Thursday, February 3, 2011

Spiritual Poison

We all know the consequences of taking poison into the mortal body. Poisons destroy and kill the body and so we avoid them. Cleaning agents that could poison are put up high so children can’t reach them. Those who know what they are avoid them. People bring law suits against restaurants that accidentally let food poisoning occur. In other words, we take all kinds of preventative measures against poisons and if the preventative measures don’t work we seek legal redress. 

But there are other poisons that are just as deadly. These poisons don’t kill the body; they kill the spirit. Obviously things like pornography and violence are spirit poison, but what we too often fail to realize is that any negative emotion is poison to the spirit. Envy, lust, greed, anger, jealousy, self-pity, despair, and gloom are just a few of the negative emotions that kill the spirit. We should be as vigilant about identifying and  protecting ourselves against these as we are about physical poisons.

Awhile back I spoke to a group about Necessary and Unnecessary Pain. Afterward a woman who was undergoing extensive medical treatments for life threatening health problems came up to speak to me. She talked about what she was doing to help herself Live in Truth while enduring the pain and I was impressed, but then she began to explain that what really bothered her was the attitude of the young technicians that worked in the clinic she attended. “They don’t take their job seriously,” she said. “They talk about all these other things without any regard to the suffering of their patients. They should be more considerate. They shouldn’t be so flippant.” As she spoke her countenance changed, vexation darkened her face, and anger animated her gestures. 

It surprised me. She was facing the challenge of physical demise well. But at the same time she was letting very minor things like other people’s attitudes and actions poison her soul. I learned a great lesson from her. Sometimes we handle the big situations (the Necessary Pain) very well without even realizing that we are poisoning our spirits with other negative emotions (and causing Unnecessary Pain).

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