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 prevail.

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 rigidity.

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 spiritual potential.

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 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.