One is the Holiest Number
I am going to talk about my spirituality, which is something I rarely do. I do so because these are Holy days and I am feeling prayerful. Apropos, I will be discussing prayer.
I love Aimee Mann’s rendition of Three Dog Night’s “One is the Loneliest Number” from the memorable movie Magnolia. As I returned on my bike from a night of going away that my friends John and Claudia threw for me, I was listening to a podcast download of Speaking of Faith about prayer, Approaching Prayer and Anoushka Shankar and Krista Tippett were discussing prayer and they both agreed that prayer is probably the most important part of the spirituality of any faith, and probably the hardest to endure over the course of ones spiritual life.
I agree. Though it is more than worth it.
Back to Aimee Mann and “One is the Loneliest Number.” The lyrics of the song go, “one is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do.” I object. I think that one is the Holiest number. I believe that in concert, prayer can be amazingly powerful; however, a prayerful life solo is rare indeed.
Prayer, Mano-a-mano, is indeed a marathon. A prayerful life requires constant contact, constant Faith, indefatigable devotion, and the endurance of the niggling fear that you’re wasting your time by simply mumbling to yourself.
According to the New Testament, prayer should not be a public act with the single-minded goal of being perceived as being Holy; rather, “when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly.” (Matthew 6.6). To me, anyway, one is the Holiest number that you’ll ever do.
And please don’t limit your experience to the traditional prayerful acts of kneeling before a candle or bed. Prayer can be done while on the city bus, during a morning run in the frost, while in the corpse pose on a yoga mat; at an Ashram, Mosque, Temple, Church or Monastery; while swimming laps or doing reps — it really isn’t important.
You don’t even need to call it prayer — you can call it meditation, visualization, self-hypnosis, centering, or wishing — you don’t need even ask for world peace or feeding the hungry (though you really should consider it) — you can, and are encouraged, to pray for the health, wealth, and happiness of your own family and even for your very own health, wealth, and happiness! (why not?)
Here’s a simple warning that prayer is powerful and not limited only to well-wishing. Prayer is an energy, a force, an intention. Prayer taps Godhead. Even so, it can be used for anything in the short run. But don’t be lured. It really isn’t worth it. Another hint: Good, God, Prosperity, Happiness and Love are not limited resources with finite supplies. For some reason, someone has been able to spin that there is Peak Love.
Unlike peak oil, there is no limit to the benefit of blessings on any one person — there is no reason at all for competition, quarreling, or self-denial. Currently, there is a false scarcity for prosperity and blessings. Like diamonds (and probably oil), there is a limitless supply of blessing and prosperity that one can tap through prayer — not simply for you, yourself, but for all of those around you. Even better, like the electrical grid, any prayer that is not used by you or those for whom prayed is fed back into the grind for everyone’s benefit and blessings.
OK, I think I have tapped myself out, spiritually, for 2008. We’ll see how this goes over — maybe I will continue revealing a completely different side of myself into 2009. Please feel free to comment and let me know if I have either contributed to your life or have encouraged you, rather, to backup slowly towards the door — exit, stage left!
And, to conclude, I wish happy Holy days to you and yours.