life. Christians are instructed to be in control of their decision-making processes and not enslaved to anything that erodes their ability to act in ways that are honoring to God. A clear mind — which is impossible under the influence of drugs — is crucial to self-control, which in turn affects our ability to grow as Christians. God — not drugs — can be trusted to see us through the pain of life. Perhaps the only reason you're interested in drugs is that they seem to offer relief from pain. Maybe life isn't going the way you'd hoped.

Maybe you've been abused. Maybe you've been rejected. Maybe you've been seriously disappointed by a boyfriend or girlfriend. Maybe your parents divorced, and things are difficult. Wanting a reprieve is completely understandable. But some methods are definitely better than others. Ponder this question: How do drugs really help? They may alter your perception of reality for a while, but they do nothing to change it. In fact, they only give you more problems in the end.

Financial burden. More hurt piled on top of what was there before. So, what can you do? Well, the first step is to trust in God.

Photo essay: In search of higher truth

Sure, it's easier said than done, especially in the middle of crushing circumstances. But listen to what He says: "Can a mother forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands" Is. Though parents might abandon their children, God will never leave His.

A second step is to take constructive action. Where and when God finds you ready, he must act and overflow into you, just as when the air is clear and pure, the sun must overflow into it and cannot refrain from doing that. Meister Eckhart. We often confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment. Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions. It is a matter of heart culture, of unmeasurable strength. By love He may be gotten and holden, but by thought and understanding, never. Cloud of Unknowing.

Those who seek the truth by means of intellect and learning only get further and further away from it. Not till your thoughts cease all their branching here and there, not till you abandon all thoughts of seeking for something, not till your mind is motionless as wood or stone, will you be on the right road to the Gate. Huang Po. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it. Now and again, it is necessary to seclude yourself among deep mountain and hidden valleys to restore your link to the source of life.

Morihei Ueshiba. If you wish to know the divine, feel the wind on your face and the warm sun on your hand. Eido Tai Shimano Roshi. All wilderness seems to be full of tricks and plans to drive and draw us up into God's light. John Muir. In the woods, too, a man casts off his years, as the snake his slough, and at what period soever of life is always a child. Standing on the bare ground, - my head bathed by the blithe air, and uplifted into infinite space, - all mean egotism vanishes.

I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.

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The deeper we look into nature, the more we realize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship to the Universe. Albert Schweitzer. Without nourishing our own souls, we can't nourish the world, for we cannot give what we do not have. As we attend to our souls, we emanate invisibly and involuntarily the light we have received.

Marianne Williamson. You must have a room or a certain hour of the day At first you may find nothing's happening But if you have a sacred place and use it, take advantage of it, something will happen. Joseph Campbell. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. We need hours of aimless wandering or spates of time sitting on park benches, observing the mysterious world of ants and the canopy of treetops. Maya Angelou. Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where.

Follow your inner calling and your worries shall disappear…

Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality. The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves.

Eric Hoffer. Do not judge yourself harshly. Without mercy for ourselves we cannot love the world. When we pay attention, whatever we are doing Rick Fields. In this very breath that we take now lies the secret that all great teachers try to tell us. Peter Matthiessen. The aim of life is to live, and to live means to be aware, joyously, drunkenly, serenely, divinely aware. Henry Miller. To be awake is to be alive. I have never yet met a man who was quite awake.

How could I have looked him in the face? Henry David Thoreau. To awaken, sit calmly, letting each breath clear your mind and open your heart. We are not human beings trying to be spiritual. We are spiritual beings trying to be human. Jacquelyn Small. William Wordsworth. A man is the facade of a temple wherein all wisdom and all good abide When it breathes through his intellect, it is genius; when it breathes through his will, it is virtue; when it flows through his affection, it is love. Our original nature is Enter deeply into it by awakening yourself.

And I have felt It was as if my mind had once long ago made up a story about separate objects with boundaries but the story wasn't true. The true story is that there is a luminous, spacious energy that flows through everything all the time. It's within matter, within things as well as within space, and you can tune in to it at any time, just like changing the frequency on the radio.

There is no distance between this essence and ourselves. It is not otherworldly. Vijali Hamilton. Atoms are composed of vibrating energy packets [quantum] that have no solidity at all, no mass or size, nothing for the senses to see or touch At the quantum level nothing of the material world is left intact Even at the atomic level all objects are revealed as On its own scale, the distance between a whirling electron and the nucleus it revolves around is wider than the distance between the earth and the sun.

But you could never capture that electron anyway, since it too breaks down into energy vibrations that wink in and out of existence millions of times per second. Therefore the whole universe is a quantum mirage, winking in and out of existence millions of times per second. Deepak Chopra. If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. William Blake. There are two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.

The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change. Open yourself to the miracle of life going on around you. Sense your intimate part in the great scheme of it Kristen Zambucka.

AND in our early twenties we made a promise to ourselves: Sure, I will follow my passion — later. Today, we envy the workaholics for their cars, but we secretly calm our pain by telling us that they have a 70h work week and must hence by definition be unhappy. You stopped studying at 24 and then went part time? Woah, how empty will you feel at the age of 42 when you are bored, unemployable and your kids have moved out?

Yet, there is one group of people that is hard to get around: Those that followed their dreams. However messy or hard, their life seemed to have been pretty cool or at least: So much cooler than ours! Is it dancing that I like or is it really gardening? Is the fact that I sometimes google food blogs really indicative of a passion for vegan veggie bowls? Do I really wanna be a food blogger for the rest of my life? Here are 5 truths for the undecided, for those who doubt and for those who unnecessarily but understandably wonder if their life makes sense:.

Now I am hot on Ted! There is nothing bad or unusual to this. People have needs. After all we all wanna feel safe, loved and important. However, if you build your life on an unmet need, how will you get your energy and inspiration when times are rough, when you have to pivot or borrow money from your parents? Will you really get the fulfillment you hoped for from being rich, loved or recognized? Even worse: Suppose you found your inner calling, you feel fulfilled — and now what?

There are just too many question marks. Fear, anger, grief, the need to be loved and the need to feel safe, the exhilaration that comes from being successful can be very loud voices in your head. The challenge: Your inner calling tends to be small and subtle. You gotta master your loud voices to be able to listen to the silence beneath. If you end up with any of the following: I wanna feel more! Then think about how important that protection is versus how much you want to discover your inner calling.

You choose! In other words: What would it look like if I started loving myself like I want others to love me?