The gospels: Orientation points for modern spiritual seekers
In the days when travelers did not yet have maps, they orientated themselves using the stars. I do not believe in a map for the spiritual life. I think that, when it comes to your spiritual journey, you have to find your way using only certain orientation points. These can be found in religious, spiritual and mystical traditions.
There are many people who are engaging with spirituality, and who are in need of orientation points, not rules. I call these people spiritual nomads.
Spiritual nomads are able to cross borders between traditions, philosophies and cultures. I certainly see myself as a spiritual nomad. In using this phrase, I hope you won’t mind if I take the liberty of using the pronoun ‘we’.
More like a paradigm
While ‘Christian’ and ‘dogmatic’ are associated with each other in common thought, to the unprejudiced reader the gospels may seem more like a paradigm than a hermetical set of scholarly pieces. It’s interesting to note that Christianity in its original form was a reaction to traditional Jewish dogmatism: the founder stated emphatically that the living, moving ‘spirit’ was more important than the written word.
To modern minds, the gospels are not so much religious but rather spiritual. There is a lot of room for interpretation in the imagery and stories of the gospels; nothing is outlined, nothing is set in stone. That is why, throughout the history of Christianity, there is a natural diversity in the interpretation of the gospels.
As is the case in every religion, the value of their multifaceted meanings were lost as the ambition of every church became to declare itself the leading authority. To the spiritual seeker, the diversity within the Christian tradition is not a problem – on the contrary; it is a source of wealth.
Essential points of view
Translated into modern language, the Christian vision of mankind, God and life may be summed up in the following points of view. I believe modern spiritual seekers could strongly relate to these views:
- God is the power that gives meaning to you as well as others: your and their heavenly Father.
- You wouldn’t fear God or ask him a favor or make sacrifices out of fear, but you would love Him as your Father with your whole being: as the Father of your soul.
- The love of God and love of mankind are two sides of the same coin.
- Don’t expect happiness from the world but challenges and tests.
- You can be happy regardless of what you have.
- When you are attached to material possessions, they get in the way.
- Give and forgive, be open and share what you have if you want to be free.
- Keep sight of your own values: that is where your heart lies.
- Charity breaks the limitations of the ego.
- Ethics is the entry to mysticism.
- True love is complete: it is to love with the heart, mind and soul.
- Aspire to be perfect so that one day the world may also become perfect.
- Being does not end in death.