Wayne Dyer has rightly noted that “enlightenment is not changing your outer world but changing your inner world.” The outer world is only ever a reflection of your inner world. This is the point Jesus was making when he held the discussion about what people eat in Matthew 15. “It’s not what goes into someone’s mouth that defiles them, but what comes out of their mouth.”
The religious establishment (or, you might say, the collective ego) was offended by Jesus’ words. Imagine that? Jesus explained, “Look it isn’t what goes into the stomach and out of the body that infects everything; instead, it is that which comes from a person’s mouth – which is really from their heart…this is what defiles a person.”
In our culture, we carry an inordinate amount of concern over what we eat, what’s in what we eat, how that which we do eat is prepared, and so forth. For example, I have myself worried more about what I consume than what is consuming me already. If what you see in the world is negativity, has it occurred to you to look for negativity within? If you feel the world is filled with hatred, evil, and violence, is it possible that your mind and heart are filled with the same?
The reason the church is often perceived as judgmental, critical, and negative by the world around it, as well as by many who’ve chosen to leave it, is because the church is too often more obsessed with what’s happening outside its walls instead of what’s happening inside–and, inside each heart. The church that heals is the church that knows that to be "salt" and "light" in the world, it must not judge the world but love the world. When the church sits judgment on the world it is only succeeding in marginalizing itself and revealing to the world that it is unaware of itself. As such it is creating the very evil it abhors.
Overeating and obesity may be examples of what Jesus is saying too. I’ve often wondered if these social challenges are not an indication Americans are inwardly starved…out of balance…neglectful of their inner need for spiritual nourishment. No matter how many “All You Can Eat” establishments you frequent, I can assure you, you’ll get hungry again. The problem is not overeating but underfeeding our inner spiritual stomachs.
So, today, why not give your attention to connecting with the Bread of life? Find your deepest hungers satisfied in that inner connectedness with Source itself. This is the secret to enlightenment. Until you find the Satisfying Source that is within you already, you will constantly look outside yourself, as well as blame everything and everyone around you, for the emptiness, the hunger, and the lack you feel within.
The Bread of Life is within you. You need not look anywhere else for the Fresh Loaf within the oven of your soul.