Dear IshnaSo my friend (the same friend from my Me and Sikhi post) said the other day, "I don't understand the whole Holy Spirit thing."
My friend listens to a lot of atheist podcasts and YouTube shows, and they are usually arguing against Christians. Hence his grumbling about the Holy Spirit.
I have no theological knowledge about the Holy Spirit. I have only studied Christianity at a surface level. But I do know about my personal experiences with spirituality.
So I suggested they where talking about that spiritual feeling you get sometimes, the fire that ignites and motivates and warms you from the inside out, that gives you strength to face challenges in the best way you can, makes you strive to be a great person because that is how this overwhelming feeling needs to be released - in acts of kindness. It draws you in to read Gurbani, and when the poetry strikes a particularly resounding chord inside you, the feeling flares and you are consumed with the beauty and radiance of it. In that moment you can only breathe, "Wow."
I asked if he was familiar with this feeling. He looked at me like I was a bit nutty and asked me how I know it's not due to something I ate. *rolls eyes* Then he asked me if it was like the feeling of awe.
I said yes, it's quite similar to the feeling of awe, but the difference is that this spiritual feeling is highly motivational and opens you up to more of the same. You carry it with you for longer. The awe you might feel by looking at the stars or a breathtaking landscape is fantastic and inspiring, but the spiritual feeling burns deep in the self and causes you to act with virtue and kindness, even while doing the smallest of things.
By that time, I'd lost his interest. I kinda feel sorry for people who don't get to experience this feeling, or who aren't able to appreciate it due to their intellectualism. Maybe he needs to eat some Gurbani.
Know this that we're all searchers, some have found, some still searching. What you are today your parents weren't yesterday, and, what their parents were, they were not and it goes all the way back to the beginning of time. Baba Nanak Ji comes along [amongst other enlighteners, of course], he sees all this and says, "wait, they've missed the plot. The real reason for being born human has been sidetracked altogether. These humans will never get out of the cycle of birth, death, rebirth if they continue this kind of existence and the soul will remain a prisoner of the physical [body] forever. O' my god cried Nanak, they've made attachments with the physical world for the soul's real home is sach khand [pauri 34 to 37 japjisahib]. What to do ?".
And, what Nanak did is in "practice" a "philosophy" [Sikh] but is in actual fact, for the record [academic classifications by conventional recoginition] categorised as a system of belief [religion]. Why ? Simply put, Nanak's Ikonkar by convention could not be proved or disapproved via emperical observation or rational analysis for objectivity testing. Academic world recognises Nanak's way of life as a system of belief dependent purely on subjectivity [personal experience] that is to say, Nanak could not bring his Ikonkar to the science lab for experimentation nor for theoretical reasoning because Ikonkar is "non-matter", the study of which is undertaken within the branch of philosophy as metaphysics. For it be classed as philosophy, we've to confirm the existence of Ikonkar through argumentation, debate and discussion for an objective determination, but since that is not possible through the scientific method and is confined solely wholly to revelation n intuition it is treated as a matter of "faith" [subjective] and not a matter of knowledge [objective].
The veering off track was to give you a little bit of philosophy and religion so that you're better placed to understand your own faith and the disposition of your dear friend.
What am I talking about ? Consider the following -
Once, a young girl like you ran into the woods for adventure play and behold, saw a man chipping away with chisel n hammer into this huge block of limestone.
"What are you looking for ?" asked the young girl,
"Come back another day" answered the stonecutter. The girl hesitantly, coz reply was too dry, wanders off and returns to the same spot few days later, when, "O' my god, a horse" exclaimed the girl on seeing what was once a huge block of limestone is now carved out to be a beautiful horse ! Looking up at the statue the girl remarked, "you knew the horse was in the rock all the time".
The moral of it is "potential", the stonecutter saw the potential in the Rock and brought the horse to the "actual" state of being. Similarly, Nanak the stonecutter sees the potential in humans [nam] and then demonstrates through a code of conduct to carve the potential to the actual [original you, good, beautiful and just] for the final "eternal" you. The never dying spiritual you - Kaur you the eternal nam.
How do you know your friend hasn't found the eternal, meaning you, and is just, living in the "moment" of eternity ? It's probably you who is searching and the search is within and not without.
The key to everything is "love" - check out verse 1412 when Nanak says, "want to play with me, the game of love, eh?" Yeah, "come prepared girl"
Believe in your own self because it is within yourself that "satnam" lives. Satnam will reveal itself to you when the riddle of the self is solved. Do the things good people do and the law abiding citizens conform to. Your friend will see the beauty, the spiritual Ishna, who has a rich history [first ape who walked upright - "Lucy Kaur"] and is morally an upright individual. Let your friend's love for you n yours for him be culminated from mere physical into spiritual - satnam waheguru ji.
Enjoy the moments - take care !
PS - try n read "philosopher's stone" which I did a while back and remember, Sikhi is "love". Thrush out discrimination about who is a believer or non believer, at the end of the day we're all one - Chaz a meditator, Harry a gladiator, great, both created by One. Get on to do what you're here to do - find your true self ! Beautiful journey - trust me - we're all on it albeit separate carriages in the one train, from potential to eternal.
As part of my seva I'm in India working to better the lives of the destitute of rural Punjab [pind's]. I arrange religious excursions for schools so as to put them in touch with moral, spiritual and social values. I wrote for the girls something very meaningful and personal to build their unique character and personality - have a read, an extract -
"....I'm strong n sensible. I understand fellow beings and make allowances for their shortfalls, weaknesses and behaviours in general, for their behaviours are about them and not me......."