The idea of the Perennial Philosophy of Aldous Huxley leads one to the idea that God is too big for any one religion. How is it that sometimes people outgrow their religion of childhood? James Fowler, among others, has mapped out a model of spiritual development. Osho says that a person cannot enter into a spiritual life until he/she rebels against childish religious beliefs. Notes On A Spiritual Life intends to explore deeper understandings of an authentic spiritual life.
Sunday, July 24, 2016
The soul of America
The observation that these ideas are supported by a group of Americans might lead one to question the spiritual well being of part of the nation.
It is too easy to say "let us pray for them". It also is condescending and patronizing because these misguided people are part of us and deserve out love, compassion, and acceptance, but we also have an obligation to set appropriate limits and hold accountable those who advocate for hate and would hurt groups of people.
How does one set appropriate limits and work to decrease and maybe even eliminate the racism, sexism, bigotry, xenophobia, and vanity that was spewed encouraging followers to lock up and even kill people who oppose these evil ideas?
The first and most important step is identifying and naming the evil. Demonization and exclusion promise safety, security, and increased well being, but they do not deliver what they promise. Usually demonization and exclusion beget more of the same and a tit for a tat dynamic is generated which is destructive for all participants no matter which side is taken.
Second, Jesus tells us, counter-intuitively, that we should love our enemies. Demonization and exclusion protest that this makes no sense and will only increase the risk of harm and yet, at a spiritual level, if one has achieved the higher levels of spirituality, one is aware of paradox, and recognizes that the fear injected into us is an illusion because as a spiritual being we realize that harm and death to our spirits are not real. We have just unthinkingly believed it.
Third, given the awareness of the tricks that demonization and exclusion are playing on us, we laugh at the silliness of the situation. The risk that demonization and exclusion claim to protect us from never existed. It is a figment of our imaginations being triggered by fear mongering so that we will give up our power to those who would dominate and control us, and profit from us.
Fourth, we make another choice. We choose love, compassion, brotherhood, and inclusion because we know that we are all in this thing called Life together and our fulfillment comes from helping each other achieve the Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Moving in this direction our spiritual health as a nation will be nurtured.
Fifth, we act in ways to include, to nurture, to support, to lift up and build up all people, everywhere. In short, loving kindness will restore the soul of America and we can do things every day to manifest this in our daily lives enhancing the lives of others as well as ourselves. This is how God will bless America working through the loving kindness manifested in our mutual lives together.
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