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Reunion of Many Faiths in Lateef Warnick's Journey of the Soul PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jane White   
Monday, 07 February 2011 14:01

LateefWarnickPlease join me in welcoming Lateef Warnick, author of Journey of the Soul: Day One, and our newest Featured Author on the Polka Dot Banner.  Congratulations, Lateef, for having the most visits to your profile in January!

LW: Thank you, Jane.  I was pleased to find out I had the most visits in January.  I appreciate all the work you and Jamie are doing to help all established and up and coming authors.  You're doing a great service, and I'm sure the Polka Dot banner will continue to grow and prosper!

PDB: Journey of the Soul: Day One is the first in a seven part series.  Please tell us about Day One, and your vision from this first book as a springboard for the rest of the series.

LW: Journey of the Soul was never quite intended to become a book.  It was personal notes I kept from many years of research and study on various spiritual teachings.  After the events of 9/11, the aftermath of war, growing tensions between religious faiths and debates I entertained with close friends, I thought it would be helpful to challenge some of the ignorance and hostilities of having to be on the "right side" with the light of unity.  Those who have taken the time to study the teachings of various faiths will begin to see a universal underlying message within them all.

When you combine piling debts with a recession, it tends to create a wave of discontent and depression amongst the masses.  I wanted to inspire people that there is hope, and that finding true happiness begins by going within one's self.  Since the subject matter in the Journey of the Soul series may be difficult to grasp for some because it touches on esoteric interpretation, quantum physics, yoga and diverse scripture, I thought it would be best to break it up into smaller pieces for people to digest.  It just made sense to make it seven books since it parallels the seven days of creation in the Book of Genesis and the seven seals in the Book of Revelation.

PDB: Lateef, you are a former U.S. Naval Officer, a licensed Financial Advisor, yogi, and expert in comparative religious studies.  Please share a little about yourself as the person you are today, with such a variety of experiences.  Who are you right now?

LW: Well, my friends have been calling me a "Renaissance Man" for many years now.  I'm not sure exactly how it started, but most of my peers feel that I had always been searching for "something."  Perhaps it was foreshadowing, but I do believe all my diverse experiences and travels played a significant part in shaping the person I am today.  In fact, I think this is universally true for all people.  It is like we are all on a marathon run without any winners, but everyone is going along at their own pace.

Some people come to realize their true essence sooner than others, but we all will eventually get there.  Often in life we think our jobs, families, children or achievements are going to give us all the fulfillment possible that we imagine in our minds, and yet when we achieve certain milestones, there always seems to be that next thing to accomplish.  Yet the greatest fulfillment is always in the present moment and is the subtlest part of our being.  This is where we must go to find true lasting happiness!

PDB: You are the founder of 1 S.O.U.L. (Spiritual Nexus for Holistic Living), website, social network, and non-profit organization.  What does the acronym 1 S.O.U.L. stand for, and what is its purpose?

LW: 1 S.O.U.L. is an acronym for "One Source Of Universal Love."  I wanted something catchy and simple, but that said a lot.  1 S.O.U.L. attempts to provide a platform through the Social Network, Non-Profit, along with a blog and newsletters to first start honest discussion.  It is a lofty goal to think that people of various religious differences can find common ground.  Oftentimes, discussions can become intense, but everyone is typically respectful.  However, if you were to take all religious scriptures and remove the names Yahweh, Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, and so forth, you would be left with inspiration that all convey the same message.  When Jesus was asked what are the greatest commandments, he said, "To love thy God with all thy might, and to love thy neighbor as thyself."  If we could all strive for unconditional love, the world would be transformed into a Heaven on Earth!

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PDB: Having read Day One,  I am somewhat awed by the depth of your understanding of world religions and universal theology.  Could you explain briefly your ideas about the commonalities in all religions?

LW:  We often get bogged down with this egotistic need to be "right."  We are taught beliefs at a young age and we adopt others, but we seem to give precedence to "belief" as opposed to "experience."  What made the spiritual figures of all religious faiths unique and worth having followers is not based upon what they "believed," but rather what they "knew through experience."  Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed and others claimed to have known the Divine personally.  They weren't going off of what someone else told them or preached.  The purpose of all religions was to provide a "philosophy" upon which one could have this personal relationship for himself or herself.  However, this focus becomes lost when the religions lose sight of their actual purpose and become self-serving.  Jesus said, "The body is thy temple."  There is nothing wrong with church or group worship, but it shouldn't suffice for seeking to know God personally.  It is the "mystic" thread of all religions that is the binding truth.

