Friday, January 8, 2016

Spiritual Transcendence

But Moses supposes erroneously ...
(Gene Kelly, Singing in the Rain)

When Moses went to Mount Sinai to receive God's commandments, it took him a long time to come back. The Israelis were afraid and wanted guidance from Moses' brother Aaron. Aaron asked all Israelis to melt their jewelry into one big golden calf. They worshiped the calf, they celebrated and "made merry", as it is said in the Bible. You probably also remember from Sunday School that this story didn't end so well. When Moses finally came down from Mont Sinai, he broke the tablets that he had received from God on the floor and had many Israelis executed. From his perspective the Israelis performed idolatry, though all they really did was to reconnect with their pagan roots. They weren't quite ready for the more abstract notion of God, "I Am That I Am", while Moses felt they had to be dragged by their hair to the next spiritual level.

Every activity, no matter how loving and pious its intention, is always somewhat tainted by the human touch. But there are certainly degrees of spirituality. Killing a cow for consumption purposes is less pure than harvesting ripe apples from a tree that would have fallen on the ground anyway. Teaching children or helping homeless people in a shelter is more spiritual than making money on Wall Street, or putting criminals behind bars.There is no wrong or right, however. There is only a behavior that is right for our soul development. Who knows why stuff happens the way it does anyway. Seeing the suffering of animals on commercial farms may make us convinced vegetarians as it happened to me. Or experiencing the madness of an inhumane work environment may stir the yearning for a more spiritually fulfilling professional life.

There is no wrong or right, there is only the stuff that happens to us to help us in our awakening process. Who knows what will happen to humanity and societies in the aggregate. Maybe there will be a day when humanity embraces vegetarianism en mass to protect our animals. Maybe one day all societies voluntarily interact professionally within in a commonly accepted socialistic mindset. There are sometimes trigger points in history when societies are ready to move to a new, more spiritual life expression. It would be nice if 2016 is such a point in time. However, gone are the days - as in Moses' times - when some leaders make these decisions for us. Let's leave the evolution of societies, ecologies and economies up to the grassroots movement, and ultimately to God. What we personally can and should do is to find our idiosyncratic God connection, and  history will thank us for it.

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