How is My Divine Self Revealed?

With permission. Copyright 2012 by www.phatpuppyart.com

With permission. Copyright 2012 by http://www.phatpuppyart.com

If I am a child of God, then what is the essence of my divine nature? How is my divine self revealed?

I believe that the divine self is manifested by the spirit and that love and compassion are spiritual attributes. Therefore, one way in which we reveal our divinity is by expression of love and compassion for all things.

Compassion is not an attribute exclusive to people of religious faith. In fact, it did not originate in religion; rather, it is an aspect of our in-born divine nature. It is an attribute of humanity. Everyone has it, but we often get lost from time to time on our life path and stray from our inherent loving and generous nature. What is important is that we recognize that the spiritual gifts of love and compassion are at the core of our being; that when we express these qualities, we are revealing our divinity to ourselves and to those whose lives we touch.

Nothing is more rewarding or more important in life than sharing these spiritual gifts with others. What is important in the pursuit of meaning in our lives is that we all aspire and strive to express our divinity in various ways on a daily basis. It is through these actions that our divine self is revealed.

You might also like to see the following related articles:

The Quintessence of Life

Can Love Save the World?

On the Pursuit of Happiness

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Disasters: Nature or Providence?

Circles of Awakening Source: gastroruas.com

Circles of Awakening
Source: gastroruas.com

Perhaps we all wonder at one time or another why major disasters occur where large numbers of people are killed or injured or there is large scale destruction of property. Is the motive force nature or providence? Some may say they are chance events or they result from natural processes. Still others (perhaps a minority these days) may say that they are acts of God.

Of course one cannot say with certainty who is right about why these things happen. I subscribe to the expression: “Everything happens for a reason.” That said, then the big question is: What is the reason?

To say that everything happens for a reason implies that someone or something is behind events that happen in our lives, including major disasters. What value could a major disaster possibly have to humankind? To answer that question we must look at how disasters affect those directly affected and how others not involved react.

Survivors may have lost loved ones and everything they own. They must find a way to cope and start their life all over again. These are major challenges to test one’s inner strength, and for those who believe in God, one’s faith that what happened was somehow in their best interest from the perspective of spiritual development.

For those directly affected, it is a terrifying, traumatic event. They will never forget the anguish that they had to endure, but more importantly, they will never forget the kindness and compassion of those who sought to help them in the aftermath.

For some victims the help they receive is life-changing. Which is to say that they make it a point to be kind and compassionate to others as they go forward with their lives.

But the reasons why disasters happen go much further and beyond just those directly affected. I believe that large scale major disasters such as the tsunamis in Japan and Indonesia and other events, as well as more catastrophes predicted for the not too distant future, are intended to have a transformative effect on the psyche of the children of earth.

That is, they are intended to make us reevaluate how we live, our values, and our understanding of the purpose and meaning of life. Put another way, major traumatic events provide us with an opportunity for a spiritual awakening. Sadly, not all will be ready to hear the call, but many others will.

How the psyche of individuals may be affected by disaster will vary. We have seen from news accounts that many people are moved to a deep compassion for those directly affected, and those who can, flood into the area to help any way possible.

But we are all moved with great sorrow and compassion no matter where we are. What most of us do not realize is that the outflow of compassion triggered by the event is an expression of our divine selves that is showing us who we really are; who we are intended to be; and how we should live our lives everyday with or without disasters. I believe these are the things such events are meant to teach us.

But an occasional disaster here and there apparently is not enough for these lessons to take a lasting hold in many of us. Perhaps that is why many more disasters are predicted  to occur closer and closer together, one after another. A chain of catastrophes should show us that they do not happen at random or by chance; rather, they are intended to get our attention and force us to question why we must endure such horrific events and what we can learn from them.

So, are disasters good or bad? They are both. They bring great sadness, sorrow, and suffering for the loss of life, property, and basic needs. But they also bring to many a spiritual awakening and a new perspective on life and how we are meant to live. These events are intended to remind us that the material world is temporary while the human spirit is able to transcend all earthly circumstances.

On the Nature of God

Mysterious Landscape by lxrowe From deviantart.com

Mysterious Landscape by lxrowe
From deviantart.com

Who or What is God? I wondered about the nature of God, and when I sat down at the computer the verse below is what came out. The qualities that we imagine God or a higher being would have are to some extent ineffable, a paradox, enigmatic, and most certainly beyond our limited awareness and understanding.

An Ineffable Paradox

I am the uncreated One.
I exist apart from the bounds of time.
I am beyond beginning and end
For I have always existed and always will.

I am both the Creator, and that which I created
For I made everything in heaven, earth, and the universe.
I am everywhere and in all things.

I cannot be created or destroyed.
I can transform myself into countless forms.
Yet, I am without form.

I am unknowable and unseen, but everywhere you look.
I am Love which is testimony to my existence!
I am what I am.

Copyright 2014 by Blair Atherton

You might like the following related articles:

I Am Spirit

The Quintessence of Life

To What Doth My Heart Hearken? Part 1

I Am Spirit

The Hodge 301 Cluster in the Tarantula Nebula Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STSci/NASA) The Hodge 301 Cluster in the Tarantula Nebula Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STSci/NASA)[/caption

I Am Spirit.
I have existed before time began
And I will exist after the end of time.

