Where is our sanctuary? Where is that space we all need to both find strength and peace? With all the teachers, the methods, the gifted, the people from other dimensions, ascended masters, time travellers, aliens, television and book stars, reincarnated, psychics, shared secrets, special diets, sacred forgotten practices, dreams, special drugs from the rainforest . . . why are we still so lost? Do you know where your sanctuary is?
“Sanctuary” and “Asylum” have become exchangeable words in our ever maddening stampede to dumb down the entire English language. The difference between the two is one of those slight shadings that manages to take a word and deepens and enriches its meaning. “Asylum” is what we seek when we are running from something. It is a place where the protection from that something can be much broader than a finite space and has varying degrees of power – often put in place by power. We are “granted asylum.” “Sanctuary” is more something we seek out when we are looking for something. It was originally intended to mean a religious place but the element of “safety” was eventually added to it and some of its meaning was lost and certainly confused. “Sanctuary” as a spiritual place where we might feel safe suggests that we should seek a religious place that has been created for such a purpose, or a place in nature where we can feel that spirit. It might even be provided by a special shrine or place we create within our home where we go to practice our spiritual endeavours. It refers to a specific contained space that creates a state of being.
Much of what has been presented to us as spiritual or religious has moved the whole journey from being an inner one to being one that engages and involves the outside world. We surrender our self. It has been perhaps, one of the most effective attacks on us as spiritual beings because it has put other people and things in control of our own connection.
Sanctuary needs to be within ourselves. It should be able to happen wherever we are because it requires no trappings or devices. There is no room for other people in that raw connection. Their presence is a distraction. Anyone can quiet down and should be able to connect when the setting is perfect, replete with music and symbols, but the real test is whether we can connect when there is no perfect. If we are reliant on outside things we will not have sanctuary when we most need it – in situations of high stress and tragedy. We need sanctuary at a moment’s notice. We need it in the heat of the battle. We need it when we are lost and far from home. We need it in our day to day struggles.
How can that be if our sanctuary is anywhere but where it has to be?
Someone or something else has the power to leave us without our strongest ally. Man is the temple. Man is the connection. The map of his journey and how he will accomplish it lies within. That strength is always available to him, anywhere, anytime. If he is lost, it is because he chooses to be lost. Far too many are lost, not in some wilderness where they wandered alone, but in a crowd of people travelling from store to store, hoping to buy their connection. Far too many believe they can buy more than others and that will make their connection more powerful and they will “win.” There is no “winning” with connection because there is no competition. Whether you want to believe it or not, every human being has all the tools they need to be successful and happy. Your journey and story will never be theirs, nor theirs, yours.
What it takes is a willingness to go it alone. A person has to be willing to shut down all the outside connections that he buys into, believing the act of listening to another person talk about their own connection or how they did it, is connecting himself. It is not the gathering of attendance slips, books, or certificates from courses that prove our connection. These things are distractions that keep us from ourselves and sadly, many of those who would tell others how to be, are more concerned with their own importance and financial position, than they are with anyone’s success with connection.
To teach another to connect is to make them independent and without any need of anyone else’s service. A connection then dictates your life, your purpose and your actions. There is no “preparing to do,” there is only “doing.” The “doing,” complete with failures and success, teaches. Your heart hungers for those lessons. The connection is so sacred that it is impossible to speak of to others and if others should ever look to you as “special” it takes away from the whole experience. You cannot be in touch with Universal truth and knowledge and still hold onto an ego-based idea that you need to be famous. When others do not understand that, and doubt themselves by putting us ahead of them, it just feels wrong. We are all “special.” If one’s life inspires others, it should be to make their own connection and not to admire yours.
People need to share the “doing,” in a new and different way than we have defined our relationships. Everyone benefits from encouragement. We all get lost at times. We all get led astray or forget to make time. We have habits. We have addictions. People will choose different paths than we do. We don’t have to all do the same thing. We don’t require a crowd of people cheering us on. We don’t require fame and we don’t require money.
We need encouragement because we are not hard wired to do it on our own. We are raised in institutions with a crowd, almost from birth. In that group, we find a false confidence that is not bravery at all. It is cowardice. We constantly surrender the will of the one to the greater will of the group. If everyone is doing it, it must be right. “I” must be right. Connection means you will walk alone and perhaps no-one else will even understand your journey, but you will. The feeling of walking in your path, centred, is like being on fire. You are the most alive you will ever feel. You will walk with perfect intuition and draw upon it to enlighten your thoughts and guide your efforts.
We have to do our own work. Somehow, in the simplicity of that, things fall into place. People change the way they react to one another. Bridges get built instead of walls. We love because we feel love. There are two parts to the admonition to “Love your neighbour . . . ” We are to love our neighbour as we love ourselves. The first part is the part we have forgotten. Connection is made by creating an inner sanctuary where we can learn to love ourselves. Once we love ourselves, the second part, the neighbours . . . piece of cake.