Many think ‘spirituality’ is an “all or nothing” proposition. Religions often present themselves in that light, deliberately or by accident. Religions’ primary goals are to convince and convert. Efforts to ‘box God in’ by matching scriptural interpretations and dogma, makes ecclesiastics for current and traditional cultural/political ideologies a pathway away from the words and intents of Christ Jesus.
Spirituality is not all or nothing. It’s also not ‘One and Done’ (although it may be for many). Spirituality is a completeness of mind, spirit and soul. Spirituality is an attitude, belief, and perception. Your spirit is counselor and guide. It's your conduit to God’s Spirit. Spirituality is all of these, and more.
When you respond in His spirit, life becomes filled with peace, calm and understanding. When you talk with God you begin to recognize His hand at work. Once you recognize this you’ll witness the manifestations of His word, in action. When we communicate with Him, He responds with consequential options.
There are no ‘degrees’ of spirituality. There are no ‘grades, levels’ or ecclesiastic hierarchies. Your spirit exists. It dwells in your soul. A spirit is either ‘active’ or ‘inactive.’ An active spirit connects to conscience and mind, and in/through Christ communicates with the Spirit of God. Think of it as courtroom litigation. You are the defendant, your spirit is your lawyer/counselor, Christ is the judge, arbitrator and mediator, and God the Father is the final court of appeal.
The inactive spirit is exactly that; inactive. It’s there, waiting. Waiting to be acknowledged and called upon. Ready to respond on your behalf, immediately and as often as needed. Waiting. The inactive spirit is engaged only in situations when 'right and wrong' are at issue, and yet, 'right v. wrong' is the essence of moral and ethics in action. The active part (of the inactive spirit) connects to the sub conscience in this way. But sans a spiritual connection too often remains a moot option.
We each arrive in the world naked and alone. We each arrive with an inactive spirit in possession of a base innate moral/ethical awareness. The lessons of life are the same for everyone. But beginning day one, things change. The lessons on each separate path remain the same, littering the way are choices and consequences. And what are those lessons? What challenges do we each face, no matter our nature or nurture environs? What are the underlying growth opportunities that lie in wait as the foundational pillars to be exposed and extrapolated by tests, trials and tribulations encountered along the path?
These are the lessons we each must encounter and somehow embrace, to whatever degree, for growth to be experienced:
Let’s look at this list visually. Even though our ‘playing field’ started out as 'equal and level' with our first breath, when our personal trajectory sparked to life and our journey began everything changed. Our self reckoning is initially bathed in “Insecurity.” It’s our insecurities that hold us back. It’s our insecurities that keep us tightly bound in a net of confusion and doubt. As long as we’re in its grasp we are unable to break free.
Let me make this point again because it’s the key to future freedom. We start our lives mired in the muck of our insecurities. It’s where our interactions start and where, sadly many remain. Breaking free through the advent and prescription of reflective identity can take time. For some it's years, for others it can be a lifetime. No matter who we are or what we believe, we are each on a path that leads back to God through reflective identity. Some abandon this journey of contemplative growth altogether. Confronting insecurities from first cognition until last breath takes effort, energy and confidence. As long as we are subconsciously embroiled with or by our insecurities, we are trapped. Unable to grow and confront other life lessons which lay in wait before us can cause indefinite postponement.
Sadly, this is all too common for much of the world’s population. Too many people spend much of their time making choices grounded in false, self-serving desires. We live in a world which keeps us locked in struggle and conflict. Those caught in the grasp of insecurity experience constant stress and consternation between confrontation and escape (mechanisms).
Using the chart above, our life’s journey is to rise out of insecurity, up through other challenges along the way to truth and love. Our challenge is to make the journey step-by-step, with each building upon the previous, to grow. Sounds easy enough, right?
Join me next time when we look closer at where we are and where we might want to be.
In the Hawaiian language, "Mana'o" (ma na o) is the word used to describe 'thoughts, ideas, and opinions'.
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