Pillars of Spirituality

Spiritual Radiations
Source: iamavatar.org

It seems likely that most people would consider love and compassion as universal qualities of a spiritual person. At the same time, study of the life of prominent spiritual figures such as Jesus and Buddha demonstrate other important attributes of a spiritual being.

The Four Immeasurables, also known as the Four Perfect Virtues, or as I prefer to call them, the Divine Virtues, are part of a more expansive integrated and intertwined spiritual wholeness. In my view, they are the four pillars of spirituality. The Divine Virtues can be seen as composing the “body” of the spirit. They are “internal organs” of the spirit. They keep it healthy, alive, and functioning the way it is intended.

The Divine Virtues of love, compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity interact with, and inform one another. They are mutually inclusive. There is no need to reconcile one with the other; they all comprise a single being and a singular way of being.

Our personal joy and happiness arise naturally from practice of the Divine Virtues. Empathetic joy refers to joy in us arising from witnessing the special talents, successes, and good fortune of others. Empathetic joy radiates our love for the person being observed, and our gratitude for their God-given gifts.

Equanimity is mental calm, composure, and even temper in all situations. In the context of  spirituality, it is a state of inner peace from which we are able to view the world objectively, without prejudice, judgement, or emotional reaction. It is a place from which love and compassion radiate.

The inner peace that fosters equanimity can be achieved through meditation, prayer, and for some, through Chinese internal energy arts such as qigong which incorporate mindfulness into the practice. All of these serve to calm and nurture the spirit, mind, and body.

Love and compassion go hand-in-hand and lead to joy and happiness. There can be no compassion if the element of love is missing and vice versa.

How can one have empathetic joy for the happiness and special gifts we see in others without love?

How can one have love, compassion, or joy in the midst of one’s own anger, hate, jealousy, greed, fear, or emotional reaction to difficult situations?

Through equanimity, we tame our emotions and reactions so that we can clearly and objectively hear and see what is before us, and seek understanding and appreciation through patience, love, and compassion. Equanimity provides the peaceful environment within which the other three Divine Virtues thrive, grow, and radiate.

 

As discussion of spiritual radiation can be found here

 

You might like to also see the following related articles:

The Four Immeasurable Minds

How is My Divine Self Revealed?

Spirituality as a State of Being

A Face of God

Copyright 2020

Where beauty, hope, and joy abide…look deeply and see one of the myriad faces of God!

 

Background:

These little flowers are less than a centimeter in diameter.  They sprung from a weed growing in my backyard. I have been struggling with weeds in my yard for some time. I was totally disarmed by these guys.  This was a reminder to me that, although oftentimes overlooked or unappreciated, there is beauty everywhere around us and in all things.

 

Daily Prayer for Healing

My dear God,

I pray for mercy and healing for all who suffer around the world.

May the healing we receive give us the strength to endure, overcome, and transcend our pain and suffering, and where appropriate our circumstances.

And may it lift our sprints and strengthen our hope and faith in a better future, not just for ourselves, but for all of humanity.

Amen

You might like to see the following related articles:

Prayers for Harmony

Spirit’s Answer to My Prayer

A Letter to God

The Universal Religion

The Universal Religion

Universal Love
Source: lovehaswon.org

The universal religion:

Universal kinship, love, compassion, and kindness for each other and for all living things.

This is how we worship.

This is how we demonstrate our love for God

…For all things are part of Him.

You might like to see the following related article:

One Religion or No Religion?

One God, One People

Spiritual Kinship

Do Angels Watch the Clock?

 

Background: Crab Nebula
Composite by Blair Atherton

 

What is time? Does it exist? Most of us would say that it does, but could it be an illusion, construct, or artifact of our physical existence? Perhaps it is all of these.

It is said that the soul/spirit is eternal. Eternity by definition is never-ending. If we place our spirit-self in the context of eternity, does time have any meaning or importance? A period of incarnation of the spirit is vanishingly small on the scale of eternity. In fact, “scale of eternity” would seem to be an oxymoron.

Eternity confounds measurement just like infinity. To try to scale eternity with a measure such as this thing we call time would seem to make no sense. At the same time, during our very brief, finite period of incarnation, time and distance are useful measures within the physical life.

Does the concept of time make any sense or have any utility when we exist purely in spirit form after death? Likely there are many different views relating to this question. In physical form we know our lifespan is finite. Therefore, it seems natural to apply measures to our daily activities on Earth.

However, in spirit form we presumably know that we are eternal. Therefore, the length of any particular lifetime or the sequence or length of events on Earth likely does not matter to the spirit. The only thing that may matter is how the experiences of our physical life inform our spiritual growth and understanding.

