All people operate with a theory-of-the-world, engaging in acts of interpretation constantly throughout the days of our lives using our theory-of-the-world as our lens for interpretation. There are many different theories-of-the-world; some that are quite narrow and exclusive with regard to who is valued and who is not, such as racism or sexism. Other theories attempt to be more inclusive and open, such as globalism or humanitarianism. Quite a few offer the idea that they are the “one, true” theory-of-the-world, while others are humble enough to acknowledge that they are “a” theory-of-the-world.
Seeing life spiritually is a theory-of-the-world that I choose to live by. I have, in my past and for a good length of time, lived with a decidedly non-spiritual view, an atheistic view, which served me well, until it could not resolve a series of experiences that pushed me into the spiritual path I now follow. As with most shifts into a spiritual theory-of-the-world, crisis is almost always the cause. Out of the crisis of my particular journey, I find I have a broader and healthier view of my life and how I want to live it. This article will share some of the insights I have gained about spirituality since my period of crisis. Hopefully these thoughts will resonate with you.
Your Spirituality Matters
My journey through life has brought me to a place where I currently make my living as a spiritual adviser or spiritual coach to people who find out about me and seek out my services to help them address a life issue or break through some moment or period of stagnation. I work with tools to help these people, primarily astrology and tarot/oracle cards. I “hung out my shingle” in 2013 and have been doing my work full-time ever since. What I have found, for myself and my clients, is that … our spirituality matters. It matters that we pursue and live a spiritual life.
Living a spiritual life means living with purpose and believing that our purpose has value, both for us and those that encounter us, beyond simple utility. I often share this example with my clients. A cab driver (or Uber or Lift driver) performs a useful function. These individuals pick people up at one location and deliver them to another location. They perform a straightforward function, which, on the surface, can seem like a potentially mundane and useful kind of work that earns the people who do the work what the need to pay their bills and hopefully earn enough to save while also having enough to spend on themselves in some enjoyable way. From a non-spiritual “point-of-view” this would be a satisfactory explanation of the work.
But what is the potential spiritual meaning of this work? Is there a spiritual meaning? I think so. And here is what I think. Cab drivers, Uber drivers, and Lift drivers are guardians. They pick someone up at a place of safety and deliver them to another place of safety, all the while making the journey safe for the passenger. The passenger enters a state of trust when getting into the vehicle that the driver will take them where they need to go safely. People who use these services, whether infrequently or often, assume this spiritual contract so readily that they do not even consciously acknowledge this deeper component, unless, of course, something goes very wrong.
If you choose to see life spiritually, you will enhance your life experience above mere hedonism, which certainly feels pretty darn good; it is hedonism after all. But hedonism is very transitory, often requiring repeat and ever more intense experiences to get any kind of “rush” from the moment. Seeing the world spiritually gives us a more constantly healthy and enriching energy in our daily lives.
On more than one occasion on my life journey I have heard the claim that we “create our reality”. I certainly believe that human beings are creators. Every tool we use is a creation of one person’s idea or many peoples’ collaboration. Individual creation is a bit of misleading concept if you actually think that creation occurs in a vacuum of individual experience and effort. Even if I paint a painting, write a story, or build a deck in my back yard “all by myself”, the action and the outcome are really the amalgamation of many creators. While the other creators may not be out there hammering nails, the hammer I use is not my creation or the nails or the lumber.
Spiritually speaking, I think of individual creation as the initiative of the individual. This article is my creation, in that I am the one that decided to sit down and write it, the one who suggested it to this online publisher, the one who is putting the words (I did not create) in this unique sequence to say something meaningful. When I sat down and opened the “blank document” less than an hour ago, the words, while “in existence”, did not exist as they do now. I created this essay by using tools, words, and thoughts created and shared by others.
All human life is really co-creation, whether we are the reclusive artist or the leader and members of a political movement or humanitarian effort. We are co-creating, whether we are doing the work consciously or unconsciously. And often the creation process involves a destroying process. The creation of environmental laws is, quite regularly, the result of destruction of the environment in some way. Great individual creation and achievement arises when a conglomerate of disparate or converging creations synchronize, as can be seen with such creations as the phone, car, airplane, television, computer, and the Internet, all at times in history when it was only possible for them to exist.
Healthy co-creation yields amazing innovations, greater safety for members of a community, a society, and the world at large. Accords, treaties, trade agreements, diplomacy, and active co-creation can lead humanity towards better health care, the satisfaction of basic needs so individuals can do more creative activity, and utilization of technology to make lives safer and more fulfilling. Fragmenting the process by believing that creation is achieved selfishly destabilizes both individual systems (a person) and large systems (governments, countries, and even the world). History is replete with periods of destruction exceeding the co-creative energy of the times.
Quite simply, fate is what happens to us, that we did not create, but that we must adjust to. Consider you have travelled somewhere in your car or on your bike. You go into the store or restaurant or home you are visiting and come out to find you have a flat tire. You now have to deal with a situation that you did not plan; you find yourself caught on a thread in a web of fate. You are also caught in the webs of fate to be born in a certain era or in a certain country. I am fated to be an American citizen because I was born in the United States; I can change this fate, but only with considerable effort.
You can choose to create fate. Imagine you plan to get married; you have chosen to create the fate of being a spouse. Up until the moment you say, “I do”, you have the choice to be a spouse or not be a spouse. Once you say, “I do” you have “sealed your fate”. Well, your fate will really be sealed when your marriage license is filed with your government. In the United States, being married results in certain privileges regarding taxation and health care that do not exist for single individuals.
Lastly, we can experience fate when we find our co-creation efforts are actually creation competition, and the competitor wields more power than we do and we have “accept our fate” until we move out of, away from, or become more powerful than the other creators around us who are forcing their power or will down on us. It was the fate of any homosexual individual in the United States to be unmarried to a same-sex partner until June 26, 2015 when the Supreme Court made it legal to be married in all 50 states. Fate, as you can see, is not as “fated” as it is often presented to be.
For me, spirituality is an intersubjective and inter-objective experience. Throughout my day I interact with subjects directly, when I encounter people in conversation, shopping, or traveling. I also interact with subjects indirectly, when I feel the judgment or advice of my father influencing a decision even though he is not present when I am making the decision. I also deal with inter-objective experience, most commonly the weather. I may intend to mow the lawn on Saturday, but whether that happens or not depends on if it is raining or not, and when it happens may depend on how hot the day is going to be. I am forced to refill my gas tank when it gets low in my car. And while I may choose different times to do this action, I am always fated to put more gas in my car if I want to keep driving it.
When we live spiritually, we can find harmony and understanding in the complexity of these different, engaging, and sometimes competing energies. If the weather prevents me from mowing, then I do not focus on the fact that I am unable to mow, but rather on what I need to be doing with the change in the use of my time. Seeing energy as a matrix of creation, co-creation, and fate makes it easier to enjoy and appreciate life and our journey through it.