Recognizing the Sacred in Our World – Part One
A great read from off the web …. Please take the time.
SPIRITUAL WISDOM: Recognizing the Sacred in Our World by Christopher Chase
“Wherever you turn, there is the face of God.” ~The Quran
Every religion, at its core, is based on the idea that our world is a sacred and mystical place, and that each of us is on a spiritual journey, that all life is sacred, and that our entire Universe is a mystical creation.
Modern science, while often professing skepticism, is now coming around to provide further support for these ancient teachings.
At the atomic level, each of us is composed of nothing but energy, timeless swirling patterns of light. Every atom in your body is billions of years old, clustering in molecules and cells held together by solar energy pouring down from the heavens.
Our very consciousness rides upon this energy, the fields of solar light pulsing within every living being. The very meaning of ‘spirit’ comes originally from the idea of an animating principle within living creatures. We now know that this life force truly exists, its local physical source is the sun, its original source, a metaphysical mystery.
It’s usually hard for us to think this way. We are so caught up in our social and cultural identities, in our shared perceptions, desires and fears, that it’s difficult for us to see ourselves and others as primarily cosmic and spiritual beings. And yet, for centuries, that is what many of the world’s greatest prophets, sages, poets, writers, artists and visionaries have been trying to help us to do.
Below is some of the wisdom common to most of the world’s mystical schools and spiritual traditions. Mystical teachings are at the core of all the great religions. They provide an alternative to hate and fear, to our illusions of separateness, reminding us instead of the beauty, interdependence and sacredness of all life.
21 Core Ideas of the World’s Spiritual Traditions – Part One: 1 – 5
- UNITY, CARING AND CONNECTEDNESS~ The concept of universal brotherhood and sisterhood, unity and compassion. We are all related to one another, learning how to love and respect each other here on this planet, and work together harmoniously. Human life is like a school, where we are given the opportunity to practice forgiveness, charity, cooperation and compassion in this world.
“The kingdom of heaven is inside you and it is outside you. God’s kingdom is spread out upon the earth.” ~The Gospel of Thomas
- DIVINITY IN THE WORLD~ The concept of divine purpose, guidance and grace. This is based on faith in an unseen mystery and spiritual wisdom in the universe. There is a spiritual presence that resides within us, and surrounds us, that can guide us when we believe in it, pray to it and learn to listen to it’s subtle messages to us. Not only that, but since this divine power resides in all beings, it often speaks to us from the mouths of others, and through events in our world.
“God is not some person outside ourselves or away from the Universe. He pervades everything… He abides in our hearts and is nearer to us than the nails on our fingers.” ~Mahatma Gandh
3. THE UNIVERSAL SELF~ A central idea of mysticism is that there is One Spiritual Being at the core of everything. This Universal Self is our fundamental identity. We are all ideas in the imagination of God, fingers on the hands of the Universe, or leaves on the Universal Tree of Life. At the center of each person is this Divine Self.
“When we see God in each other we will be able to live in peace.” ~Mother Teresa
“To love another person is to see the face of God.” ~Victor Hugo
- THE SOUL~This universal spiritual Self is what most religious traditions call the soul. We are not the social roles society tells us we are. Our fundamental identity resides in our sacred and eternal core, whose origins lie in the spiritual realm and whose experiences and feelings here on this earth are providing important learning experiences for our spiritual evolution.
- SPIRITUAL GROWTH~ As conscious souls we are constantly learning and growing, becoming more and more aware of our spiritual potential and our sacred relationship to everything else in the Universe. Life is a spiritual journey, where we learn to let go of our limited human ideas and beliefs, putting our faith in the wisdom of the mysterious creative power that gave birth to our Universe, and dances in our lives.
“Growth comes with an increasing awareness of and respect for Great Mystery in all people and things, with an awareness that this force of mystery is at work in all events. Growth comes through tolerance for the infinite variety of ways in which Great Spirit, the Infinite, may express itself in this Universe.” ~Ed McGaa (American Indian)
* Look for Part Two, coming soon!