The Superiority Of The Spiritual Person
|If it were found there were no God tomorrow, a spiritual person would
still be superior to a non-spiritual person. A truly spiritual person feels touched by the
grace of God and aware of the love of God. The spiritual person has more self-esteem and greater feelings
of self-worth since the spiritual person feels divinely touched by grace, as well
as being refined and
civilized by the love of God. The spiritual person is in awe of the God of Creation. The spiritual person has
reverence for God, reverence for other humans as creations of God, and awe for the glories of nature that show
forth the creative imagination and towering splendor of God. For the spiritual person who has considered
life, the very act of breathing is a sacrament.
This is not simply a matter of Godís existence. Godís existence implies other things like: the immortality of the soul. Why should a non-spiritual person who has no immortal soul, and therefore no after life or future life to consider, be other than a mere hog fighting over their trough that is the world? Why bother with self-control when there is no tomorrow? What is there to chain or tame the dogs of passion within us? There is no love of God to tame nor spiritual considerations to chain!
Non-spiritual persons have no heaven to consider, no hell, no purgatory, no after life to make them consider self-control as they would if they were Christians. Other non-spiritual persons have no karma to consider nor any higher or lower reincarnation of their souls as they might have if they were Hindus or Buddhists. There need be no moral consideration of the future among non-spiritual persons. Among the best of the non-believers there might be, but the best are always, only but a few.
What of the influences of great masses of non-believers coarsened by no teachings that require thought for the morrow? They may be born to a life that can be brutal, nasty, and short, and since there is no immortality to be considered, nor immorality to be faced at judgment, will not their actions be mean and also, will they not hold life cheaply?
What does the non-spiritual life encourage? Materialism, unbridled sensuality, irresponsibility, commercial brutality in conduct, pandering in politics. Manís days are short and his desires are passionate. Life is a bitter path, a cruel way. The non-spiritual man is not justified by faith. He is justified by greed. Seize the day. This is justified because there will be no tomorrow. I tell you the biggest shock there is, is when a materialistic person wakes up in the spiritual world after death.
Where there is little or no religion, value vacuums seem more prone to pop up in society, these are areas where bad values generally exist. As good values fade, bad values move in. Nature abhors a vacuum. A value vacuum neighborhood or city is not just where there are not many good values such as honesty, courtesy, etc. helping along, but where bad values, such as theft, ugliness and open contempt for the rights of others begin to inch forward and become socially dominant.
I long ago faced the fact that non-spiritual people tend to be barbarians. By a barbarian I mean people who do not have any redeeming reverence of some sort to live by. The materialistic hog people who resent any reference to a God in the world and who live greedily for things and power are, in my view, so many Stone Age Barbarians. Today in these anti-God, anti-values, anti-spiritual people we see a new race of Stone Age Barbarians emerging who often have technological weapons and tools at their disposal (God save us all from them.) But their materialism creates a values vacuum wherever they go. They cannot help but create a sour and materialistic quality of life in a world that is simply a trough for the materialistic swine to fatten in.
Man is at his best when there is a vision of God. Look at Jesus. Look at St. Francis. Read about the saints and the good people in the Christian religion as well as the holy men and good people of non-Christian faiths. Their lives had spiritual satisfactions. I suggest if man is at his best when living up to a vision of God, there must be a God. Otherwise it would be a cruel trick of nature, and I do not find nature to be as cruel as it is honest. Nature does not waste or go to excess. It is left to mankind to do that. Rather the citizens of nature get what they need and no more. They practice economy. Would that mankind might become more capable of that!
Besides what is mankind without love? God gives love to the world which is our home, just as we give love to our homes which are also our world. We need a conception of God with agape, the loving spirit of caring and sacrificial love, to make a congenial world home on this planet. lf not, this planet will be a cold home lacking love but full of a mean barbarian ethic that we have all seen and witnessed in wars. A world without a sense of warmth and a loving God is a return to the Cave. It is a return to a primitive Stone Age. It is resigned acceptance of the world primarily as a killing place rather than a planet filled with grace and love. Is that how you wish your children to regard this planet?
Yet mankind does not live through knowing scientifically there is a God. The Spirit of God is invisible. Humanity lives through the possibility of God. As long as there is a possibility of God humanity can believe in God and will believe in Him.
Decency, dignity, warmth, faith in the good and our struggle for a civilization of the highest type is kept alive by the possibility of God. Where there is a possibility of God, there is hope, and hope will see us through as hope becomes faith, and faith transforms reality. So our lives are partially changed and transformed, because God is a blazing fire in our hearts that a hope buried deep within us will never allow to be extinguished. We do not need to know with certainty that God exists, all we need is the possibility God exists, and through hope, faith and grace, we will have the victory that transforms our world for the better. We do not aim at perfection but bettering, not for perfecting but improving, little by little.
God is a necessity for higher civilization. If God vanishes, the love, warmth and grace of God vanish as Godís example vanishes. Therefore it is necessary to keep God alive for the good of mankind. Fortunately the Spirit of God IS alive. That Spirit at times in religion has been momentarily submerged beneath waves of human passion that were without spiritual reasoning. There are good points in religions still being submerged by the passions of mankind, ideals held under water by the intense emotions of humanity, values pushed under and held down by hurt, hate, anger and pride. A few are: no killing, non-violent strategies to achieve goals, toleration and not intimidation, the free exercise of religions anywhere. Others ideals not named have also not been allowed the light of day and common practice yet.
Of course there are some pretending that religion is a wicked influence. It is true that at certain stages of barbarism men wanted only a creed and a club to kill each other. Sometimes that seems the case today. But these are troubled times of spiritual starvation and non-transcendence in faith. In such times faith comes fighting, showing gullibility and ignorance of Godís true spiritual and loving character. These are times given to gross misinterpretations of scripture even worse than the sometimes strange and bizarre cults we read about in history.
We must remember, whatever the false or empty faiths sometimes did to God in bad times past or even today was hardly the fault of God. It was bad leadership in the religions, churches, temples and shrines that make creeds something to grab a sword and kill over. lt was not Godís Spirit but fallen human nature using intellectual creeds to fan the flames of hate, power hunger, money and bigotry. It was a literal religion totally absent from the Spirit we call God. We still have too mean, angry religion around today. Avoid it.
The revelations of God have been abused as they have been used. Indeed can things be used by angry, greedy, selfish people without expecting some abuse? Yet is it worth banning religion from general usage because there is some corruption and abuse in the use of it? No, certainly not. Love and God must be retained for the good and comfort of humanity, but a greater effort made to use love and God as purely, honestly and justly as is possible. All religions and peoples of all faiths and denominations should make a greater effort to do this. But let us remember that efforts to suppress religion only guarantee its activation. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church. The enemies of religion are its best friends. Our God is full of hot irony. The superior spiritual person sees it and recognizes where Godís spirit has seared the earth. Not so the materialists. They are fighting over the trough they call the earth.
ďNow may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in all ways." The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. (II Thessalonians 3:16-18)
Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.