Remember Chinese whispers? In this game you whisper something into your friend’s ear and then the message is passed along around a circle from one person to the next.
By the time it gets to the last person, inevitably, the message is nothing like the way it was in the beginning.
The world’s wisdom traditions seem a bit like that in this modern day, don’t you think?
They seem to have lost a bit of their clarity in a big long (really really long!) game of Chinese whispers.
Now the thing with Chinese whispers is, it sux if you want to get a clear true message – the first hand story.
“Ok I’ll have to get a guru, someone who can tell me first hand!” I hear you say.
That’s not necessary.
The Essential Truth About Spiritual Teachings
You see, the essential ‘message’ of spirituality is not a belief or a story to be told. It is not a set of rules and we don’t need some special person to give it to us, or whisper it to us.
The sages, saints and teachers of old weren’t offering us something to believe in. Nor were they telling us how to live our lives by rigid rules and rituals.
They were always and only offering us an invitation –an invitation to be in touch with ourselves at the deepest level. They pointed us towards a new way of being.
They invited us to enter that being-ness. To fall in love with that being-ness, and to wake up to the fact that we have always been that in essence.
Living in this new way of being, certain insights into ‘the nature of things’ arise, quite naturally, from within. Our perception becomes clearer and with that comes wisdom – often accompanied by feelings of reverence, joy and deep inner peace.
When it comes to conscious living, Chinese whispers won’t cut it. We don’t need to take it on someone else’s authority (and any true teacher wouldn’t want us to).
But let me be clear – I’m not saying we can’t gain a lot from scriptures and stories and certain practices (I have). I’m not saying we shouldn’t listen to spiritual teachings (I do…a lot!). Those things can be helpful pointers guiding us to our own self-realization.
What I am saying is this.
Spirituality is not a dogma, it’s an invitation.
To know the ‘message’ first hand is to live it – to be it. That means taking up the invitation to live consciously. It means taking the road less travelled by. The one where we walk every step and breathe every breath as if it truly mattered.