How to cope when you think “I have lost my way spiritually”
Do you feel the pull of the phrase, “I have lost my way spiritually”? We are all spiritual beings, not just human beings. The word “human” has now taken on extra meaning for people, starting with the website Humans of New York. Now people refer to “humans” all the time, such as in this article about “bringing the human back to work”. While we are all human, this is not the sum of who we are; we are people too, and spiritual beings; beings that have more strings to our bow than just the title “human”. We are more than human.
Think about this: Simply knowing yourself as “human” is not enough. We are not just humans; we are people. We are not just animals, we have some divine consciousness that needs to be explored, expressed and recognised.
What does it mean to be human?
The New York Times has discussed the issue of what it means to be human. This article said, “We humans are very self-focused. We tend to think that being human is somehow very special and important, so we ask about that, instead of asking what it means to be an elephant, or a pig, or a bird. This failure of curiosity is part of a large ethical problem.”
Writer Melissa Golden says, “The question, ‘What is it to be human?’ is not just narcissistic, it involves a culpable obtuseness. It is rather like asking, ‘What is it to be white?’ It connotes unearned privileges that have been used to dominate and exploit. But we usually don’t recognise this because our narcissism is so complete.”
Newsflash, Melissa: It is very special to be human, and we should never discount that. To be human is to understand things at a deeper level than other living beings on this Earth; to be human is a privilege, and something to be highly valued and respected. There is no narcissism involved: to be human is to be trusted, to have achieved something already. To be human is special.
What if I want to give up on being human?
One of my favourite bloggers Erin Plavlina talks about how souls reincarnate to Earth, and that we all have a spiritual mission to complete here, and speaks about the spiritual ramifications of suicide. We all came here with a mission to complete, and sometimes this feels like too much to cope with; often we feel like giving up; but often this comes with regret.
Erin says, “First, try to remember that coming here to Earth in the first place was something you very much desired.” Being human (becoming human again) was something that you worked hard for, and desired quite deeply. You may have even had to wait some time to achieve your goals. You may have done so much ground work that you have subsequently forgotten.
“You came here eagerly to experience physicality, joy, and play in the playground of life,” Erin explains in her post When You Just Don’t Want to Be on Earth Any Longer. “You made a conscious choice to be here for some reason and that reason still exists. Try to remember why you came here.”
Are we, as humans, in control of our destiny?
“We aren’t born human; we become it,” asserts French philosopher and activist, Bernard-Henri Lévy. He says, “Humanity is not a form of being; it is a destiny. It is not a steady state, delivered once and for all, but a process.” However, I do not agree. We come to this Earthly plane, knowing that we will be human, that this is what we desire, that this is something we are to experience to grow.
Lévy says, “To be human also means knowing that one can win battles, but never the war. Death will have the final say.” True – but is death really the end? I doubt even hard-core atheists believe that death is truly the end.
I quizzed one of my liberal, atheist friends (gently) after the death of one of his close relatives, also an atheist. I asked, “What did you say to your Aunty on her death bed – both of you being atheists and all?”
He said, “We talked about enjoying her ‘dirt nap’ and getting a good, long rest.”
To me, that was a wake-up call, because it sounded to me that he had not accepted the finality of atheism, and was holding onto terms like “nap” and “rest”, words used within religion, where death is never the end, only a stage, to wake up again from. I honestly believe that most atheists do not believe their own ethos; they do not truly believe that death is the end, because to believe that, would be truly horrifying, and would negate the meaning we find in day to day activities and relationships.
Why you will not “live on in your friends’ and relatives’ memories”
Another thing I hear from atheists about the afterlife is that they believe that they will be gone, yet they will “live on” in the memories of their loved ones. This is also not true.
The Atlantic quotes a reader called Kevin, an atheist, who believes, “My afterlife will be in the memories of those I knew, those who loved me, those who carry me on in their hearts. I, myself, cease to exist.”
Yes, we will live on for a very short time in the memories of those that knew us well; but how many of us can name our four grandparents’ married and maiden names, or remember the years they were born? Who can name their grandmother’s school, or recall their mother’s first job after leaving college? Even basic information is lost quickly, deeper information is never known, never explored.
The human memory is short – memories are fleeting. The older I get the more I realise that my parents are complete strangers; sure, I know the “facts” about them, but I don’t know their personal drives, their goals and wishes, their private moments of struggle and pain. Even my husband is a stranger to me. Even I am a stranger to me. The only one who knows me is God, or my Higher Spiritual Self.
But I ceased to exist before I was born, therefore I will cease to exist after I die
In The Atlantic’s What Do Atheists Think Of Death? A reader says, “Another way I look at it is that life after I am dead will be just like life before I was born. I don’t regret not being here sooner than I was, and I had no sensation of existence before my birth. So it will be after my death.”
Well, it may be a rather obvious point, but you sure did exist before you were born. A year and a day ago, I welcomed Baby Obelia into the world. Born on January 7th, 2018, she arrived, covered in goo at 5:12 AM. Is that when she began? Of course not. At 5:11 AM she existed, at 5:10 she existed, three months prior, she was still there; toes an fingers and heartbeat and hiccups. Even before she was conceived, she existed in my heart, in my mind, in my desire. Who knows what she was up to before she was born.
I have lost my way spiritually, but we all come to Earth with a purpose
The Earth is an imperfect plane, filled with imperfect energies. Some philosophers believe we are in a Kali Yuga, a “dark spiritual age” where enlightenment is difficult. Hindus believe that human civilization degenerates spiritually during the Kali Yuga, which can be called the Dark Age because in it, “people are as far away as possible from God”.
Pope Francis has said that human rights should be reaffirmed, on the Vatican News site, “lest there prevail partial and subjective visions of humanity that risk leading to new forms of inequality, injustice, discrimination and, in extreme cases, also new forms of violence and oppression.”
What happens during a kali yuga?
Have you noticed some or all of these things happening in society today? (Source)
- Rulers won’t find an obligation to promote spirituality, or to protect their subjects, and because of this rulers become a threat.
- People will start migrating, seeking countries where wheat and barley form the staple food source.
- Lust will be viewed as socially acceptable and sexual intercourse will be seen as the central requirement of life.
- Sin will increase exponentially, while virtue will fade and cease to flourish.
- People will become addicted to intoxicating drinks and drugs.
- Women will no longer get married.
- Traditional castes will disappear and everyone will belong to a single social class.
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Good luck on your spiritual journey