A friend shared information on the nature of Dharma and I had an interesting reaction. The following is an abbreviation of what my friend shared:
“Dharma encapsulates those great laws and disciplines that uphold, sustain, and ultimately lead humanity to the sublime heights of worldly and spiritual glory. The words “religion” and “dharma” denote two entirely different concepts and perspectives. Dharma makes God manifest in the human heart, not in an anthropomorphic form, but as the absolute and universal One in whom all diversities reside in perfect harmony. “
My friend then shared the following words that define the essence of Dharma: Harmony, The Way, Righteousness, Compassion, Natural Law, Essential Nature, Morality, Truth, Teachings, Tradition, Philosophy, Order, Flow, Spirituality, Religion, Wisdom, Purest Insight, Divine, Conformity, Cosmic Norm, Blueprint, Inherent Nature, Intrinsic Nature, Law of Being, and Duty.
Now onto my interesting reaction. To me, some of these words should not be in this list. Why? These words could, and often do, cross over to the flawed human expression of religion:
Natural Law, Morality, Truth, Teachings, Tradition, Order, Religion, Wisdom, Duty
I suppose anything can be corrupted when intent is not aligned with the true nature of divinity, and with Dharma. Are the words flawed and should they be absent from a list of qualities of Dharma? Absolutely not! I see the flaw is within me. The lesson here is that it is MY reaction to these words. I have an unhealthy or unreasonable emotional connection to these words. My next challenge is to determine why they have that emotional hook in me. Ah! A good challenge.
More on Dharma for those who are interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma .