Philosopher and teacher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience;
we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
I can buy that! There was a time when I would have thought this was a bunch of malarkey at best and totally irrelevant at worse. But for me now, those words totally ring true and I stand by them. It takes a leap of faith to see each of us this way, but once you do, it’s as obvious as the nose on your face that this is the truth.
Another way I like to think about it is that everybody on the planet has a Spark of the Divine, a Small Piece of the Universal Force within them. So, while we might pretend to be limited and temporary, we’re anything but…and might want to think of living this life and its lessons in a very holy, spiritual way.
Neil deGrasse Tyson wrote:
“Not only are we in the universe, but the universe
is also in us. I don’t know of any deeper spiritual feeling
than what that brings upon me.”
Woody Allen, on the other hand, said:
“I’m astounded by people who want to know
the universe when it’s hard enough to find your
way around Chinatown.”
and Lily Tomlin:
“Did you know, in the entire universe, we are the
only intelligent life forms thought to have a
Miss Universe Contest?”
Back to our being spiritual beings…what does that mean? In plain and simple terms, I see it as being connected to something higher than ourselves. We are so much more than our physical bodies and everyday lives. It means that the human experience is temporary and that our true nature is eternal and infinite.
As Marianne Williamson states it,
“I wasn’t just randomly thrown
onto a sea of rocks.”
Spirituality is a connection to something higher than ourselves. Nancy Colier put it this way in Psychology Today:
“We are more than just the sum total of our thoughts, feelings and life situation that we are living in the moment. We have a sense of being larger or more infinite than
just our little “me”.
It might seem like we were born into this world with a completely blank Etch-A-Sketch. But I believe, as eternal beings, our journey through time is much more complicated than that. Exactly how it works, I have NO idea. Our eyes, as remarkable as they are, can only see 1% of the visible light spectrum. So, for me to think that I can see reality within the limits of this very
human set of eyes, is absurd.
I’ve had one transcendent experience in my entire life where I believe I got a small glimpse of reality. I was living in Boston at the time and was riding on the T (their name for a subway or metro.) There are times when the T is not underground but is above ground, riding parallel with the traffic. I was on the Green Line, heading into downtown Boston.
Before going into the dark tunnel, I “saw” for a split second how connected we all were on that light filled train and the divinity in that small group. It’s hard to describe, but I was left with nothing but respect for each and every one of those souls (myself included), patiently slogging through life, bouncing around on the same subway as Divine beings.
It was almost comical but gave me a momentary sense of how respectful I should be of everyone I come into contact with. Every person had that spark of God within them, bright and eternal. It was an overwhelming sense of “we’re all in this together.” I experienced a moment of pure reverence for all life.
I might have it all wrong, but it felt like the “real deal” to me during the experience. As Neil deGrasse Tyson observed once:
“The universe is under no obligation
to make sense to you.”
I recently read something by Anthon St. Maarten which said:
“You are only one thing. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.
I just came across the following list of twelve symptoms that you are spiritually awakening. To my dismay, there was only one that I feel totally confident that I possess: number 8 -- a loss of interest in conflict. Pretty pitiful, but I’m trying to hone my skills in all the others…
12 Symptoms of Spiritual Awakening
1. An increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
2. Frequent attacks of smiling
3. Feelings of being connected with others and nature.
4. Frequent overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
5. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than from fears based on past experiences.
6. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
7. A loss of ability to worry.
8. A loss of interest in conflict.
9. A loss of interest interpreting the actions of others.
10. A loss of interest in judging others.
11. A loss of interest in judging self.
12. Gaining the ability to love without expecting anything.
I do know this though, despite my weak showing in the above list, with all my spiritual studies over the years and my own personal insights as I’ve traversed this planet for over 70 years, I have faith in a Divine Presence I can depend on and furthermore, that my soul is on an eternal journey.
It’s kind of like knowing you’re going to go through a lot of ups and downs in life, but that you’re always going to be backed up by a combination of Batman’s Bat Mobile; Popeye’s spinach; and Superman’s phone booth all in one. Not a bad combo.
How about you?