I want in this blog and before going further, to provide some real sense of the extent to which we can (and should) sometimes expect to move swiftly out of our depth (in terms of logical reasoning) when discussing spirituality. We have seen in very recent blogs how it is that essentially, we are spirits who, so far as our humanity is concerned, are required to be and to function as physical beings in a physical world. Put very simply, we are spirits with bodies rather than the other way round. As spirits, we belong to a spiritual realm or universe, where terms like time and space cease to have, at least the meaning that we in this life impute to them.
My sole purpose here is simply to achieve some degree of consensus as to what we might be meaning when we refer to the spiritual and to spirituality and what it contributes to the life we now know (whether it be a “one off” or one or several “spans of mortality” as will be further hypothesized at a later date). However, it does, I believe, assist us in our need to identify and lay emphasis upon one of the many perceptible aspects and complexly interrelating features (in this life, that is) of spirituality, within what we might simply regard as the ‘flow’ of life.
Moreover, it is a “flow” which is ‘studded’ from cradle to grave with a constant sequence – bombardment one might even sometimes say – of “events”, some of which we come swiftly to regard as normal and predictable; others which may surprise and can – at first (or intermittently/persistently) – challenge and even threaten that flow. Some such events or experiences are immediately recognized by their pleasant and rewarding impact, some are fairly neutral, whilst yet others hurt us and/or appear to militate against our sense of and need for well-being.
One of the key functions of spirituality in dealing with such events (as we have here styled them) has to do with the manner in which they are perceived and interpreted. Members of certain primitive societies still existing in our world today perceive and attribute directives and powers to – let us say – the moon: hence the moon assumes the mantle of an inanimate power which must be worshipped and obeyed. Others of us regard the moon for what it is, namely a natural satellite of the earth, orbiting it monthly (monthly) and at night reflecting sunlight over the earth.
But the above paragraph contains something more; namely “belief”. In a future letter, belief will be shown to be of almost paramount importance in this scheme of things. (I say “almost” because belief is only truly fulfilled and consummated by the application of a personal act; indeed we refer to it as the step of “faith”. Let me explain what I mean by this. Let us say that a rope has been stretched across a ravine and a ‘high wire’ artist thereafter walks across it pushing a wheelbarrow. I am left in no doubt that such a feat has just been and therefore can be performed. Indeed, I witnessed it.