Enlightened leadership is spiritual if we understand spirituality not as some kind of religious dogma or ideology but as the domain of awareness where we experience values like truth, goodness, beauty, love and compassion, and also intuition, creativity, insight and focused attention.
-- Deepak Chopra
How does the awakening man become aware? Aware of his world, aware of his body, aware of his soul? It seems to be a long process in this plane of existence. My earliest memories come from my early childhood, when I was three years old. My father noticed I had difficulty discerning a small toy truck half-buried amid the poppies and weeds in my mother’s garden. I overheard his panicked lament as he told her, “Peter can’t see!” I became aware of my eyes. Later, I became award of my hands, then my navel, and still later, my brain.
Early on I perceived myself as separate. My perception became clearer during a long childhood illness that kept me in bed for almost a year. I awoke to my aloneness.
Perhaps my teen years and near encounter with The Church (The Church, as in Catholicism) and then with Pentacostals started my spiritual awareness. One summer, I returned home from college speaking in tongues and transporting eight different translations of the Bible. The priest said I was a mystic, and I started to acknowledge the existing of an inner self. Call it soul or spirit or make believe; it seemed to speak to me.
However, it was not until forty years later that I started to awaken to the Self within. It goes by various names: inner child, true self, inner essence, soul, or spirit. Some equate it to God, as do I. Mystics, prophets, philosophers, and ordinary people like you and I have spoken of this essence as the key to reality and the inner realm of heaven. Others pooh-pooh it as the mad ravings of poverty stricken mouth-breathers, to which judgment I do not ascribe. Those negative judgments mean nothing to me.
The awakening man sees truth in all religions, in all paths, in each person’s subjective concept of something greater than he is. The awakening man has no judgments in this area. His awareness of God comes from the deep recesses of his inner world. The soul’s existence is true because he becomes aware of it.
Belief in God springs from manifold sources. I have an affinity for St. Augustine’s argument that, if God were not real, we would be incapable of conceiving “It”. We would never question that which we cannot perceive with our minds and our senses. Some awareness arrives through fathomed thought, some through a flash of emotion. Some enter the garden of awareness through feelings, and this cannot be denied. Warmth in kindness, awe of nature, a longing for connection, and yearning for the unknowable are windows to the soul.
When we approach a mystery we cannot fathom, we turn inward to experience the essence of whatever it is through meditation, prayer, rite, or symbol. Jung spoke of the collective conscience and its manifestation in this world. Universal values and our passion for what is right and just speak of the presence of God.
Some think that science eventually will solve all mysteries: the universe, electricity, life, death. The list of mysteries is actually quite endless. If we discover all these truths, will we be as gods, will we understand our connection with the infinite, or will we be aware of the connectedness of all in the essence of God? Even mysteries provide an avenue for increasing awareness.
Those who grow in their awareness come to essential questions. Who am I? Why am I here? What is God, for which we have ten thousand names, concepts, and beliefs?
I would write of these things and thus express my meager understanding in this, my A to Z blog of 2013. Welcome to a brief journey into awareness!