Assimilation is the way we take in teachings and wisdom of the ages.
Without our experience to verify its truth, it is only information.
Since the beginning of my life, I was taught principles by which to abide with the promise of getting somewhere better. I was taught to blindly follow. With faith, I accepted that if I followed certain laws, the promise of a better life, perhaps only in heaven, would become true.
I was fed those ideas and it all seemed to make sense…until it didn’t.
I was being told over and over that I was a sinner just by being human, but damn it, all I felt from that was shame for living and that I was inherently bad. I felt guilty just for being.
When I heard the words, “we are all sinners” as a child in church, I felt absolutely dismissed.
It did not make sense to me. I did not feel like a bad person in need of an overhaul. This was all part of the plan to get me to believe that I needed fixing.
Pretty soon I was drinking the koolaid as I saw how upside down the world seemed. It felt like nobody loved each other, nobody cared about anyone but themselves and people were making excuses and justifying their bad behavior because they were sinners and would be forgiven.
The next thing that did not sit right with me was hearing that Eve was the instigator of this sin. That really got me pissed off and I believed I was bad for being female.
I really didn’t like that Eve had set the ball in motion by picking that apple. “Who wrote this story?”, I thought.
I did not feel inherently bad.
Early on, I did not feel bad about myself.
These were my reflections as a very small child, and I forgot to mention, the shame I absorbed when Adam and Eve felt bad about being naked. I started getting the idea that we really should be ashamed of our bodies and our nakedness.
These were perspectives from my innocence.
I could not understand that there must be darkness in the world in order to have light until I experienced that.
I could not understand that friction and wrestling with the temptations of my lower self would enable bring me to see the darkest places within me until I experienced that.
I could not have the understanding that my free will was the result of years of unlearning all the things I had assimilated as a child.
I could not understand that acceptance of myself as the living emanation of God was not possible until I had the experiential knowledge of the illusion of my own identity.
When I was first taught the delineation between information, knowledge and understanding from my mentor, something rang true for me because of my intense inner questioning as a child. I could finally start to ponder why my inner experience did not match the information I was being given.
I could start to trust what was true from my own experience.
Information is something that comes from the outside that may be true or not, but the only way for any of us to know whether this information is true is through experience.
My second teacher iterated over and over that I must believe nothing and verify everything.
So what part does faith play?
I had to acknowledge within myself that I wanted to be free from the hell I was living. Something was certain and true…my life was a mess. I tried a lot of things out of blind faith and only experience was the thing that finally determined whether something was working.
I had to have some level of trust to try it and that came out of the need to relieve my suffering. I was awake to the fact that something was terribly wrong.
That darkness brought me to the light. But I had to verify through trial and error what actually got results. In other words, it was my experience with the teaching or the method that brought me to the knowledge of something.
As I gained more knowledge, I gained considerable hope and faith in the process. I could surrender to something higher with the assurance that something was already working, and verified that through my previous experience.
To understand was to live in a completely different world.
My understanding came with the freedom of choice.
Under the spell of my lower selves, identifying with my unmet needs and my total unworthiness, I could choose nothing. I could only work under the influence of many laws in which the ability to see was nearly impossible. I could not find a way out, but I learned to think I was in control of my feelings and paraded my way through life as a successful so and so.
I thought I understood spiritual matters because i could “understand” the concept.
I had to unlearn everything that bolstered the walls around my vulnerability. Only my experience of this nakedness could break the dam.
That dam could not break until my Being was strong enough to weather the storm of this understanding. It required the strength of experiencing my own Self.
Understanding came in those moments of pure Being in which I could accept what was.
Only then could I have the choice to do something different and participate in life without being a sinner full of shame.
Have a great week.