SPIRIT-SPIRITUAL-SPIRITUALITY— quite a long title involving two nouns and an adjective concerning the same subject. So, just what is ‘spirit’ anyway? We hear that word used often with seemingly different connotations. Often, especially at Halloween time, the word is meant to be synonymous with ghost. In fact, the original versions of the Bible refer to the Holy Ghost. As I personally listen, I strongly suspect the user of that word doesn’t fully comprehend its meaning—I may be wrong.
We often hear expressions such as, ‘that girl she sure has spirit’, or ‘he is such a spiritual guy—likewise, ‘I wonder where that group gets all of its spirituality?’, or ‘that is really a spirited horse’. What about the Holy Spirit?—probably the most common usage. And, no doubt, each listener has a different interpretation and/or understanding of what was said. Why do you suppose that is?
If you look up the definition of ‘spirit’ in the dictionary, you will find a long, rambling, jargonistic, definition with no explicit meaning. And that description stems from the fact that no one lacking an essential understanding of the ‘essence of God’, is able to be explicit —the definition of God’s essence demands the resultant understanding of who the Holy Spirit is. Likewise, it gives a concrete definition and understanding of the essential definition of ‘spirit’.
The understanding of God’s essence as ‘a Perfect Rational Being’ translates into a Perfect Intellect which perceives all, and a Perfect Will which achieves all. That Perfect Intellect represents God, the Father. The Father, reflecting upon himself, sees a ‘mirror image of himself’—being in the supernatural state means that image is a living being also, the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. Those two Perfect Intellects viewing each other have no choice but to accept (love, choose, will, spirit) each other. That willing, drive, choosing, loving each other carries the perpetual image of its generators, and, again, being in the supernatural, is a living being, identical to its generators—the third person of the Trinity—the Holy Ghost (Spirit). It is the ‘driving force of Perfect Acceptance’ (love, will, choice spirit).
With that perception in play, we may now define the essence of spirit in absolute terms: spirit is the ‘unseen driving force’ which causes an action—it may be described as drive, choice, love, acceptance, or will.
So then, how does ‘spiritual’ come into play? It most often is used in religious or contemplative way—usually describing an individual or group exhibiting a devotional attitude of one kind or another. Basically, it represents an internal aura of dedication or drive. However, it could just as well be used to describe the attitudinal dedication of a determined athlete or anyone dedicated to a cause of any kind. Its antonyms might be defined as lazy, indifferent, lackadaisical etc.
What about ‘spirituality’? Simply put, it is the state of being, or the defining quality of recognizing and accepting the source of spirit’. How, then, does it apply? In the natural world, like everything else, it has limits, faults, inconsistencies, and finiteness. Nevertheless, it has many good qualities. For instance, investigative spirituality has been responsible for literally all of the scientific discoveries as well as the benefits derived from those discoveries and their ensuing developments and deployments.
Since the beginning of recorded history, humanity has been shackled by a spirituality generated through astrology, superstition, and mythology—the ‘driving force’ of all of their beliefs and activities. That force led them to understand and believe that there was a ‘higher power’ which exerted influences on their lives. They reasoned, in one way or another, and, in one place or another, world-wide, but, surprisingly, in similar fashion how that/those higher powers operated. Most groups reasoned that those powers were responsible for all the good and bad things that happened in their lives. In addition, many surmised that those powers (gods) needed to be appeased in order to bring more good from them. Accordingly, various forms of sacrificial rituals were developed. Some of those rituals actually included human sacrifice—usually a teen-aged girl. Be that as it may, each and every one of those sacrificial rituals became known as ‘religion’. Strangely, it seems that rituals of every form and description sprang up rather simultaneously on all inhabited continent’s.
In South America, the native Maya and Inca nations built many temples of worship for their god. The north American natives as well as the far East Asians were more contemplative—they seemed to sense the presence of god in everything. The Native Americans had specific names for each of the visible and palpable elements ( wind, moon, stars, rivers, etc.). The Far Easterners, Hindus, Buddhists and related kind recognized the ‘presence of god in everything’, but, simultaneously, were intent on understanding and defining the basic essence of that god—I believe they still are.
On the other hand, in the Middle East, Abraham, a Hebrew, recognized and accepted the concept of a singular God. He and his successors developed schemes of ‘bargaining’ with him. In the meantime, the Egyptians had developed their own scheme of things based mainly on the Zodiac from fourteen thousand year back. They had baptism, and their god was a ‘trinity’ god—father, son, and holy ghost. The father was Geb, the original god. When a person died, he had to cross the Nebel Bridge in order to get to heaven and a new life. However’ on that bridge he met with a judge Osiris (the son) who balanced his good and bad deeds by weighing his heart with the feathers of the goddess Maat—if the good outweighed the bad he got free passage to heaven, a place of perpetual toil, but with the possibility of rebirth—if the bad outweighed the good, he got pushed off the bridge into Sheol, the Netherworld below, where he was eaten by the alligator god, Sobek. The god Kneph was the ‘breath of life’ known as the Holy Spirit, who imparted life to everything.
