THE INTERNET AND THE INNER LIFE

“Life is the center where the material and spiritual forces of the universe seem to meet and to be reconciled.  Spirit is born in life.”  –Edmond W. Sinnott, Science and Spirituality, page 182

 

The internet offers a whole new range of possibilities for reaching out to the world and connecting more directly and quickly than ever was possible in the past.  It is a product of technology, and it can be a help or a hindrance to the cultivation of the inner life.  With the advent of science and technology, there has been a tendency to feel that we now live in a world of machines, robots, and other things mechanical.  Is there room in this kind of world for a deepened spiritual life?  The first conclusion has been that the inner world is no longer as important as it once was, but then we need to look at this question more carefully.

The choices we make are based on our values, and if life is sacred, then we need to provide time for reflection and meaningful decision-making.  There needs to be a balance between facts and values.  Facts give us data about what is going on, but it takes human values to make decisions as to what is important.

The world we now live in seems to be getting increasingly taken up with computers, iphones, ipads, and other things mechanical.  Does this mean that we must give up our thoughts about what matters in life and be told by our technology how we are to live?  Are our religions becoming less important, since they are the source of many of our most important values?  Our services of worship, by whatever name they are called, need to be an important part of our lives; we need the inspiration they provide to guide us in our value choices.

As much as I value the work of Farmers Markets in terms of the foods they provide, I am very concerned that holding them on Sunday mornings takes us away from the time which for most people needs to be devoted to the quest for the awakened spiritual life.  I realize that some faiths do not worship on Sunday mornings, but the vast majority do.  If for some people, other times for worship are provided, then the problem is solved.  But my impression is that many people in our society do not take time to seek the awakened life for one reason or another, and I have to say that no life is complete unless it includes an ongoing time to go within and reflect on the meaningfulness of our personal lives.

In the educational world, more time needs to be devoted to human values for this same reason.  Learning about facts is important, but unless we are equally aware of the values we live by and the sacredness of life itself, we will be as a boat adrift at sea with no rudder to steer our life in a meaningful direction.

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!

-by Rev. Leland Stewart

MEDITATION MUST PREPARE US FOR THE WORLD

Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  For those who are hearers and not doers, they are like the ones who observe their natural faces in the mirror; they observe themselves and go away, at once forgetting what they were like.  But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers that act, they shall be blessed in their doings.

—  James the Apostle, Science and Spirituality, p. 431

 

Religion contains both moral and spiritual dimensions.  Those who want to substitute “spiritual” for “religious” have a tendency to leave out the horizontal dimension of morality, which connects us to all human beings and all life.  Today we have many religions, and yet if in fact we tune into some form of Higher Power we often neglect to  connect that Higher Power to living a moral life in the world.  With all of the corruption in our society, and the great amount of misunderstanding and violence now present, we cannot afford just to live within a cocoon that keeps us from acting in line with our beliefs.

Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra have been doing a series of meditation experiences that help to link us with our deeper natures and help us to find personal and spiritual meaning for our lives.  All this is good, and the language used seems to move beyond words that are apt to cause blockages in terms of being sectarian or tied to one religion.  All this is most helpful.  But neither should meditation be only about ourselves.  We live in a world that needs our help, and part of the meaning of our lives should lead us to serve others and the world.  We are challenged to find ways of serving that are in tune with the universality of the Life Force, called by any name or no name.

Beyond political parties and antagonistic points of view there is that Essence that unites and helps to remind us that we are part of that Wholeness which is the Life Force itself.  Our living of a nonviolent life is one of the major challenges of our time, and we need to be able to apply that attitude at many levels as we live our daily existence, and in particular when we are faced with those who have a different point of view than we do.

The Peace Wheel that the Unity-and-Diversity World Council has developed contains twelve different sectors that show the many different interests and fields that make up our society.  In the midst of the Oneness of the Spirit, there is the manyness of everyday life in which we are all involved.  In a democracy we are called upon to live in both worlds and to encourage others to do the same.  Together we can find our way through the maze of the modern world and the coming of the global civilization.

 

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!