One of the factors that I now abhor about my former GV path was the fundamentalist nature of it. By that I mean that spiritual arrogance that says, we are saved, everyone else is going to the hellish planets or taking an animal birth.
Some say that the spiritual newbie (also known as kanistha adhikari) needs this air of certainty, this black and white all or nothing certainty in order to stay fixed on the path of devotional service.
If that's true, when do they graduate?
When do they get to the level where they admit to themselves and others that none of us has absolute proof of just what the absolute truth is? Yet we are satisfied to continue on our spiritual path anyway!
For myself, I was forced to abandon that path when I fell off that razor's edge they are always going on about and admitted I was something they abhor: queer.
In a search for a sane spiritual community, I washed up on the forgiving and accepting shores of Wicca. I am part of a larger Pagan community that accepts my spiritual foibles and willingly embraces my spiritual authenticity, even when my path meanders away from their own.
On one hand I admit: I do not hold the keys to the absolute truth. Further, I believe no human does--or can! I do not think our puny incarnate brains can contain that knowledge. I think we'd bust a gasket or something equally vital trying.
I don't think the absolute truth, be it personified, expects us to comprehend the Whole Truth with the equipment we are given.
Here's what I do think:
I think the Divine contains everything within and without our experience.
I think the Divine is benign and compassionate, and wants us to evolve spiritually and materially as a species and as individuals.
I think we are given help along the way, and what glimpses of the Divine that we can handle.
I think that we are rewarded for our sincere effort to discover spiritual truths and live by them to the best of our abilities.
I think being compassionate to others is more important than being right.
I think I am already accepted and loved by the Divine exactly as I am, warts and all, sexual orientation included.
I think the Divine could care less how much sex I have as long as I hurt no one while having it.
I think the Divine has no problem with eggplant or garlic or onions or mushrooms.
I think that ultimately, as we progress on our disparate spiritual paths we eventually learn the same lessons and come to see the same goals, even if we think in the beginning that we are going to different places.
I think we should stop sweating the small stuff and see that the big picture is learning to love and accept each other and create peace on this precious planet we've been entrusted with.
I think that having spent all these years since I was 13 on my spiritual journey that I am going to be all right at the time of death, and be greeted by love on the other side.
I know that the Loving Presence I have so often felt in life will be no less present at the time of my death.