Do you consider some of
your ideas to be revolutionary?
Yes, revolutionary construed as ‘provoking change’ … possibly a
threat to beliefs and practices. In all societies cohesion is
maintained by common bonds: Laws, traditions, language,
religion, dress, etcetera. Citizens pretty much think and behave
alike. Even in America, a bastion of creativity, there is
conformity. This is essential for peace and prosperity. Cannot
have naked people driving on the wrong side of the highway. Or
power hungry individuals shooting up towns and enslaving its
residents. Without strict, enforceable rules anarchy would
However, my ‘revolutionary’ ideas are not meant to threaten
ensconced rules of behavior. Hopefully they inspire change in
one’s personal views of ‘self’, what a human being is and is
capable of. Most believe in a ‘soul’ that lives on after death.
But awareness and appreciation of the unique, spiritual
abilities that help us accomplish this has been ignored.
Humans have always been entrenched in the physical … compelled
to survive and improve. They have also dealt with fears of the
unknown: Imagined threats by powerful entities, gods. This has
led to diverse ways of coping. Beliefs and rituals have at least
mitigated fears. But smug complacency has often been a
by-product … to say nothing of condescension and even hate by
one group for another. History is rife with examples.
When people rely on beliefs and rituals to ‘save’ themselves, to
be safe, it is easy to ignore the purpose of human existence:
Spiritual growth. Religion may encourage love, often just for
likeminded people, but it also truncates spiritual expression
due to its strict, inculcated dictates: “God told US what to do,
so we do it!” “Listen to Him, to us.” “Do not depend on
yourself. You are flawed. You have a propensity to sin.” On and
on. Many rely on the ‘authority’ of their church, mosque or
synagogue. They do what they are told … and often little else.
It may be very difficult to ‘progress’ when stymied by this
To overcome this IT IS NOT NECESSARY to abandon beliefs. But you
will have to make ‘adjustments’ if you acknowledge that you were
created with resources to realize your potential. You can
‘relate’ to your God the way you have been taught: Respecting
the Creator’s dominion and Plan and following rituals that
sustain your commitment to proper ‘etiquette’ and behavior. But
you can also rely on your abilities, YOUR ASTOUNDING SPIRITUAL
ABILITIES, to realize your potential, to grow. And you alone
possess them: You can WONDER, APPRECIATE BEAUTY, IMAGINE,
CHOOSE, CONSIDER MORALITY/ETHICS, LOVE and EXPERIENCE JOY. These
abilities are not found in the natural world … in the ‘makeup’
of animals. You alone being a spiritual entity possess them.
No doubt many will reject the idea they have spiritual
abilities. They do not wish to accept responsibility for
themselves. Tell them they must love and they will say their
beliefs are enough. How naïve!! Others see themselves as
‘sophisticated’ earthly creatures. They are convinced their
unique abilities such as appreciation of beauty and experience
of joy are no more than animal feelings … just a bit more
complex. Large ‘advanced’ brains account for this behavior.
‘Pseudo’ intellectuals ‘know’ that everything can be explained
through modern science. They reject any notion that there is a
reality beyond energy and matter. What they are missing is so
obvious: NO OTHER LIFE FORM EXPERIENCES AS WE EXPERIENCE OR DOES
WHAT WE DO.
We are much more than just physical beings. We have abilities
that are neither germinated nor fulfilled in the natural world.
We are unique entities temporarily residing in a temporal,
physical abode for the express purpose of realizing our
Today many eschew wisdom. Questions and insights about existence
are mocked. People are too enthralled with mass-marketed
material goods and escapist pleasures. Thanks to mind-numbing
advertisements, most people succumb to obsessions with ‘things’,
getting them, using them, improving them, fixing them. Not only
are objects touted as important, legitimate goals that lead to
happiness, but every sort of pleasure and expedient for escapism
is accepted as essential for the ‘good’ life. Acquiring money,
purchasing, having sex, getting high … this is the popular
mantra throughout the ‘western’ world today.
‘Empty’, hardened hearts exist without fulfillment. Self-seekers
with a ‘please me at any cost’ attitude have abandoned
altruistic values. Religions have their followers but many only
‘go through the motions’. Respecting and caring for their
neighbors and even their family is often contrived, insincere,
counterfeit. A paucity of ‘loving souls’ is apparent. Smiles and
laughter throughout the day a rarity. The worldly self has
become THE GOD for many.
What can be done? You do not have to be a stoic to reject inane
pursuits. Just place your commitment to caring above all other
goals. Participate in the world but diligently prioritize. What
helps you love … more … should always take precedence. Loving
will keep in check your demanding ‘self’.
However, you are living in a world where cultivating spirit is
sadly ignored. Many vehemently view attention to spiritual
insights and values as a threat to their lifestyles … ‘New Age’
mumbo jumbo. It may ‘sound’ nice but do not undermine the
primacy of the individual, the self. You can help change this
attitude. By understanding and appreciating your spirit within
you will be calling attention to what matters. Your happiness
and joy will attract attention. A frustrated, obsessive,
consumer oriented society will gradually ‘grasp’ the reality of
their spiritual nature. Mass spiritual growth is possible. Love
can ‘consume’ the world.
©2007-2008 Edwin O'Shea and definingyourworld.com. All or
part of only one topic, including all definitions and essay,
may be used without written permission. Please see full
copyright notice on home page.