As time passed, famine hit the Hebrew tribe, and, consequently, they were obliged to purchase grain from the plentiful Egyptians. During the process, they became enslaved by the Egyptians—during that forty year entrapment, they adopted some of the Egyptian religious customs, particularly baptism. Upon their delivery from slavery and escape to the Promised Land, they also developed a religious scheme for appeasing their God. It started with the Ten Commandment and eventuated with 640-some rules and regulations controlling every aspect of Jewish life—sin was invented.
Enter Jesus, and Christianity was born. Through turmoil and strife, it spread rather rapidly westward to Europe and southward to North Africa. Reportedly, all of Jesus’ apostles were killed except John who was banished to the Isle of Patmos—he supposedly lived one hundred years. During those sixty five years or so, Peter, James and John developed a scheme of ‘power transfer’ from themselves to their underlings—and the framework for the first Catholic Church, which eventuated three hundred years later, was created. Peter, of course, was the first pope. Five hundred and seventy years or so after Jesus’ death, Mohammed established Islam—and the three Abrahamic religions were established.
Now, mind you, up to that point in time, there already were hundreds, maybe thousands, of different religions and religious sects in existence—and no two alike—many similar but no two identical. Since that time there have been thousands and thousands of religions spring up ,world-wide—and why?
Plainly, each in turn had ‘spirit’ but not a single one knew the ‘source’ of that spirit. Therefore each, in turn was based on a mythical understanding of its spiritual generator—mainly the Zodiac. While, I have not seen it personally, it is my understanding that a giant Zodiac is embedded in the stone/brickwork of Saint Peter’s Square in Rome.
So, with that historical overview, we can logically and legitimately address ‘spirit’ and its derivatives. We already know and understand that human, as well as, all ‘natural spirit’ is temporary and subject to both change and even failure. But what about Eternal Spirit—the Holy Spirit—how does it apply in our lives?
Allow me to start this way. We’re going to assume that we have a pile of identical bricks one hundred feet high and covering an area one mile square. In addition, we have seven other identical sized piles, but the bricks in each pile are a different size and color from the other seven piles. So, each brick in each pile is identical and indistinguishable from its counterparts in that pile—each is perfect in size, shape and function. Now we are ‘ready to build’.
So, dutifully, we go out and build, and build, and build. We build schools, temples, stores, post offices, etc. By the time we have exhausted all of our brick supply, guess what?—the mortar holding the bricks together in our first buildings has decayed, liberating the bricks—and our supply is magically replenished.
Now with this simple little paradigm, I have described God, the Big Bang and his continuing creation. It is God’s perfect intellect that envisioned each of those perfect, tinniest particles of energy of different varieties and functions (quanta). In aggregate, they represent a mirror reflection of that Perfect Intellect—they are God. He commissioned them with his Perfect Will (Holy Spirit) to be perfect and perform perfectly. Like their creator, each is prefect, unchanging, and unchangeable—like God they all exist in Eternity.
So what does all that means? Very simply, everything we see and don’t see is made of those perfect little bricks which never change. You’re looking out your window—that big tree in on your landscape is beautiful—some day it will vanish—its bricks won’t—they’ll show up in a blade of grass, a weed, a pile of mud, in water molecules… They may help constitute billions of physical objects before time ends and only Eternity is left, but guess what—they always have been eternal and perfect because they were imagined by God, and are driven by the Spirit of God who is prefect and eternal.
So then, what is Spirituality?—how does it apply to our recognizance? In my opinion, it is, in fact, the most important understanding and acceptance we can possibly have. Look at the world this very minute—nothing but chaos universally—there is no ‘peace’—there is no ‘tranquility’—why? Because there is absolutely no ‘like-mindedness’. And why is there no like-mindedness? Because no one knows who God is. In order for us to have like-mindedness, we absolutely must understand and accept the fact that everything in this universe is made of the identical prefect God-generated and Holy Spirit (God) commissioned particles of energy. We and every star in the farthest galaxy are of identical material—we are brothers and sisters with evert blade of grass, every tree, every flower , every fish, every existence of any kind—we all are God.
Like-mindedness delivers that understanding and acceptance—that my friends is Spirituality. In my Book, Wilderness Cry, I define the essence of God and its ramifications. In my book Peace in Spirituality, I elaborated on just one of a myriad of ramifications of that understanding—Spirituality—its meaning and implications. In calling for the World-wide Communion of Spirituality, I am reiterating my desperate call for Peace through Spirituality—religion not only has failed the process—it is the problem. Religion is not the peace-maker—it is the peace breaker.