You might like to see a related article titled On the Nature of God. The article describes God as enigmatic and paradoxical with attributes beyond our comprehension that conflict with our worldly notions of time, space, and form.

These are difficult topics and no doubt there are many different ways of thinking about them. I would very much like to hear your perspective.

One God, One People

 

One God, One People
Image Sources Unknown

One God, one people.

One people: with a singular origin.

All related by birth

One family: its members’ interconnections inextricable.

Be not estranged from your kin.

Embrace the interdependence among all members of humanity.

Look fondly upon all of your brothers and sisters.

Help those in need.

Show them kindness and compassion.

Express your inherited divinity!

You might like the following related articles:

Spiritual Kinship

The Divine Virtues

One Religion or No Religion?

 

 

Spirits Calling

sun-through-trees

Upon leaving the gym today I was compelled to stop by a small grove of trees. As I looked up into the branches with flashes of the sun passing through on the breeze, I felt so much love. Love for the beautiful trees and love from the trees.

I felt a presence welcoming me to a meditation. It was a remarkably sublime feeling of calm, contentment, and fulfillment. It was a wonderful moment that I did not want to end.

I have walked past those trees hundreds of times without noticing them. But this day I heard them call to me and say, “Come stay a while and let us commune with God and feel His love.”

You might also like to see the following related articles:

Spirit’s Answer to My Prayer

The Golden Morning

Sentinels of Peace

 

The Battle Against Evil

Michael Defeating the Fallen Angels By Luca Giordano – 1660-1665, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1855147

Michael Defeating the Fallen Angels
By Luca Giordano – 1660-1665, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1855147

The world today seems to be in the firm grip of evil. The advent of terrorism is perhaps the most outstanding indicator of this but the widespread badness, selfishness, greed, and lack of compassion among society are other important bellwethers. Understandably, the majority of people feel powerless against many of the evil forces.

The prayer below is a call for help and protection that is very salient to current circumstances. I urge everyone to say this prayer (or your own version of it) as part of your daily devotions.

Prayer for Delivery from Evil
(based in part on the Prayer to St. Michael)

Heavenly Father,

I wish to call upon the Heavenly Hosts to defend us and fight with us in our battle against evil.

I ask that they be our protection against all evil spirits and evil doers in this world.

Send the Heavenly Hosts, I humbly pray
by your power, to thrust Satan into hell along with all evil spirits
who wander through the world for the ruin and confusion of souls
and keep them there so as to remove their negative influences on the people of the world.

And so that the darkness that they created will dissipate
Revealing your wonderful sacred light
That can then, once again, shine upon all of humanity
Drawing all of humanity closer to you.

Lord hear my prayer!

You might like to also see the following related articles:

A Letter to God

Spiritual Lawlessness

A Path from Darkness

Path Out of Darkness

Path from Darkness

…and Spirit told me: Do not be consumed with fear and regret for past sins. Neither should your transgressions be dismissed nor forgotten. Repent, but recognize them as lessons to be learned and do not repeat them. Use them to move forward and fuel your resolve to rise to higher levels of spiritual understanding and virtue.

You might like to see the following related articles:

Spirit’s Answer to My Prayer

How is My Divine Self Revealed?

What is Spiritual Awareness?

So You Say You Are Spiritual…

Destination Ahead Copyright 2016 by Blair Atherton

Destination Ahead
Copyright 2016 by Blair Atherton

If you have chosen to move away from organized religion or you were not brought up in a home where religion was a part of life, you are not a spiritual person simply by default. When asked about your religious affiliation, replying that you are “spiritual” does not make it so. Neither does thinking of yourself as such.

In order to truly be spiritual, a few things are needed from you. First, you need to be aware that you have a spirit; that your spirit is what gives you life. It is behind your life force and it can guide and influence your thoughts and actions if you let it.

Having made this realization, then one is usually compelled to explore and understand the fundamental nature of spirituality. This is essential because being spiritual is a way of living and a way of viewing the universe, the world, our place in them, and the meaning of life. Spirituality can arise and thrive within or without structured religion.

Once you come to truly understand that you are a spiritual being, everything changes. One of the changes is that you move away from the material aspects of life to the nonmaterial qualities of existence. Your focus shifts away from things and self-serving behaviors and thoughts to unselfish concern for the wellbeing of all living things. This is a major paradigm shift in world view for most people, especially in the years leading up to midlife.

Once one acknowledges the presence of their spirit-self, the journey to discover what it means to be spiritual and to live the life of spirit begins. My hope and prayer is that it will come early in life for as many as possible so that the joy, happiness, and fulfillment it brings can be enjoyed for many years ahead.

You might like to see the following related articles:

What is spiritual awareness?

I am Spirit

With Spirit Eyes I See

The Spiritual Mind