The Religion of Eckankar

by Michael McGinnis

The great challenge of life is to be happy. This means to find out how to put more love in your life. Most people are happy sometimes, but not as often as they would like to be. And truly great joy comes very seldom. It is a great puzzle we each face as we look for love and happiness in this world. A person's religion may be very important in helping him open his heart to love.

I have found that the religion I follow, which is Eckankar, has helped me to appreciate God's love in ways I never expected. This editorial tells about Eckankar and gives some examples of how it has touched me.

Eckankar teaches that the Divine Spirit of God sustains all life through a current of Light and Sound that we may sometimes see and hear. For example we might see lights around us, or with our eyes closed that we can't explain. Or people may hear sounds like the buzzing of bees, the rumble of thunder or the sounds of a flute and not know where these are coming from. These are part of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God can also be felt in the heart as a warm feeling of love. Divine Spirit often works to protect us from harm if we are open to its messages. Sometimes this protection is quite dramatic.

I was driving on a road which followed a lake shore on Vancouver Island soon after I became an Eckist (a member of Eckankar). Coming into a tight curve around a rock face I got a strong warning that a car was coming towards me in my lane. I jerked the steering wheel to the right, so my right tires were on the shoulder very close to the drop-off into the lake. Then a speeding car appeared, coming around the curve towards me well over in my lane! I was just far enough to the right to avoid hitting the other car.

Divine Spirit is there to help and guide us, but Eckists also have a living, spiritual leader, Harold Klemp, the Living Eck Master, who shows people how to be more successful in their spiritual development. To hear Spirit's message, Eckists use "spiritual exercises" to improve their ability to pick up what It is telling us. Like any other ability it takes practice to become good at it. One spiritual exercise is to sing the word "Hu", which is one of the sounds that makes up the Sound part of Divine Spirit. I sing Hu to myself when I want to better understand what Spirit is telling me and to feel more of Its love for me at that moment. Very often, what I hear from Spirit within myself, I soon hear again from another source around me.

I had decided about a month ago that it was time for me to write about Eckankar in an editorial, but I hadn't yet started. Then someone came to me and asked if there were any Eck activities. She thought she had seen something about Eckankar in the Stewart Valley Voice! That was a message to me from Spirit that confirmed that it was time for me to get to work and write this.

Listening to and working with Divine Spirit will reveal to you what your reason is for being in this world. Your work with Divine Spirit shows you that you are Soul and not your body. And beyond this lifetime, once you truly know this, and live this truth, you won't need to return to the earth. You'll be able to live in a more heavenly world, in greater happiness for yourself, and all life that you touch.

Eckankar services and public discussions have been held in Whitehorse for many years, and will now be happening in Mayo each month. Look for posters and ads for the topics of Eck activities and event date and location. Anyone interested in learning more about Eckankar or sharing their experiences is welcome.

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