What does it mean to live spiritually?How might we define Spiritual-Mindedness?
Do we need to belong to a church to feel religious?
Can we self-identify as individual human beings focused on goodness and moral integrity without performing as a church-attender or one who belongs to a group of like-minded human beings who are “religious” together?
Can one find satisfaction in the privacy of one’s own thoughts – reflecting one’s own values by an outward behavior not intended to draw attention to one’s self?
Can we seek goodness for the sake of goodness without a concern that others see us as good, worthy, or righteous (whatever that means?)
Is genuine moral living with a focus on walking uprightly in reverence to all things something someone else needs to validate for us?
The answer ought be obvious.
We are the masters and commanders of our own lives, We can only live and love sincerely and genuinely of our own free will and accord … without the by-your-leave of anyone else.
As it ought to be.
Let us not then worry about our public self-portrait as an expression of conformity to someone else’s notions.
Let us be our own persons, fully possessing ownership and proprietorship of how we live, what values we live by and all things we deem worthy of reverence.
A spirit-driven life need not be a system of chores, obligations and religious mechanics of motion by which a human being then feels “spiritual.”
Might the alternative to religious obligatory performing might be a hunger for a non-verbal experience of whatever divinity is and the steps one might create by one’s own light and wisdom to achieve that?
Ought we be able to be human without some need to “perform” for visible peers acting on the same stage or invisible deities sitting in a divine audience perhaps maintaining invisible mental, emotional and spiritual “critiques” of our performance?
Must we worry about performance as a spiritual way of life?
A religion of performances with rewards and punishments might involve the following equation as an expressive answer to such a question.
Obedience + Worthiness = Spirituality and Blessings
In thinking about the variety of religions that conceive of God as a supernatural being to whom there is an obligation to worship, obey and “please” (satisfy), might we then try to portray precisely what sort of movable head sits on a throne at the pinnacle of an imagined spiritual and mental construct?
Many religions, many systems of spiritual belief and many spirit-influenced cultures do not understand religion in any sense of performance pointed toward reward or fear of punishment.
Can anyone really provide or make available for us a spiritual experience of the divine?
Would it make sense that such experience is possible only through connection to some other human being? Regarding some other human being, can we define our own reality rather than let someone else do it for us? If we cannot, then is not such a reality our own?
Would it not be a reality that we have borrowed – a way of seeing life that has been “loaned” to us by someone else? As a loan, will not the lender only validate our use of loaned magic as we use it in ways approved by the lender?
In other words, our magic is not our magic – is it not the lender’s? Would not such a borrowed spiritual reality be formulaic by definition in that it can’t be validated unless we adhere to the lender’s requirements?
If one is feeling a desire for a sense of living a religious life how might such a life proceed free from the formulas of someone else?
Can we bring a certain sense of what I call “mystic-mindedness” that blends critical thinking which does not rely merely on logic and provable fact but also with an internal feeling and perception that captures a sense of awe and wonder at being a part of life in some non-measurable way?
Might I suggest that it is your internal feeling that reflects whether spiritual-mindedness is part of how we view and interact with life – whatever “reality/the real world” is to you?
Why would it be significant to understand how we individually view reality in a spiritual sense?
Many from a churched place of perception seem to see reality as an earthly world governed spiritually by a divine monarch – a king who commands, judges and rewards/punishes. There is an element of religious literalism that drives such a churched way of being.
Literalism is what might work as a way of perceiving, judging and being. In this sense we see in our churches a world of spiritual reference materials and text books as manuals of formulaic instruction and codes of moral rules and rituals.
There is nothing wrong with this so long as one’s natural stance tends to be a response to God as a lawgiver whose scripture is in fact law – the letter of the law.
But might there not be a more personal way – driven by one’s own passion – to commune with the Divine in perceptual and conceptual ways one has created from one’s own personal soul-hunger?