Evolution or Entropy?

galaxy_universe-normalDivine Spirit is ever expanding, growing, and changing.  We know this because the universe is ever expanding, growing, and changing. However, in most cultural constructs the Divine Being is still portrayed as existing in a state of perfected beingness unattainable by mere human creatures, although everyone is expected to attempt this impossibility anyway.  If there is an all-knowing, all-seeing, absolutely perfect entity out there somewhere it means entropy has set in and god is dead!

As humans we appear to desire safety above all else.  We go to great lengths to be safe from loss, sickness, old age, and death.  We seek to eradicate illness, discover the fountain of youth through pills, creams, surgery, and research.  Most of us feel personally affronted and even betrayed by death. We want to find a perfect place, a perfect solution, a perfect life, a perfect family, and a perfect world.  Evolution is messy and often fails.  Statistics tell us that 13% of all species are evolving and out of those 90% will fail.  This means we are not safe.

know-your-enemy3It seems that throughout time, humans have felt compelled to create safety through the destruction of anything that is a threat to the status quo.  These threats can take the form of a neighbor, germs, immigrants, other nations, other faith groups, and even the self.  Language expresses these concepts of fear- demonic, heresy, abomination, anathema, bitch, bastard, ass-hole, etc.  And for many it is all justified in the name of a god who demands judgment, punishment, and retribution, now, or in some horrific hereafter.

What if Divine Spirit is not a perfect entity somewhere?  What if Divine Spirit is the indwelling force of compassion, forgiveness, understanding, and loving-kindness within all beings?  What if Divine Spirit is an ever expanding, evolutionary, and cosmic force that cannot be confined on a mountain top, within a temple, a church, or a book? Countless saints, from multitudinous religions, have confronted this great truth and called it the Divine Mystery or the Cloud of Unknowing.

c01a1693dfe1c8b5056996af742a754aWe are living in evolutionary times; in revolutionary times.  And yet, all around us we see people clinging to the old days, the old times, the mythical golden age of family, faith and country.  Was it really?  On closer look we see children abandoned, beaten, and starving.  We see animals tortured, experimented on, and killed to decorate someone’s wall.  Wars fought to bring change and leaving only poverty, disease, and destruction in there wake.  Women being raped, beaten, and sold into slavery…just like now.

Perhaps we need to look beyond the things that divide us.  Perhaps we need to look past gender identity, religious identity, national identity, and ideological identity.  We are being called to evolve into a people who identify with compassion, forgiveness, kindness, and generosity.  We are being called to live the Divine Mystery!

We don’t need someone with all the answers.  We need people to ask the right questions- People who know the earth as our sacred home- People who care enough to eradicate hunger, homelessness, and hopelessness!  We need young people to share their vision, to allow them to fire our passion and make a difference.  We need elders who are not content to be comfortable but are willing to lead us in a new spiritual consciousness of Love in Action!GalaticAlignEye

Evolution or Entropy?  Life or Death?  The choice is yours!

Spiritual Evolution

Everyone has a definition of what it means to be spiritual.  For some it’s following the rituals prescribed by the scriptures and doctrine of their faith, for others it’s spending time in nature, and for still others it’s a statement of belief such as- There is no God but God or Jesus Christ is my savior.  All faiths and spiritual paths have one goal in mind, however, and that is union with the Higher Power.

Let’s examine four ways in which spiritual evolution might be expressed.

God_father_kotarbinski-bThe first of these is the concept of the Higher Power as parental authority, a giver of laws, and the source of reward for good behavior or punishment for undesirable behaviors. This is, perhaps, the most common approach to spirituality.  Probably this is because we have copious examples of how authoritative expectation functions in life- from our parents, teachers, employers, spouses, and even our friends.  Most connections have a set of expectations (laws) that govern the success or failure of that relationship.  When we conform to expectations we receive the reward of being accepted, appreciated, and belonging.  If we transgress those expectations we are likely to experience rejection, admonishment, and possible divorcement.

When Divine Spirit is perceived as parental we believe that everything happens because it’s God’s will.  Everything happens for a reason and it’s all good. We get a job because spirit wants us to have it.  We lose a job because spirit wants us to do something else.  Earthquakes, fires, and floods are sent as messages from the Higher Power. We make decisions and hope our spiritual allies will make it all come out right in the end. So, in this phase it’s not unusual to become dogmatic and even rigid in our expectations of ourselves and others on whatever religious or spiritual path we have chosen.

personal-empowermentIf we make it past the concept that there is only one truth, one way, and one faith we might arrive in the territory of personal empowerment. Personal empowerment is an important psychological development of our personality so that we can make independent and considered decisions, and create our lives in a way that is rewarding and comfortable.  However, personal empowerment it is not the goal of spirituality.

When personal empowerment is made into a spiritual goal it often entails the rejection of all established faiths or any group that appears to have a hierarchy.  There can be, and often is, a rejection of spiritual teachers as well. Everything of Spirit is already inside of usI am my own guru.   However, how will we learn to access this spirit self or tell the difference between wishful imaginings and true spiritual enlightenment?

Sometimes our relationship with the Higher Power may be measured in how successful we are in attaining prestige, wealth, health, and the “right” relationship. There are, of course, a plethora of self-help, and how-to, books that describe in detail ways to bypass a tutor or spiritual mentor and get what we want from life.  Some of this information may actually be helpful on the journey.  But let’s consider that if we want to become proficient at any life skill it’s easier if we work with someone who actually knows what they’re doing and have experience in expressing the skills we hope to attain.

event_221557182Occasionally, personal empowerment becomes a yearning to acquire psychic skills or abilities such as clairvoyance, levitation, channeling, fire-starting, astral traveling, spirit guide acquisition, angelic encounters or visions of being God. Many consider these demonstrations to be evidence of spiritual attainment.  We can even find numerous examples of spiritual masters who demonstrated many or even all of these qualities.  However, they also exhibited loving-kindness, generosity, equanimity, compassion for all life, and a radiant presence that inspired others to find a way to experience divine fullness for themselves.

The third stage of developmental spirituality can take the form of complacency.  We have created a life that works, are engaged in service activities, and comfortable in our psychological understandings of self and spirit.  We are willing to explore possibilities of enlightenment but don’t wish to have our concepts and beliefs questioned or upset.  Spiritual alignment represents the occasional retreat, workshop, or meetings with a trusted mentor who is supportive of our investigative and experiential relationship with the Higher Power.  There is little or no desire to make a major commitment to enlightenment or awakening.  No desire to enter the realms of no self. My life works and I don’t want to mess with it.

GalaticAlignEyeSomeday we will have a profound desire for awakening.  When we are committed to removing anything that stands between us and a full, heartfelt, and impassioned relationship with Divine Spirit- we have reached the fourth stage of our spiritual evolution.  We awaken to the great being within.  This great being accepts life as it is- loss, change, death, old age, and illness. And yet this self knows that we remain woven to the wholeness of all life- that life is really only about loving, sharing, and living enthusiastically for the benefit of others. As long as space and time endure, as long as sentient beings remain-may I too remain to assuage the suffering of the world.

When we have gained skillful means to navigate the difficulties of life- equanimity becomes truly possible.  We have true faith.  This faith remains even if we lose everything we have acquired- money, property, prestige, fulfillment in our career, and even our loved ones. At the center of our existence there will reside a deep and abiding love and communion with Divine Spirit.   We will have merged into the Ocean of Oneness and although waves and storms may rage outwardly, within we are at peace- resting in the tranquil wholeness of Divine Spirit’s grace.  This is the path without delusions.