(Another day late, forgive me.)
The first book beyond THE BIBLE to inspire me was THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gilbran. I remember the beautiful navy blue copy with the title in gold that I found in a bookstore in Angola, Indiana. I bought it with birthday money from my 17th birthday. That first day I read late into the night stopping often to think. Gilbran’s words awakened my soul beyond the Christian teachings I had received as a child in local churches.
As a child my head would spin in dizziness when the Congregational or Methodist ministers in Northern Indiana in the mid and late 50’s would talk about the evils of Catholics and Jews in our big cities. They further warned that “God forbid” that anyone in the congregation should ever come in contact with those “pagan” religions in Africa and the Asian Hindus and Buddhists with their evil beliefs.
Even at age 7- 10 I remembered thinking: But you just said that “God is our Perfect Father. God made everyone.” And in my mind then God is perfection. I was puzzled how could a Perfect Father create children and not love them equally? I remember thinking that if God hated His creation, I really didn’t want that kind of Father God.
So, my personal God loved all of His creation. I was a secret Sufi, interfaith believer from age 7 on. I never dared talk about my beliefs in Sunday School. Once in awhile I discussed my ideas with my mother, a non church goer who did believe God was the Perfect Father and loved all of His creation. I think that is why she chose to stay home, so she wouldn’t feel insulted by the narrow-mindedness.
This following quotation from The Prophet puzzled me at 17. I yearned to be a peace with my thoughts and prayed for that to happen. I’m sure this passage started me on the path of meditation and the path of interfaith studies.
“You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts.” ― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
As mentioned in the title of today’s blog–in the coming weeks I’ll share the emotional, mental and spiritual ideals that inspired me to enjoy life, health, vitality and Super-Aging. And please share quotations that inspired you in the comments section here or on Facebook.