Wednesday, April 5, 2017


   In the 20th century we had to arise from the devastation of the Great Depression and World War II.  Vatican II was the church's effort to attain such a new rising.  So far, it hasn't succeeded, although Pope Francis is working hard to bring it new life.  In his own way, he is working to create a new vision for our time.
   In the spirit of Pope Francis, I propose a new vision for our consideration

  Let's begin with an example.  A young therapist was stuck between a quarreling husband and wife.  When he sided with the husband, the wife got angry.  When he sided with the wife, the husband got angry.  He couldn't find any room for compromise.  So he consulted his director. His director said, "Your job is not to take either side.  You have to go higher than just looking for a compromise on the level of their tension.  You have to help them rediscover the love they share.  If that love is still there it will give them higher common ground on which they can see the real facts and truth of their quarrels.  And they can work from there." 

   The tension between the husband and wife was obscuring the facts and truth behind their disagreements.  They needed to find "higher ground" on which they could come together and approach their disagreements from the same point of view. Their love for each other, if it still existed, was the key to solving their quarrels.  

   Here's another example.  In politics there is a natural tension between liberals and conservatives.  In bad times, such as today, the views of each side are so stubbornly and at times irrationally clung to that there is no possibility for any effective solution.  For the good of the nation, and the world, both sides must find "higher ground" on which to find the facts and the truth, so they can then create solutions based on the facts and the truth.  In this case, the higher ground is the fact and truth that they were elected to serve the people, and that they are all Americans.  They are to serve the people in a way that serves the common good of their constituents and of all Americans--and even to serve the common good of the whole world, e.g., in matters of climate change and peace.

   So the "blueprint" for the new spiritual vision requires finding the "higher ground", the true point where we come together to find the facts and the truth and use them to find solutions to our tensions and challenges.  At first glance, this may seem too simple and even naive an answer.  It is not.

   To begin with, today the sad fact and truth is that many of our political and religious leaders are of such poor quality that we cannot realistically look for much good to come to our communities, churches and nation in the short term.  So while we protest against our poor leadership and search for higher quality people to lead/serve us, we must work on creating the new vision ourselves.   

   The basic problem is that we naturally see a dualistic world, e.g., husband-wife, liberal-conservative, dark-light, big-little, American-foreigner, rich-poor, Black-White, yin-yang, etc., etc.  These dualities are natural to us.  They show us the wonderful diversity of reality.  But they often clash, as in the examples above.  Let's look at the dualities more closely.

   When we fall into quarrelsome tensions, we say we have to find a compromise.  Now, Einstein said that a problem cannot be solved on the same level which it was created.  So compromise has to be founded on willingness to find a higher level or value than the level of the individual views that are in contention.  Compromise founded on a lower level or value is bad and even dangerous, e.g., compromising one's values, or the safety of children in a school.

  The new vision will take us to the highest levels of our lives.  It will be 
    1) Creative:  it will discover and create new levels of connectedness and life between the dualities
    2) Healing:  It will heal the separation and hurt between the people caught in the duality.
    3) Evolutionary:  It will move the lives of the involved people forward toward greater human fulfillment. 

   To attain the new vision, we will move upward in steps.  First, the higher level is the fact that we are all human. Our basic identity is our shared, common humanity.  We are humans first, and individual persons second.  But in today's culture, our individuality comes first and our community as humans comes second--if we care to pay attention to it all all.  For example, how many young married couples speak of their their marriage, and focus on the bond they share, and how many speak of their relationship, and focus on their individuality and possible lack of full commitment to their marriage?

   How many corporations consider their employees as an integral part of the corporation?  When they send their employees' jobs overseas, how many help their fired employees train for new jobs?

   Even today's science tells us that there is first one universe, and then there are trillions of individual galaxies, solar systems, planets, etc.

   The law of Reality is Community First and then Individuality-Within-Community.  If we have only community, our individuality is suppressed.  If we have only individuality, our common bond is suppressed.  In either case, our humanity is suppressed.

   Our common humanity gives us our shared dignity, integrity, respect, and transcendent purpose.  It identifies us as rational, reasoning, feeling, loving, caring, homo sapiens.  And today we must also account for the very important fact that our humanity is not static but in motion.  We are ever-becoming-ever-evolving humans.  I don't exist; I am existing.  If we don't move forward in our humanity, we will move backward.  Compare today's progress in science with our political and religious backwardness.

   Our new spiritual vision embraces the whole person, at ever level of our personhood.  It is as earthy as Jesus.  It includes our body and emotions, our personality, our psychological and mental attributes, and our social and individual make-up.  Today it even includes the basic understanding of ourselves that is presented by quantum physics.  

   We can even say that the famous equation e=mc2 helps us understand who we are as humans.  We are each a focus of immaterial energy (e) that is showing up as an individual mental/physical/social person (mc2).  In sum, we are completely made of energy.  Wow!

   Spiritually speaking, energy, like all created reality, is an image of God.  God is not Someone who is here or there, but infinite/eternal Living Energy that is LOVE that permeates the whole universe.  Created energy permeates the whole universe.  The whole universe is made of energy.  So the universe, the world, and we are made of love-energy (e) that is showing up as love in the form of air, water, fish, birds, soil, flowers, mountains, and people, (mc2).  The new vision shows us that we humans are living love.  Our humanity is made of love.  We are love and we are beloved humans, living in a beloved world that is made of love, on beloved earth that is made of love.

   Finally, the new vision also shows us that we are sacred humans.  We are sanctified by LOVE's presence within us and within the earth and our societies and cultures.  Further, the presence of LOVE within the universe and ourselves makes the universe and us expressions of Christ.  The divinely saturated world is the Universe, Cosmic Christ Reality.

   With the shallowness of much of today's spiritual understanding, I have to emphasize that I did not just add "beloved and sacred expression of Christ" to our humanity and the world, as it was the icing on a cake that we can take off and still have the cake.  It is the cake itself.  To sound silly, we can't take the cake off the cake and still have the cake.  It is just as silly to say we can remove beloved and sacred expressions of Christ from the human and still have the human.  Also, we cannot remove beloved and sacred expressions of Christ from the world and still have the world.  Our vision shows that being human is the being beloved and sacred expression of Christ.  We are beloved, sacred human expressions of Christ living on earth, which itself is a beloved and sacred expressions of Christ.  And as humans, we are called and empowered to act accordingly.

  When we can tangled up in our dualities, we are called and empowered to raise ourselves to the level of being beloved, sacred expressions of Christ.

  In my next Post I will continue to build our new vision for living in today's world. 


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