This picture is a reminder that wherever one may be in life, there is a doorway which leads into sacred inner space within which is always open and is forever welcoming of all presence. As space holds no such boundaries, the "I, you & we" (pertaining to identity) may be washed away in the great ocean which permeates all, in preparation to walk upon holy grounds. This passage within is that which extends outwardly in a manifestation of life, it is here that we come to know self.
It does not take for one to look up into the clouds, nor fall down onto knees in prayer, to be understood. All that one could ever come to know is right there within the temple of thine own being, but it is up to each individual to pay homage. There is not a one that is ever too evil, no matter what the past, to enter into the temple and be cleansed of conscience, loved without measure.
As with all living organisms, there is a continual tension between polarities, for where there is light, there is dark; where there is life, there is death. Within the sacred grounds of our temple is a balance between these extremes, for the acceptance of one thing to the rejection of another will not be the bringer of peace.
Upon entrance into the temple, we are faced with dual entities that may be considered guardians or gatekeepers of the holy grounds. If one should choose to enter through the gates, one must employ a shifting of perspectives that would enable them to pass, much like opening a door.
Just as one employs more of a righteous stance when entering a church, it is here that you may utilize that same respect. Oftentimes the use of rituals, such as burning incense, music of peace and solid fixtures that represent our inner holiness can help one to change perspectives, at least momentarily. Although they are not of necessity, it is as well not of necessity to deprive oneself either. Whether being for or against any such thing, there is a path between two extremes.
Simply open the door to peace. Why do you think it has taken you so long in coming to this place, when it was with you all the time, wherever you are and have been.
Is it that we shut the door consciously or just do not recognize the entrance? For all the searching you've done, seeking high and low, inside and out. Even if you had not been consciously seeking for god or a higher power, you found it in everything you've done. It has existed in binges of pizza and ice cream, lavish sexual conquests and maybe even drugs, wherever you have looked, it was there. You've praised sugar highs, endorphin rushes and power trips. Remember those times when you had to perform for others, just for the sake of money? We all have done it, just different additives, it is everywhere and everything. Yet, all of the above touches only as deeply as you are able to penetrate.
So now that we've ascertained that you've sought out something, in one way or another, you can most likely agree that no matter how many times you have been capable of experiencing those pleasures, they are short lived and rarely bring the satisfaction once imagined. It is easy to think that all those things are tangible, hence attainable, and even the notion of something which you cannot see or physically touch is unnerving.
Just for an example, let's take the image of a merri-go-round. You step on for the ride and it goes around and around and around, occasionally the horse will dip up and down, but that's it. Eventually the time will come when you have had enough and are no longer interested in the same ole' thing, even find yourself feeling a little sick, tired and fed up with what is not changing. Yet there is only two ways to make change, either get off or move to the center and sit upon the unmoving pole.
Now just imagine that merri-go-round as your life, just going through the same motions, over and over again. Yes, you may have changed from dorito's to freeto's, or blonde to burnette, but after enough experience, you soon realize that it is still given momentum by the same central issue. Recognize the issue or motivation and the habitual behaviour no longer has the force to churn you round and round again, although it is still up to you to make it stop.
Similarly, it is in the center of things that we find out greatest strength, likewise, in the center of your busy life, frustrations, habits and idiosyncrasies, is your greatest strength. You! So just as you put on a great air of respect in the church or in any position your attitude must change, why not offer yourself that same respect, attention and interest that you approach others.
In order for one to access something of great importance, it is quite common for one to greet that with the same intent. Most of you have heard that in order to receive you must first give, but many times we fear that we won't get back what we put into it, be cheated or hurt in the process of giving. However, it is here that we must take heed of the intention by which we gave. If for example, you helped out a friend, only later on to have them turn their back on you when you needed help. You would most likely feel hurt by this, possibly even to the point of ending the relationship once and for all.
It is in our expectations that we find the source of most disappointments. Instead of offering that friend help just to help, you did so with the motive of them giving back to you. Whether it be with money, time or objects, we can usually find the culprit that caused us pain in the approach we took and intention by which we over-extended our selves. This of course is not to say that there are not people out there that wouldn't think twice about taking advantage, it's just that we are so eagerly looking to meet our expectations that the relationship is based on self-fulfillment.
Just look around and you'll find that most relationships are based upon filling an emptiness within or the attainment of something or another. Because of this, so many relationships go awry, simply based upon the simple premise by which they began. When through the course of relations, a party is no longer happy because they never reached their expectations, either they stay for some reason and do so without honesty or they leave. Whereby the opposite party is devastated that such a thing could happen, when all the while the clues were evident, but the expectations held the real connection. Then after all is over, one will mourn over the story for days if not months, existing through bouts of sadness, hatred and anger, usually directed toward the liar and cheat.
Only through all that time, one is unable to see that they themselves were a partner in the crime and are causing further pain to themselves even after it is over. Blame the other party all you want, but in reality, that blame you are exuding is only coming back to you, in a round-a-bout way of course. Therefore the first stage of self-mastery is to get to know your self, approaching the relationship you have with yourself with love and acceptance. Enjoy your faults, relish when you feel like an idiot, laugh at yourself when you see your quirks. In time, or now (it's your choice), you'll observe the self-expectations take less and less of a hold on your life. Quite possibly even realize that all the things you think you are supposed to be, aren't really you at all.