I found myself reflecting over our conversation yesterday as we were discussing marriage and spirituality. When I talk about “spirituality” I am not necessarily talking about religion; however, to revisit our conversation, I feel the need to bring this into line. I believe that there is a vast difference between being a minister of the Gospel and the essence of spirituality. To discern how that difference plays out in the world, let’s examine some of the values that I believe are innate to every human being no matter what religion or belief system we are from.
I believe these values are values that are God handed down to us through the Apostle Paul. I also believe that since man is the highest form of created energy, it is perhaps his task to express within his creations the values that are important to him. I believe that since the very beginning, man has tried to find a balance between his spiritual life and his physical life. Throughout history, he has tried to get his thumb on the awesome power that God has given him. Therefore, when I speak of “man trying to get his thumb on God’s power,” I am referring to his thoughts and desires to exert control and dictate.
Yes, I said desire. All of us, human and divine, have had moments of desire. The question is what kind of desires, what kind of self-reflecting determination and ultimately, what role does our determination play in our own life and the collective life of the community? Certainly, there are episodes of desire in the life of every human being. Many of these episodes are probably unexplainable and they certainly do not go in a radical direction of resolved desire. What we do know is that there will be a time when one of these episodes will be “just right.”
During this time of inner incubation, which could be called a Dark Night of the Soul, it is likely that we will find our reflection on what’s been occurring. The betrayed attitude, the loss of a job or the sudden death of a loved one could be a desire to look at life more insightfully. The host of emotions that could arise would include: sadness, anger, despair, loneliness, disbelief and denial. Of course, these emotions would not be buried forever and the burying ground could be a decision to forgive.
However, should we choose to forgive, the emotions that we experience as a result of these verdicts would then generate a new desire to live in peaceful harmony with our world. The cycle of emotion began and will continue until we ultimately balance it by creating in our present moment, a new reality of what it is to be happy. At the beginning of our journey, we are sure that we wish to be happy. Even though it is not the complete path to happiness, it is sure that we start our journey in wishful thinking. What doesn’t become true for us, as we journey, is that eventually we will find happiness and peace.
In comparing the negative consequences of failing a test with the positive consequences of doing well, I came up with the following moral:
2. We are human. As a result, mistakes are going to happen. As a result, we are going to make mistakes that we are going to need to learn from. Mistakes are a part of life. We simply do not have a perfect record of our mistakes and will continue to act irrationally.
3. No one is perfect. The negative mistakes of transgressions are inevitable. The only difference between these two modes of mistake-making is whether we act irrationally, causing more harm than good. If we are honest, most of our mistakes are going to be minor, and we will live the result of these unforeseeable mistakes. The only difference between minor and major mistakes is the degree of desire to change: granting than the bad feeling of returning to error.
Reflection on these two modes of mistake-making, minor and major, as compared to the working and exercising of the mind, will provide the Minister of the Gospel with a personal criterion that he may use to help determine in his mind what is a wise course of action in exercising his power and responsibility as a human being exercising the will of God. The result of this exercise will result in a happier life, sustained throughout the life to the emotionally and physically extending mature self-control in relationship to the human stimuli environment.
Further, the reflection can help the person reflect deeply the cause and effect relationship of cause and effect when actions are taken. The cycle of cause and effect is a powerful tool used in the natural setting to bring the awareness of the truth of things within the realm of the mind to bear on the situation. It takes courage to recognize the truth of the external world when surrounded by perceptions and images that fluctuate constantly, and to remain unmovable in the face of such fluctuation.