According to some psychological and spiritual commentary by 1st Century Gnostics, there are three types of human beings: hylic, psychic and pneumatic. These are three terms signifying a particular personality’s overall awareness of the spiritual dimension with, hylic, being pretty much unaware of any connection to the Mystery of Being. This is followed by the psychic personality, which is comparable to the average worshipper, praying to some supernatural form of God through the Avatar or Savior of their community tradition. The pneumatic personality is the personality that has become aware of one’s life already in the presence of the Holy of Holies while praying to a Mystery that is the source of life and gives life its power and meaning.
If this observation by our ancient brothers and sisters has any validity, only psychics and pneumatics will be paying any attention to this little interruption to the divine conversation, but this does not mean that those in the completely unaware group will never become an aware seeker. Everyone is continually being “talked” to, preached to, encouraged, educated, LOVED, and even coerced into an aware relationship with the Word of Life. When talking about the impossibilities and obstacles that get in the way of certain seekers and non-seekers of the Divine, Jesus simply reminds us that all things are possible with God.
I want to address those obstacles that are continually being cast into the paths of all seekers. First, concerning what we are to read or not to read and how we should read them, what we should listen to, seek out – what makes certain writings or sayings the standard bearers of a tradition?
Scripture: Scripture is generally thought of as a body/collection of writings by a certain tradition that are proclaimed by certain authorities of that tradition to be its holy teachings. These writings are often proclaimed to be the “literal word of God” dictated by God to the tradition’s prophet, or prophets, who then wrote the words down or dictated them to a scribe to be written down. Even the language, the style and form of writing in which a proclaimed, scriptural passage is written is often said to be sacred. Every tradition claims something like this, so who can say which one is right? Truthfully, anyone who says this, or that way is the only way, or this or that sacred writing is the only, Word of God while proclaiming all other teachings as secondary or even evil, they are showing their own lacking in awareness.
There is, also truthfully, just one way, one scripture and one Teacher. It is this, “One,” that informs all traditions. Each tradition is already priceless as an expression of the, Grace Creative, and should rejoice together as they share the wisdom of, and learn from their major prophets. This also allows for the truth that any one path or tradition, comprehended at its deepest level, and the grace that verifies its power, is enough for any humble seeker and/or non-seeker alike. This puts a different light on what the Christian mystic, Paul of Tarsus, is said to have said concerning “all” scripture being inspired by God in 2 Timothy. Even though Paul did not write this letter, and the author who wrote in Paul’s name was probably referring specifically to the Hebrew Scriptures, the word, “all” transcends the author’s intentions and speaks the truth. To speak plainly to those who still think God favors anyone’s scripture over another’s: “All” scripture, no matter whose it is, if it can lead one to an awareness of our relationship with the Ground of Being, is sacred.
Read, and listen to, whatever and whoever speaks to your heart without condemning that which speaks to others. Rather than force what you think is beautiful and even necessary for spiritual growth from one’s tradition on to those of another, lovingly share these truth gems as an offering that may or may not be accepted; and then, only if you yourself understand what it is you want to share. If you are unclear about the meaning of certain things, be honest and allow for others and their traditional teachings that may shed light on one’s own beliefs, to be approached with prayer and humility. You never know where the “Light,” witch is “Truth,” may shine from.
Scripture: Again, scripture, though considered by most to be of the spoken, written word, is not “just” the written or spoken word. Scripture is anything that meets with the conscious mind of the human being through the unconscious, and brings the observer into a present, moment of Divine Awareness. The written word is not scripture unless it transforms the seeker in this way; it is only an interesting story.
Scripture is also available to enhance one’s awareness in every event that takes place in every moment of our lives. The smell of one’s surroundings, the time, available light, sounds, place and all that is present in an event, from flying insects to the breeze in the trees, and most importantly, the intentional energy we pour into the event and the humility with which we participate in it, make up the words and punctuation that reveal this moment’s deepest blessing. The very paradigm we live and move and have our being in is the, “Living Word,” the essence of and that which predicates scripture. Life is scripture; be awake to it.