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The Interconnectedness of Our Spiritual and Human Experience

By Jeff Brown on Wednesday May 13th, 2020

The Sacredness in Our Shared Humanity

The healthy shift towards inclusivity—socially, culturally, politically—must also infiltrate our notions of ‘spirituality’ if it is going to bring us together as a humanity.

That is, we must get away from the idea that our spirituality and our humanness are two different realms, one higher or more meaningful than the other. In the way that it has been characterized since time immemorial—and not only by mystics, saints, and cave-dwellers—’spirituality’ has been seen as a way of being that is above and beyond our ‘faulty’ humanness, and certainly from many of the messy and unpleasant aspects of our life experience.

It has meant perpetual positivity. It has meant superficial affirmations. It has meant a pure, or absolute consciousness bereft of feeling. It has meant the transcending of the self. It has meant repressed anger and premature forgiveness. It has meant the dissing of ego. It has meant ’emotions as illusion.’ It has meant the bashing of our personal stories and legitimate victimhood. It has meant seeing God only when the sun is out.

Only in those rare moments when you can ‘transcend’ the human experience, or perhaps only when you die, do you get to have a spiritual experience. But not here, not now, not in the heart of this embodied madness.

Separation of Spiritual and Human Experience

Even Webster’s Dictionary distinguishes spiritual life from our embodied form, defining spirituality as, among other things, that which is “concerned with or affecting the spirit or soul,” “lacking material body or form or substance… the vital transcendental soul belonging to the spiritual realm,” “of or pertaining to the moral feelings or states of the soul,” and “of or pertaining to the soul or its affections as influenced by the spirit… proceeding from the holy spirit; pure; holy; divine; heavenly-minded; opposed to carnal.”

The separation between spirituality and humanness‘Spirituality’ has been seen as above and beyond our ‘faulty’ humanness. Image: Oliver Cole

We even see this view in the famous saying by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin:

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Don’t misunderstand—I understand why we resonate with this saying—it reminds us that we actually are spiritual beings, something we can easily lose sight of in the heart of our daily challenges.

But what is missing is even more important. What is missing is: he doesn’t also say, “We are also human beings having a spiritual experience.” Nor does he dare to suggest that there may actually be no distinction between our spiritual life and our human life. He keeps them distinct and at most allows for the possibility that our humanness is one fragment of our spiritual life. And this is the same mistake we have been making for centuries.

Desacralizing the Self

We have been desacralizing the self, imagining it something less than Sacred and Divine.

This leads us in the wrong direction and, although it may provide momentary relief from the challenges of the human experience, it actually perpetuates the (illusory) divide, concretizing the idea that being human is necessarily sub-standard, ultimately turning us away from the necessary work we must do to bring ourselves into integration and make sacred our humanness.

Desacralizing the selfWe have been desacralizing the self, imagining it something less than Sacred and Divine. Image: Ashley Batz

Simply put, our definition of ‘spiritual’ has meant the bypassing of the challenges of the human experience. They have been severed, abandoned, and transcended in the name of a ‘higher’ or stiller or emptier or more evolved path. Through this lens, spirituality is a shadowless and formless skyscape, one where the sun never stops shining and where we float—peaceful, silent, and still—far above the messy complexity of the human experience. Love and light and everything nice.

Mastery at the Expense of Connectiveness

Does this matter? It matters a lot, particularly for those who seek an inclusive and humane world. In the same way greedy, unconscionable capitalism is destroying us, humanity-severed spirituality is destroying us. It’s all part of the same power-seeking patriarchal system—one that focuses on ‘mastery’ at the expense of connectiveness, one that focuses on being above rather than being among.

Because if we don’t believe that what happens to the ‘human’ is spiritually relevant, we won’t bother to improve our behavior or become more inclusive in our thinking. We won’t stop to look at our effect on each other. We won’t bother to worry about human rights, or healing our trauma, or crafting legal and political structures that reflect our sacred significance. Why would we bother to focus on inclusivity and human value if we believe that our experience of God or Enlightenment or Divinity, is not down here among us, but is way up there, far above the human fray?

Living ‘Above’ Your Humanness

This perspective, this division between spirituality and humanness, is taking us far away from our embodied lives—the only place we can heal and transform as a species.

And it invites all manner of unethical behaviour in patriarchal power-brokers. Because when we are ‘above’ our humanness, we are also above the law. And we can always claim that our actions are acceptable because our human behaviour is not us.

Love and light and everything niceThe spiritual being is engaged in and connected to all aspects of the human experience. Image: Andrea Tummons

This view is as fundamental to unconscionable capitalism as it is to ungrounded spirituality. And it’s wrong—if anything reflects your spiritual stage, it’s your actions. Spiritual maturity and emotional maturity are synonymous.

Instead, we must bring spirituality and humanness together, arriving at the understanding that spirituality is reality—not somewhere we go to ‘rise above’ or seek refuge from the challenges of the human experience—but an experience that is all-encompassing and ever-inclusive. That is, that the most spiritual being is the one who is the most engaged in and connected to all aspects of the human experience—what I call ‘spirit-reality,’ or Enrealment.

Everything is Sacred

From this vantage point, one cannot ignore the traumas and needs of humanity because one understands that all of it is sacred. That all of it matters. And then we are inspired to take action, in every sphere of society, to craft structures, systems, and laws that honor, encourage, and connect us. With those in place, no one gets left behind, and every human gets an opportunity to participate and improve their life conditions.

Inclusivity—within and between us, and at the heart of a humanized notion of spirituality—is not just a ‘politically correct’ progressive notion. It’s a way of being that leads to a more just and humane world—one where every one of us matters. Every struggle. Every wound. Every dream. All sacred. And when we believe that we matter, we cannot help but work together to co-create a just and compassionate world for all.

