Posted by: Lisa | July 17, 2011

The Key to Salvation

Regardless of whatever seems to be going on externally in our lives, I believe the real point of existence in this material world is to realize our union with God.  I say “realize” because we’re already united to God, but we don’t know it, can’t sense it.

In the movie, Yoga Unveiled, there’s an awe-inspiring quote from one of the yogis:  “Salvation is found in the marriage of the physical and the spiritual.”  I suspect every major religion teaches this concept in some way, either explicitly or more likely, implicitly.  Here are some examples.

The main, universally recognized symbol of Christianity is the cross.  It’s made up of the union of two beams:  the horizontal representing life in this physical world and the vertical representing our relationship to the world of Spirit.  The person of Jesus Christ is said to be fully human (the “perfect man”) and fully divine (one with God, the Father).  Christians are urged to meditate on the cross and accept/imitate Jesus to find salvation.

The Buddha (Siddhartha Gautama), at the very moment of his enlightenment, while sitting in meditation, reached down and touched the earth to conquer the mighty delusions that were assailing him.  After enlightenment, he spent the remaining forty years of his life traveling and teaching the dharma to anyone who was receptive.  He believed his enlightenment was not only for his own benefit but also to help all suffering beings.

Yoga, while not considered a religion, originated as a branch of Hinduism.  Yogis deliberately use the body (in asana, or yoga postures), the breath (in pranayama practice) and the mind (in meditation) as links to the spiritual world.  The physical aspects of life are not bypassed in a misguided effort to somehow jump directly into Spirit.

In Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism (and in any genuine religion or spirituality), work and service to others are cultivated as ways of uniting the physical and spiritual realms.  We cannot ignore our duties and responsibilities in life, yet expect to make progress in realizing union with God. 

Love and compassion  for others – and for all of creation – are natural fruits of the spiritual journey because awakening in our union with God inspires us to reach out to others.  In this, we find salvation, freedom, liberation from suffering – what some may call heaven on earth.

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