Religious Gluttony – Religious Media Weblog

By Noelle Sterne

For those who’re a non secular seeker, you’re most likely dedicated to climbing ever larger on the spiral of understanding. In your quest, you retain wanting, looking out, mining each ebook and video you could find, intent on discovering the reply that may resolve all issues and produce complete and enduring peace. The uncomfortable fact? You—and I—would possibly simply be non secular gluttons. 

The idea has apparently been round for some time. Sixteenth-century monk St. John of the Cross described the tendency in Darkish Evening of the Soul: “Many can by no means have sufficient of listening to counsels and studying non secular precepts, and of possessing and studying many books.” 

At the moment we purchase the latest non secular books, subscribe to the newest New Thought newsletters, enroll within the main non secular retreats and lessons, and spend hours sitting on the ft of the preferred mentors. We feverishly click on on the hyperlinks to all of the metaphysical web sites we are able to discover, watch countless lectures on YouTube, and purchase affirmation playing cards, calendars, t-shirts, and bracelets. 

We sprint from one chunk of knowledge to a different. We cram all of the supplies into our minds, eager for them to achieve our hearts, and hoping feverishly that someplace the ultimate solutions will seem. And we do all this with a lot satisfaction in our exhaustive searching.

However nothing totally satisfies, and we repeat the spherical. We turn into self-help guru junkies, hooked on our subsequent fast repair of non secular fact.

Why will we do that? I like the reason of holistic counselor Michael Swerdloff in a 2014 weblog publish:

I feel it is rather simple with all of the conferences, trainings, seminars and lessons out there to us immediately to repeatedly assume we’d like extra—extra knowledge, extra data . . . . This doesn’t even keep in mind all that we now have entry to on the web. In our tradition, the idea of extra is on the heart of our worth system. Why would our non secular journey be exempt from the idea that we at all times want extra? 

There’s a desperation to those cravings for extra, as if stuffing within the subsequent gem of fact will magically provide all we’d like. However in actuality, all we appear to get is non secular indigestion.


My pal Ella stored looking out like this. She’d inform me excitedly in regards to the newest guru, writer, or trainer she had discovered. Earlier than every new discovery, she’d say, “I know that is it.” However after she’d learn each ebook, heard each recording, and brought each course, she’d report with an fringe of desperation, “Nope. This wasn’t the one.” After which she’d reel off a listing of criticisms and inconsistencies she’d famous. 

Realizing Ella had spent some huge cash and gained solely ongoing confusion and frustration, I instructed (gently, I believed) that she would possibly think about deciding on only one or two teachings or academics. She reacted as if I’d attacked her. 

“Oh, you could have all the solutions!” she shot again. “How about giving me some credit score for exploring?”

I apologized, saying that I meant solely to assist. She hardly purchased it. 

Did Ella have to search out fault with each new discovery? I puzzled. Had been the criticisms her method of not taking within the truths, not studying, probably not desirous to develop? 

As quickly as I had that thought, I ruefully acknowledged myself in it. Years in the past, after shopping for the three volumes of A Course in Miracles, I had dipped into the Workbook. Nearly instantly, although, I ended studying. Then I boycotted it for months. Why? Oh, please! The language and diction have been too obscure, method too esoteric. You needed to learn it fifty occasions to get it. And the textual content continuously referred to people as “he.” On this day of inclusion, that’s an insult to ladies! I used to be indignant and nearly sorry I’d purchased the books. 

I see now that my objections stored me away. I used to be depriving myself of admittedly generally troublesome and radical however nonetheless very inspiring teachings. Lastly, I rejected my righteous carpings and inched again into the teachings.  

We don’t have to go looking frantically for the subsequent extravagantly promising “enlightened” piece of data. With some considered selections and a little bit self-discipline, we are able to attain the solutions for any scenario that confronts us in addition to the peace we crave.

Religious Judiciousness 

For those who suspect you might be spiritually gluttonous, consider your self as a substitute as spiritually considered. You do have the prudence, knowledge, and self-discipline to halt the binge and select the correct assets. 

A suggestion: Put aside ten to twenty minutes, after which declare your intention with your individual affirmation: I’ll gravitate to precisely the correct web page/passage/phrases.

Subsequent, with all of the supplies you’ve collected, hear for steerage. As a substitute of gorging on the massive unfold earlier than you, let your Interior Information lead you to at least one or two books or passages and skim or hear to simply these. For those who discover your thoughts wandering, acknowledge this and are available again to the passage you’re on. 

A treasure I return to is Unity minister Mary Kupferle’s Belief within the Goodness of God (Unity Books, 2000), replete with uplifting essays. An essay on this ebook helped me not too long ago with a consumer. Her dissertation chair was insisting on the draft a lot prior to my consumer had initially advised me it was due. Once I noticed her e-mail, I bristled, cursed, and shouted out loud to myself, “No method!” Somewhat later, I acquired a extreme headache. Recognizing the supply, I nearly pawed by the stack of metaphysical books inside arm’s attain on my desk, feverish for any reply. 

However I noticed this reflex as my tendency to non secular gluttony and as a substitute took a number of deep breaths. Kupferle’s ebook was on the highest of the pile, and I opened it. My eye instantly caught the essay “In All the pieces . . . I Belief God!” Her phrases guided: “If one thing appears too troublesome so that you can deal with, keep in mind that you’re not alone in any scenario. . . . God’s presence is inside you. . . . Infinite knowledge is inside you. . . . Give up your ideas and emotions to God and quietly remind your self: In all the pieces, I belief God. 

These phrases instantly soothed me. Once I went inside and requested for steerage on what to do, shortly the reply got here: I may shift one other much less urgent mission one place down on my listing so I may give this consumer’s work the wanted instant consideration. I needed to forgive myself too for the sooner response of anger and resentment. An ideal sense of peace came visiting me, and the headache disappeared. 

Each time I grew to become not sure or indignant once more, I repeated the affirmation “In all the pieces, I belief God.” The work went easily, and I accomplished it on time.

Confirmed Treasures

As my expertise illustrates, we’d like repetition of the truths we search. Previous damaging habits of thoughts may be exhausting to crack, and repetition and substitute are key. 

Repetition of favourite passages that really contact you combats non secular gluttony. We don’t want a surfeit of metaphysical fundamental dishes. We be taught that our preferences, or an occasional new dish, are sufficient.

The actual key’s to belief. Belief your selections and steerage, ask and hear, and know you may be led to the correct solutions. We’re usually referred to as to leap off the precipice of uncertainty. As Kupferle says, “Be assured that when the time comes, you possibly can ‘let go and let God.’” 

Maybe much more to the purpose is Joseph Benner’s assurance us in his ebook The Impersonal Life (DeVorss, 1979): “Now, when you’ve got had sufficient of teachings and academics, and are certain that inside you lies the Supply of all Knowledge, these phrases will carry pleasure unspeakable to your coronary heart. . . . Be nonetheless! And KNOW,–I AM,–GOD.”

The options we search, whether or not from an individual, a phrase, a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, an image, a vista, will seem after we belief. So allow us to have the braveness to show inside to the Supply. Belief your self, your instinct, your Interior Information to guide you away from non secular gluttony and to each considered proper reply. 

© 2023 Noelle Sterne

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