PDB: To quote you, "What is the one thing every human being on the face of this earth has in common?"

LW: In reference to the book, I was suggesting that every human being is seeking happiness.  We either seek happiness through various pleasures of food, luxuries, sex, drugs, power, possessions, and so forth.  Some desires may be nobler than others, but they are all transient.  The only guaranteed thing in life is death.  This isn't meant to be morbid, but it is the truth, and yet many of us go from the cradle to the grave without ever seeking the underlying reason as to, "Why am I here in the first place?"

For me the purpose of life is threefold: 1) to experience, 2) to evolve, and 3) to enlighten.  No one can deny that life is meant to be enjoyed through relative experiences.  Through the experiences of good and bad we are meant to grow in understanding, love, and wisdom.  Through personal choice we are meant to transcend it all.  This is "enlightenment," to realize that your soul is being, consciousness, and bliss.  These are the only true eternal qualities of man.  This is what it means to be made in the image of God.

PDB: What prevents us from achieving our desires?

LW: This simple question can actually be one of the most difficult to answer thus far.  The first thing we should understand is that not all desires are meant to be achieved.  If you desire to be ruler of the world, then this most likely will never come to fruition.  But to answer this question in context, most of us are our own worst enemies.  Our thoughts and attitudes prevent us from achieving our goals.  We have the perception that things are "outside of us" and must be acquired, when the truth is that we are actually creators.  Our lives are a reflection of who we are in body, mind, and spirit.

Those who are aware of their spiritual essence, such as Jesus, have no problem achieving any desire or goal.  There have been stories of many saints, sages, swamis, and others who have been witnessed performing miracles.  The closer we are to realizing our spiritual truth, the easier it is not to just achieve desires, but to manifest anything or experience anything we choose.  The farther away from our essence, the more difficult it is.  Things such as character, integrity, fear, selfishness, and karma may all have an impact on our ability to reach goals.  Ultimately, life is about self-realization, and most often our desires are the culprit to limiting our spiritual growth.  We must begin by thinking less about ourselves, and figure out how we may serve others.  In doing so, you will be blessed with the fulfillment of all your desires, and a lot more than you could have ever imagined.

PDB: How can we find what we yearn for within ourselves?

LW: Great question!  The first step is to be honest with ourselves.  We have to try to make the best objective assessment we can about who we perceive ourselves to be.  Many of us are not even aware that we yearn for "something" more.  I refer to this "something" as Truth!  God is the ultimate Truth.  They say our hearts are like "locks," and God is the only key that fits.  So if you're used to praying, then start by merely asking God to help you yearn for the Truth of "who am I?"  If you are sincere, then life will begin to steer you in a direction that will ultimately lead you towards Truth.  We should try to be accepting and realize that this "Truth" may not come in the package we expect.

The Truth is that God is in everything, and yet is above it all.  He has hid Himself in the place most people go to look in last, right within!  Try to take some time to be alone without outer distractions, no spouse, no kids, no TV, no radio, or otherwise.  This will prove to be very difficult for many.  Our thoughts can often be like static noise and troublesome.  The pace and shallowness of our breath is directly tied to our mental restlessness.  People and animals with short respirations tend to live short lives.  Those with deep, long breaths tend to live a lot longer and healthier.  Just look at the life span and respiration cycles of tortoises and elephants.  Yoga means "union."  It is the union of soul with spirit.  It is also the means to achieving union.  I encourage those interested to find some good literature on yoga, because it will teach you how to monitor and ultimately control the breath, which will lead to a spiritual awakening.

In summary, Journey of the Soul: Day One approaches the seven days of creation in Genesis as metaphor of how Spirit descends from the unmanifested to the manifested, the immaterial to the material, and the infinite down to the finite.  The experience of man under the spell of ego and delusion is what allows us to experience creation in relative terms of "I" in contrast to everything else.  Our souls innately know ourselves to be many in One and the One in many.  The Book of Revelation, which has been erroneously interpreted as doom and gloom, fire and brimstone and Armageddon, in truth is known as the Apocalypse.  Apocalypse simply means "unveiling."  Revelation is a process for man to transcend ego and reunite its consciousness in Spirit.

"Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write on him my new name." Revelation 3:12

To learn more, visit Lateef's profile, click here.

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