YouTube: The Teachable Mind
Step 4: I am willing to release all preconceived beliefs about God, myself, and my relationship with God.
This may sound overly simplistic, but all formal religious teachings are based on the belief that we are either separate or one with God. The mystical aspect of the Christian teaching affirms our oneness with God. In contrast, the more prevalent, mainstream Christian teachings assume that we are separate from God.
Roughly 75% of America is Christian, which means most of us were programmed on how to think of God, ourselves, and our relationship to God. It is important that we understand all religious doctrines are products of the human mind. One of the greatest challenges we encounter in spiritual recovery is learning to recognize and set aside this programing and seek direct knowledge of what is spiritually true. This requires a teachable mind.
When Jesus talked about new and old wineskins, he was referring to two states of mind. One is expandable, the other is not. The lesson he was teaching concerned the need to let go of our old, preconceived beliefs so that we may truly have a deeper, more meaningful spiritual life. Then as now people were taught what to think concerning spiritual matters. Much of the power of Jesus’ ministry lay in the fact that he encouraged his followers to go alone, to pray to their Father in secret. In other words, seek a firsthand experience with their own spiritual source, to be inspired and instructed by it.
When Jacob fled his homeland, he feared he was leaving the presence of God, for this is what he had been taught. In the night he dreamed of a ladder with angels ascending and descending between heaven and earth. He awoke realizing that he could never leave the presence of God, that wherever he was, God was also. The experience gave him a teachable mind, one that could expand far beyond what he had been told. He knew for himself the truth of omnipresence.
Make a habit of practicing this third step of spiritual recovery: I am willing to release all preconceived beliefs about God, myself, and my relationship with God.