Tag archives for Spirituality

Coming Out of The Spiritual Closet

God—one word that brings up a plethora of different emotions and mental images amongst different people. The same word can open up channels of communication between individuals and also shut them down. It can incite anger in some while bringing up kindness in others. Why is it that humans have such a complex relationship with God?

My atheist friends will stomp their foot and proclaim that God does not exist. They will demand evidence and scientific proof of the existence of God at the mere mention of the word. My religious friends will bow in supplication, hailing their God the ultimate saviour of their soul. Whether they are Christians or Muslims, they will tell me how wonderful their God is. I have no doubt that it’s true, after all, the God that the Christians worship and the Allah that the Muslims pray to is one and the same. He just appears under different names in different scriptures. So why is it that humans have such a complex relationship with God?

To me, organised religion is part of what facilitates this complexity. The other part is Ego. Both organised religion and ego leads humanity into believing that their religion is the only path to God. To me, that is what makes our relationship with God complex. The paradox is that God is devoid of ego. He is an energy form that vibrates at the highest frequency. In the hands of humans—who are all beings with ego—the idea of God gets mutated into a symbol that has the power to punish human beings, a symbol to be feared. Religion then becomes a form of pardon from this punishment, a passport to heaven in the After Life. What people forget is that God and religion is not the same thing. What people also forget is that life happens in the Now, not in the After Life and being religious means nothing if—in your day-to-day living—you are cruel towards others and you feel hatred and judgement towards those who are different from you.

I am not a religious person even though I am very spiritual. My path to God did not go through the Bible or the Quran, instead it was an unexpected discovery during my journey of self-healing and growth. I had my spiritual connection with God in the most unlikely of places—in a casino hotel conference room on the second last day of a six-day personal development seminar. I wrote about it on my blog at The Dirty 30s Club. You can read it here.

If I had to explain God in one word, that word would be Love—a word that is both a verb and a noun at the same time. Perhaps I should ask my atheist friends if they believe in love because if premise one is “God is love.”, and premise two is “I believe in love.” then it seems logical that the conclusion is “I believe in God.” But because I don’t feel the need to convince my atheist friends of anything they refuse to believe in, I won’t ask the question.

Sometimes people forget that no one needs other people’s permission or approval to believe in God. No one needs to justify their reasons for believing there is a God the same way no one needs to justify their existence. You relationship with God is entirely your own, the same way your relationship with your mother or father is, or the way your relationship with your spouse is. It’s personal. It does not need to be subjected to other people’s scrutiny or judgement. That is the way I feel about how our attitude and perception to the word God should be.

As for those of you who are spiritual but not religious, who somehow feels the need to hide it for fear of being judged, I would say that it’s time to come out of the spiritual closet. After all, would you hide your spouse or your children? Would you hide your belief in a cause you feel strongly about? If not, then why you would hide your affinity for the most powerful emotion of all?

Posted in Chiao Kee's Blog | 1 Comment

Meeting Oprah

I had the good fortune of showing up on the taping of Oprah’s Lifeclass with Deepak Chopra via Skype. It was a life long dream, well, close to it anyway. My life long dream is to meet with her in person on the set of her show so when I woke up one morning in March to see an email from one of the Associate Producers at Harpo, I didn’t know what to feel. The feeling was surreal – both expected and unexpected at the same time.

The taping of Lifeclass was scheduled for Tuesday, 3rd April, 4 a.m. Melbourne time and I had to be ready an hour and a half before then. I went to bed at 6 p.m on Monday, thinking I would squeeze in a few solid hours of sleep so that I would be fresh for the show. But that didn’t happen. By 11 p.m, I decided the tossing and turning was futile, so I got out of bed and fixed myself something to eat instead – a salad with crumbled fetta cheese dressed with balsamic vinegar, and half a chicken parmigiana. In between getting dressed, putting on my make up and doing my hair, I put a pot of chic-kut-teh on the stove to simmer for lunch the following day. It was a rather productive night.

Then the Harpo team called me via Skype just before 3 a.m to make sure all the technical stuff were taken care of – sound check, camera, lights – the whole shebang. While waiting for 4 a.m. to roll around, I sipped my double dose Trung Nguyen Vietnamese coffee through a pink straw while trailing through my Facebook feed. The thing was stagnant. Nothing was happening at 3.15 a.m.

Finally, the show started and I got a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes to make a show of that magnitude happen. Not divulging any secrets here. :-) Truth be told, a lot of people worked really hard to make it go as smoothly as it did.

Oprah was really funny and down to earth. During the commercial breaks, she wandered down the aisles of Radio City – where the show was held – to meet with and talk to the large audience. She was hilarious. I laughed so hard during the commercial breaks I could’ve sworn I was at the Comedy Festival. I wished she showed more of that side of her on TV. It was so warm and so human.

I was the last Skyper to appear on air. The Associate Producer who was watching my screen had been feeding my comments to the other producers throughout the taping of the show. When the show was almost concluding, the camera focused on me for one last point. I asked Deepak Chopra a question and in 60 seconds, it was all over. The producers thanked us all and told us we could log off when we were ready. That was the end of the many weeks of build-up, the end of over two hours of taping and also the end of my Oprah experience. I looked out my living room French doors and saw that daylight was upon me.

I had a shower and tried to sleep – to no avail. I was exhausted but sleep evaded me. Lying in bed, I thought to myself that after all these years of writing her fan mail, something actually came out of it. Perhaps in the not-so-distant future, Oprah and I will actually meet in person. That remains a life long dream, but not an unattainable one.

My Skype shot for Oprah's Lifeclass

Posted in Chiao Kee's Blog | 14 Comments

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