As I mentioned a few days ago, I thought I would re-introduce some themes from my journey in faith that are not based so strictly in Christianity, but reflect a more New Thought orientation. Since I find them utterly compatible with Christian theology, I thought them proper and interesting supplements to our ongoing discussion of God and our journey with our Creator.
As I mentioned then, Deepak Chopra is a writer who I deeply respect, and whose wisdom always benefits me. I ascribe these words to him, though as I said, I cannot locate the specific quotation within his book “How to Know God.” It’s possible that I read them in “A Course in Miracles” or something from “Science of Mind,” but I don’t think so. In any case, I think the most likely suspects are covered copyrightishly. I assert categorically, they are not my own words or ideas.
The quote I am referring to is: “Evolution cannot be stopped; spiritual growth is assured.”
Now, first of all, this presumes you believe in such a thing as evolution of the life sort of thing. The Darwin thing, if you will. Now some don’t of course, but they can be discounted as usually (as in never seen one who isn’t) religious far righters whom we refer to regularly here as fundamentalists. Such folks have perverted the original point of the “fundamentals” into so perverse a belief that the bible is down to the last “tiddle” the actual work of God.
Yes I said work, not word, though it is that too. Such believers conclude that God, who for some bizarre reason cannot write except on rock, directed the fingers of some various persons, and wrote out a version of the bible, now known mostly to us as the King James Version, not to be confused with the NKJV, signifying “new” because of course, to some, that was not God, but, horror, of horrors, “men.” And we know this, ummm, because (shhhh men) say so.
In any event, the bible being literally true in all its statements, doesn’t comport with what poor Charles Darwin of the Beagle fame, came to conclude, namely that life evolved from lower forms of life, to that magnificent final product the HUMAN BEING!
But this is not about wingnuts today, but reality, and as most sane and reasonably well read persons have concluded, evolution is a fact. Yes I know it’s called a theory, but in science, theory really means essentially fact. It means that evolution is the model of how life evolved that is used in countless disciplines as their starting point. So far, no experiment has cast serious doubt on its being accurate in the general framework, though of course the details are in constant flux and new information is both discovered and synthesized.
The question before us is whether spiritually we are evolving as well? It would seem categorically correct to assume so. Since we are a creative species, we necessarily in most every thing build upon the past. We have done so socially, economically, scientifically, in fact in every way that I can examine. We build better homes, better medicines, make better movies (technically at least), better computers; alleviate more mental illness, understand the universe, and well, just about everything.
Most of us don’t have the time or the inclination (whether we should is another issue) to sit under the tree as did the Buddha until he reached a state of enlightenment. But surely he passed on what he learned to others, and must be assumed to have made that path easier for others. The same is true of most of our Christian faith traditions. What we “learn” theologically and biblically, we pass on to future generations.
One would hope that as we progress in areas of human freedom, and all forms of moral and ethical theology, we also pass on this to the future. As more and more study and read these conclusions (i.e., that slavery is wrong, that women’s subjugation is wrong, that animals have rights, that the environment is our moral responsibility, that gays and other GLBT people have human rights, that war and violence are wrong, etc) we grow a ever larger cadre of humanity who have and are ready to take another step up the ladder of spiritual growth.
Such has, so far, always been the way of the world, though perhaps few have thought of it as spiritual growth. This happens to the acknowledged believer and the one who claims no such belief. We are spiritual creatures whether we choose to acknowledge that fact and even if we are unaware of that as a possibility. What others may term secular “enlightenment” in the more 18th century mode, we call spiritual growth.
It is my contention that when we as a species, in our spiritual beliefs, known or unknown, reach a tipping point, then change begins. It may start slowly, and in segregated places at first, but it spreads, like a virus until it reaches most places on the planet. Sooner or later, hopefully sooner, it becomes the new norm and those that try to maintain against it are “backward” or “ignorant” or otherwise continuing to a dead end.
I tend to think that we can hurry this process along through prayer. I try to remember when I pray, that at that moment in time, my prayer is joined by hundreds, thousands, and sometimes millions of others who are all doing the same thing. So I am not a tiny little voice in a ear-shattering crescendo of noise, aimed at God’s “ear.” I am part of a chorus, and God pours out His spirit back through us, empowering us to speak forth the Truth, and act upon it. That is how little stones make big waves in my humble opinion. We are never actually acting alone.
I died a mineral and became a plant.
I died a plant and rose an animal.
I died an animal and I was a man.
Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?
Yet once more I shall die as man, to soar
With the blessed angels; but even from angelhood
I must pass on. All except God perishes.
When I have sacrificed my angel soul,
I shall become that which no mind ever conceived.
O let me not exist! For Non-existence proclaims,
“To Him we shall return.”
(Jala al-Din Rumi)