I am you and you are me.
I am a victim of doubt, skepticism, and ignorance.
I am present in bodies with minds that do not recognize me.

I give you life—yet, you do not truly live.
I am love—yet, you do not share me widely.

I am compassion—yet, you hide my light deep inside.
I am generous—yet, you do not give to those who are needy.

I give you knowledge, but you refuse to believe.
I show you the Path, but you turn away and choose another.
I provide good counsel, but you do not listen.

I Am Spirit.
I am you, and you are me.
One day you will awaken to me
And our glorious light will shine upon all the world!

Copyright 2014 by Blair Atherton

As with other spiritual verses I have published on this blog and elsewhere, I was compelled to sit in front of the computer and wait for the words to start flowing. The message here is clear: we must understand and believe that we exist as spirit, and not neglect or be afraid to express our divine qualities.

What Can We Learn About Spirituality from the Example of Others?

Hubble Captures View of 'Mystic Mountain' Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

Hubble Captures View of ‘Mystic Mountain’ Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)

There are many people who provide examples of how to live a spiritual life. These include not only historical religious figures, but also ordinary people. They demonstrate in their everyday lives what it means to be a spiritual person.

When I heard that the new Pope decided to take on the namesake of Saint Francis, it brought back some childhood memories. I was attending Catholic school in second grade when the class went to the theater to see a movie about the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. I was very captivated by the movie. I remember saying to myself, “I want to be like him.“

I did not want to be a priest or friar, rather I wanted to emulate the way he lived. I wanted to put into action his unwavering humility, selflessness, self-sacrifice and devotion to God. He accepted any and all adversities that God threw at him willingly and without complaint.

Of course at that young age, I had no idea just how hard it would be to imitate Saint Francis. Nevertheless, it became a life goal.

Below is a favorite prayer attributed to Saint Francis that I believe sums up how he looked at spiritual life. This is not a prayer just for Catholics or Christians; it is an approach to spirituality and life that can benefit all of us.

Let us pray:

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.

Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

Dear God, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.”

What really rang true to me about Saint Francis’ view of spirituality is looking past, and going beyond, oneself. He sought to attend to others without regard to his own needs. To me, the prayer above speaks volumes about what it means to be a spiritual person.

At the same time, there are many quiet, gracious, inconspicuous truly spiritual people with whom we come in contact in our everyday lives who may or may not subscribe to any particular religion. Make it a point to pay attention to what is going on around you and you will see them. We can learn much from watching them.

Doing good and helping others is second nature to them. When they see a need, they do their best to fulfill it. They do it without hesitation or having to think about it. Recognition or gain of any kind never crosses their mind even for a moment. It is who they are; they have found their spirit-self.

How wonderful it is that they have chosen to share their divine selves with us! How wonderful it will be for us to join their ranks!

To What Doth My Heart Hearken? (Part 2)

I originally wrote what appears below concerning various references we make to the heart before the verse in Part 1 of this topic came to be. I toyed with various titles for the article below trying to summarize in a few words what I was trying to address. Then out of the blue came the title above. This title seemed right, but I sensed that there was so much more in the question that it posed.

Over the next few days, the question haunted me. I kept repeating the question (title) over and over in my mind like I sometimes do when I am trying to remember something or solve a problem. Each time I did so, I felt twinges of emotion that begged for expression and understanding. I found myself searching for an answer to the question that went beyond the sort of worldly aspects of what we call “heart.“

Finally, the constant nagging of this question forced me to sit down at the computer and wait quietly for an answer. Soon, the words started to flow effortlessly and the verse in Part 1 was born.

Here in Part 2, we move from the ethereal plane of thought to more applied, experiential sorts of examples of how our spirit can express itself.

There is a way of speaking with which we are all familiar. It is a reference to the heart that we apply to a variety of actions and emotions. I often wondered precisely what we mean when we say “heart” in these contexts.

Some of the sayings we use are things like:

All goodness flows from the heart.
I love you with all of my heart.
He wears his heart on his sleeve.
That act came from the heart.
That artist paints from the heart.
He/she sings from the heart.
And so on…

I think what is implied in these sayings and situations is that the person has called forth in themselves something beyond the physical body. Inspiration that transcends the body.

I think that by “heart” we intuitively (yet perhaps unwittingly) mean spirit. Although I am likely not the first person to come to this realization, this clarifies for me what was previously a somewhat vague reference.

I believe that love, charitable acts, artistic talents, etc. are expressions of the spirit—of our divine selves. Consequently, these are actions that we find most satisfying and fulfilling.

Perhaps the most common reference to the heart is that it is the source of a person’s love. What is suggested here is that love comes from our spirit. I would go further to say that love is the hallmark of spiritual expression. It is the essence of our divine nature. We are only truly happy when we allow our love to flow, but not just for spouse and family; rather, for all people and all of creation. Listen to your heart’s (your spirit’s) sweet refrain!