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

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

We Exist in the Ethereal Spaces Between the Atoms
Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

Reblogged from livingthelifeofspirit.com

As noted in my book and in previous blog articles, I believe that our true life is one of spirit. That is why I promote the idea of living a life of spirit rather than one anchored in the physical world.

We were created in spirit and will remain so forever more. Our spiritual existence does not stop or go into abeyance during the brief periods when we are clothed with a physical body. We may lose touch with our spirit-self from time to time, stupefied by the many distractions of the physical world.

But in the background, out of the din, our spirit cries out for expression. The challenge is to have the presence of mind and desire to hear it.

Our spirit calls to us with the sweet, soft voice of a lover, to remind us that we exist in the ethereal spaces between the atoms of the physical world. We are merely passers by and should consider what spiritual legacy we wish to leave behind in the physical world, because that is the only thing that will follow us when it is time move on.

While all that is composed will eventually be decomposed, our spirits will continue to exist as a part of our everlasting Creator. Just as He has always existed and always will, so shall we.

Note: The last paragraph above relates to my blog article of August 2, 2013 titled All That Is Composed Shall Be Decomposed.

A Way to Communicate with Loved Ones in the Hospital with COVID-19

 

One of the many devastations arising from COVID-19 is the inability to be with a loved one who is sick in the hospital. Sometimes it is not even possible to give support or say goodbye over the phone or by video. There is another way which requires, for some, a leap of faith.

When you love someone there is not just a physical connection but also a spiritual one. As such, we are able to communicate on a spiritual level as well as by physical means. If you can be open minded to this idea, then you will be able to tell your loved one everything you would if you could be with them physically.

You can do this by way of a spiritual meditation. Sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed or distracted. Visualize your loved one. You can visualize them in their hospital bed or as the previously healthy person they once were. Focus on that image and how much you love them. Try not to let your emotions overwhelm you; instead focus only on your feelings of love.

Once you have your emotions under control, you are ready to tell them everything you would if you were physically with them. Focus on their image and speak to them from the heart.

It is important to control your emotions because, if you do not, your communication channel will be weakened and it will be difficult for them to hear you clearly. If you’re having trouble, take a break and then try again. 

If your loved one is destined to pass away, then this process may make their transition easier. If they are to survive, it may strengthen their will to live.

I understand that some may be skeptical of this method of communication, but what have you got to lose? Skepticism is healthy but not at the expense of being open-minded. You will feel better whether you believe in spiritual communication or not.

If you believe in prayer, then you believe in spiritual communication. 

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.

Spirit’s Answer to My Prayer

From new-wallpaperz.blogspot.com

From new-hdwallpaperz.blogspot.com

Love and compassion are not mental processes; rather, they are an expression of the spirit. Follow your heart and let them flow freely without thought, fear, or any other product of the mind. Do what comes naturally and have faith that you are being guided. Be of the conviction that the actions to help others compelled by the expression of love and compassion (of the spirit) always will be healing and nurturing to the soul of the recipient.

*****************

The following is an excerpt from one of my previous articles that expands upon the message above.

From Charity Doth Call My Spirit Forth

Charity that comes from the heart is an act of love and compassion where the spirit reveals itself in all of its divine glory. It raises us up ever so slightly so that our feet seem to lose touch with the ground, if only briefly. With each charitable act, a wave of happiness and fulfillment washes over us and for those few moments, we understand the meaning and purpose of life. We realize that our joy comes from giving of ourselves—our spirit-selves—to others.

But too often these moments are fleeting. When our feet touch the ground again, we find ourselves yearning to soar once more, free of the constraints, obligations, and selfish desires of the physical life. But it is not our time to fly away just yet. We must prove ourselves worthy of wings.

Copyright 2013 by Blair Atherton

You might also like the following related articles:

The Spiritual Mind

To What Doth My Heart Hearken? Part 1

 

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

 

A Presence Palpable

Source: Wallpaperup.com

Source: Wallpaperup.com

I believe that God should be a part of our every waking moment—a presence palpable. We should honor Him and pay homage to him throughout our day. We can do this in many ways. A very important one is for goodness to permeate our every thought and action. Working and living for good encompasses selflessness, a strong desire to help others whenever we can, and when needed, self-sacrifice to serve others before ourselves.

The attribute of goodness is a state of elevated spiritual being and connection with God. It is an expression of our spirit-selves. Inherent in (and requisite for) a life of goodness is compliance with Gods commandments and mindfulness of His natural laws.

We also honor God by being present in the moments of our day so that we take notice of the beauty and wonders of nature all around us even in the most mundane setting. When we do this, we begin to see the beauty of God Himself, in that He is, and is in all things. On these occasions, our spirits soar toward the heavens, even if only for those few precious moments. We cannot help but yearn for more of such time on the wind.

In addition to these ways of daily living, we should also set aside time (preferably a day) each week for rest and relaxation to recuperate from the demands of family and work. In other words, we should always remember the Sabbath and use the time to seek greater spiritual understanding and insight. I believe this time is meant to be spent in a quiet place alone with our thoughts rather than at a place of worship with its many distractions.

This is a time where we devote ourselves to reflection and contemplation about spiritual matters and how it is that we are living our lives. It is a time for obeisance and communion with God. It should be a time when He is a presence palpable, rather than abstract.

You might like to see the following related articles:

Spirituality as a State of Being
Nature: A more Expansive Spirituality

The Quintessence of Life

Radiations of Divine Love Copyright 2014 by Blair Atherton

Radiations of Divine Love
Copyright 2014 by Blair Atherton

What is the quintessence of life—that magical elixir from which all life arose and which fills it with jubilation? What is the highest, most noble element that is pervasive throughout the heavenly realms?

I believe that love is the fundamental component of all planes of existence. Love is an uncreated spiritual quality that is a healing, nurturing, fulfilling, and guiding force. It is the primordial element from which we arose and to which we shall return.

Divine love comes from without (from God and the holy spirits that serve Him) and it comes from within (from the divinity of our spirit-selves). It is all encompassing and encompassed by all.

Love is the greatest of all commandments. The purpose of our journeys through the millennia is, in large part, to come to understand that we are capable of unconditional love for all things, and once realized, to radiate that love through expression of our spirit-selves.

After many lifetimes our spirit will emerge to full expression and our love for all things truly will have no bounds or conditions. When that happens, our earth journeys may well end returning our spirit to its most basic existence—one that simply radiates divine love forever and ever.

Love transcends matter, space, and time. It is foremost among the spiritual mysteries, and a treasured gift from God that is meant to be shared with all.

From a recent posting, “On the Nature of God”

[…and God said,] “I am Love which is testimony to my existence!”

You might like to see the following related articles:

On the Nature of God
Can Love Save the World?
I Am Spirit