The 'it' to which I refer in my opening shot, is a book: " The New Earth: Create a Better Life" by spiritual teacher and winner of my Peter Pan look-alike award, Ekhart Tolle.
The first time round, I found myself, after just a few paragraphs, in 'hard to swallow' mode. I am not THAT sceptical, in fact just the opposite: it's scarily easy to lead me on and catch me out investing trust in the most outlandish propositions. I'll believe anything, and usually do.
I once gave myself a migraine ranting in full-on indignation at the television set over an EU regulation specifying the length and breadth of carrots, the piece coming complete with the presenter holding the mould into which carrot seeds were to be sowed, in order to ensure compliance. It was a hoax. it was All Fools Day, and I came top.
I'm not stupid, however, so I have to believe that intelligence and gullibility are not mutually incompatible. I like being a trusting softie, it keeps me smiling, and out of as much trouble as it gets me into.
Yes, I'm rambling. Let me take a sip of my tea and...
In the back of my mind sits 'Number 45' in my '99 Things' book. 'Write A Statement of Faith'.
I have been a Christian since the date of my baptism which was in November 1950, and as I was only six weeks old at the time, I like to think some kind of pre-bap agreement had me covered even earlier.
I believed nothing at six weeks, of course, and in the course of the following fifty years or so, I came to believe A LOT. Sometimes, I even acted on my beliefs, with a startling caveat. I never really swallowed hell. Or punishment of any kind. I nodded in the direction of it, and never wasted my breath opposing it, I just knew at a deeper level that a God who spends your whole life telling you he loves you, then throws you into a fiery pit because he caught you out doing something you didn't ought to have done, which he allowed you to do, didn't add up.
I don't know that the insights into the incomprehensible world of the Spirt that I gained from Ekhart are 'right' or 'wrong', I don't even know if 'right or wrong' works with the unknowable. I guess you just have to go with the intangible, but ever-present inner witness, that whispers a silent, 'Yes!' and warms your heart. You may not be comfortable with that concept, but you know it's there. Recognising its Presence is the beginning of awareness of your spiritual evolution that has nothing to do with hell, and everything to do with truly knowing who you are, and what your purpose is.
Ekhart writes that your purpose is to bring consciousness into the world. To walk through your day fully aware, totally present, not harking back to the past, or concerning yourself with the future. There's more, lots more, but that, I think, is enough.
Is he onto something really big? I don't know. How could I? I do know that a lot of what I believed for more than fifty years served no useful purpose whatsoever. So my Statement of Faith, when I get around to writing it, isn't going to be very long.