Thursday, February 03, 2011

two houses of conflict

after work i suddenly felt so exhausted, so spent. i felt i was so soaked up listening to all of the troubles other people were experiencing. this call center job is difficult in a different way. i was walking on my way to where i get my ride home when i remembered what my friend jess mentioned to me when we last met. he had said he found a great way of unwinding after a stressful day at work. he said he went to a church, on an ordinary day, not a sunday, when there were few people present, and just stayed there for a while. he said he felt so relieved, relaxed, after that visit.

i decided to defer going home and instead went back to the catholic church beside my office building. it was a wednesday. there was no mass being held and only a handful of people were there.  i entered the church and sat down. although the church was built beside the highway, still the sounds of the passing vehicles seem to be muffled inside it. the place is generally quiet. i just sat down and let go. jess was right. there was this unmistakable feeling of warmth and peace that immediately enveloped me. perhaps it was this strange silence inside this church. or perhaps this enforced silence on my part, not conversing with anyone, might have refocused my mind. i was just there. not praying. just looking around. at the altar, at the people inside.some were kneeling, heads bowed in fervent prayer. some were standing beside their favorite saint's statue obviously petitioning the saint for some favors or some help. looking at these statues and the earnest and hopeful look in the faces of these devotees, one can't help but be convinced that there really is this connection between patron saints and devotees, that there is this benevolent power that can alleviate these people's troubles. that can grant petitions, take away worries, dispel uncertainties, relieve suffering.

i closed my eyes and tried to go inside my inner self. i remembered what my Master said, "even if you forget me, I will not forget you. I will be always with you helping you with all  of your troubles." i sat there silent. just like the other devotees. and a soothing calm came over me. the stress was gone. there was this lightness of feeling. i did not petition for anything. i just went inside and sought the inner man. each of us is Divine. Divinity is our true being. but this thought is always being forgotten. foreshadowed  by the more alluring thoughts of the mundane world. that's why it was advised that one must set aside a portion of the 24 hours of each day towards refocusing to this remembrance of one's divinity.

the building where i am working in is a house of conflict. there we are paid to listen to other peoples' troubles, issues, and concerns about particular services they are paying for and resolve them within the scope of the means and tools given us. these are generally mundane problems. one gets to listen to and address lots of these and soon one gets soaked up too with these. one becomes uptight as well. one becomes wrapped up in conflict too. that's what had happened to me. they say when you leave the building don't carry other peoples' troubles that you've heard with you. easier said than done.
 
the church where i went to is another house of conflict. this time, this is where you listen to your own troubles, issues, uncertainties, worries. this is where you try to get these resolved. this is where you try to unburden these to a statue, petition to be heard, and with fervent prayer ask to be granted favorable resolution. or, this is where you seek your inner man, your divine spark, to commune with your own divinity. to be at peace with one's true self. to be away from the worries of the mundane world. to be Divine.

Old Sages say you don't need a physical building to be able to exercise your divinity. one just need to go inside one's self. one, so to speak, is his own church.

man deserves to be always happy. truly, perfectly happy.

a happy man is a man devoid of conflict.

of the 24 hours of each day, one must go to church. the church within himself.

2 comments:

Christopher Dos Santos said...

Namaste my brother Sito. Although I do not subscribe to any given religion I have to agree with you. Living in Canada there are no real old churches. Although I always attended Sunday mass as a boy I never appreciated the building mainly because it was new.

When travelling through Europe I made a point of visiting some very old churches. Like you I only visited in the quiet hours. I found the energy and power of these buildings to be magnificent. The older the building the more collective and palpable was the sense of love and devotion.

Thank you for this blog, it brought back many very fond memories.

In Lak' ech, my brother Sito, houses of love...

sito saguid said...

you are absolutely correct, brother, i can recall now the stories one of my friends told me. he was blessed enough to be able to afford a trip to europe and he narrated how he was able to visit the old churches there and he said he felt so different inside those buildings. the spirituality he said was immense. he said he cannot find the words to describe the wonderful, blissful feelings he had experienced. especially when he came to lourdes cathedral. you said it truly -- love and devotion -- these are what these places evoke.