~

How do you feel about this article? What comes up for you? If you agree, we would love to hear in the comments below about moments you have perhaps realised this for yourself, or ways in which you remind yourself of this embodied way of living.

With wishes of love and Enrealment,

Team UPLIFT

How do you feel about this article? Join the conversation.

 

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40 Responses to The Interconnectedness of Our Spiritual and Human Experience

  1. wonderful points altogether, you simply received a emblem new reader.
    What would you suggest about your submit that you simply made
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    as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?
    My website is in the exact same niche as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from some of the information you present here.

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    • We would be happy for you to share our articles … and yes you must credit the original source with full links back to the article and upliftconnect.com.

      Pleased that you too are spreading and sharing the good news of Unity Peace and Love in the Field of Transcendence

      Paul and Team UPLIFT

  3. Waking up to the already existent perspective of one consciousness seems to be the real work of humanity.

  4. The perspective of the unity of existence encompasses all aspects of human consciousness. If we can be educated in this perspective of one all-inclusive consciousness our time might be productively spent in discerning degrees of reality rather than excluding one from the other. That’s why I liked this article because it offers a large perspective and hints that our real human work lies in the witnessing of the unity within the multiplicity and vice versa. Thanks for posting it

    • We’re so happy these words spoke to you Ann 🙂 All the very best to you on your journey.

      Much love
      Team UPLIFT

  5. I appreciate see the famous saying by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “We are spiritual beings having a human experience” again. And in this context with awareness that we are human beings having a sprttual experience. Yes oneness is one in the macrocosm and the microcosm and combined. All is one. One is one with no other. I enjoyed reading the article as it supports the energy toward the healing idea of universal inclusiveness.

    • It is Maria 🙂 Here’s to imagining and building a new world based on love and kindness for all!

      Blessings,
      Team UPLIFT

  6. Great article. Rev. Martin Luther King,M. Gandhi, Thich Nhat Hahn, and the Dali Lama, all have an active engaged Spirituality. It’s what is missing in the world wide move towards justice and peace

  7. This is a really fresh and refreshing take on spirituality. I love the idea of a direct relationship between spirituality and emotional maturity. The separation of our spirituality and our humanness has led to a fragmented understanding of ourselves, with a lot of humanity believing that spirituality is the prerogative of religion or religious worship and can only be achieved by the chosen few precluding the rest of humanity who lead regular lives. This division is damaging does not achknowledge the milestones of spirituality one reaches every step of the journey on the evolutionary path of life from childhood to adulthood. Perhaps armed with this new understanding, people may begin to view themselves differently as growing spiritual beings, and begin to appreciate their value and take greater responsibility for the protection of all of mankind and the planet, individually and collectively as a species.

  8. One of the most powerful lessons that I’ve found for the ideas that Jeff Brown is expressing here is in Paulo Coelo’s book The Alchemist. It is told in a parable, something like this: A boy goes to a castle to seek an audience with a wise king to ask about the secret of life. The king is busy, so he gives the boy a spoon filled with oil and tells the boy to return after he has toured the castle — without losing a drop of oil from the spoon. When the boy comes back, all the oil is in the spoon. The king asks the boy what he saw in the castle (which was filled with magnificient works of art, etc). The boy says he didn’t notice. The king tells him to go around the castle again, beholding all that he sees. The secret of life, says the king, is to be fully in the world but also be consciously aware of the oil — our spirituality — at the same time. ….

    This, to me, is the secret of living fully and holistically. … of course, it is easier said than done! (… but, in some ways, not that hard at all ….)

    • This is a brilliant analogy Steve, thank you so much for sharing! I totally agree 🙂

      Blessings,
      Team UPLIFT

  9. The quotation “we are spiritual beings having a human experience” has always “uplifted” and connected me. This article resonated deeply that the spirit in the human is needed to unify all. Love is an action that ripples outward and creates creativity. Thank you

  10. Quantum physics tells us the universe is self-organizing and self-correcting. You don’t try to heal a cut, it just heals on its own. This demonstrates a natural all-knowing intelligence at work.

    There is no such thing as a thing. It’s all subatomic particles shifting and relating to each other, and which have existed forever, beyond what we can currently comprehend.

    The universe itself is a living consciousness. This supports the Law of One, that the Universe itself is a living Conscious Being; that Universal Energy is the ancient mystery of God the Oneness.

    • Beautifully said. I love the idea that there is no one singular thing. Put like that it makes it simple. Oneness is one … have an awe inspiring day. And in the light of your comment and my reply oneness is offering oneness an awe inspiring day. 😁

    • I believe in much the same,but with addition to that our thoughts and feeling’s effect the universe around us.also the universe around us effects our thoughts and feelings.So we must stop and review what is happening,and question what needs to change and why,this because everything is connected ,creates unexpected outcomes.

    • You can find plenty of articles about the integrated way on our website Gwen 🙂 Thanks for reading.

      Blessings,
      Team UPLIFT

  11. Humans from the evolutionary stand point, are highly advanced organisms on the planet Earth. They have the greatest responsibility to live up to their status duly taking care of lower forms of life of plant and animal origin as their legitimate duty. Spirituality for that matter mandates sincere service to all forms of life on Earth leaving no exception, in the process of realization of truth that no matter and/or energy exists without being spiritual in status by virtue of its all pervasive and limitless nature.

  12. Pain and pleasure are two sides of the same coin. As such, both of them have to be invited and lived with accepting both equally, gracefully and willingly as the precious gifts of God.

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