“Spirituality isn’t about believing in God and then going around trying to prove the God of your understanding exists.”
Lately there has been a lot of talk about the impracticality of spirituality and it’s almost as if it’s trendy to be an atheist. There are a lot of blogs and comments on social media mocking all those who believe in a higher power – God, a Creator by any name. Fierce debates from well-known theologians and well-known atheists have gone viral. And in most instances, both sides, the theologian and the atheist have bestselling books, a huge fan base, and make a lot of money on the lecture circuit. Those who are already converted to one side or the other cheer on their chosen side as each person makes their points in the debates. The atheist will site all the lack of scientific evidence that proves God exists. The theologian will site what lacks within the realm of science to measure things that are immeasurable. The debates, no matter how articulate either side presents their arguments revolve around what the other side lacks. In this we can see the challenge – lack.
The word Holy doesn’t just translate in religious terms to sacred, although due to religious indoctrination many immediately interpret it this way. Holy means whole, one, complete, without separation. And yes, for those who do believe in a Creator this includes the Creator and all of creation with no separation, and that all life is connected by and through the great love of the Creator. Science agrees that all life is connected within our ecosystem, yet attributes this to an evolutionary process. So, both sides agree that all life is connected, whether this conclusion is from spiritual practice and thoughts or scientific practice and thoughts. Science and theology also agree on another matter, and that is there are many things we simply don’t know. Science agrees and confirms that the infinite universe and universes are too vast to ever fully measure. Theology agrees and confirms that a Creator, God in and of itself, just by its definition is beyond measurement, human understanding, and that if a Creator can be bound within a box or definition then it cannot be God.
I am not writing this article to debate, but to remind those who claim spirituality in whatever form it may be to fill the lack, not within debates, but within the needs of human beings. All life is interconnected and each of us as human beings, no matter how much knowledge we gain, will leave this physical existence not knowing way more than we will ever know. Yet, when we claim to believe in the Creator, God, Allah, Jesus Christ, Yahweh, or the thousands of other names attributed to the Creator, people expect us to make what we claim to believe visible in our actions. We have to make the Creator visible to others not in what we say we believe but in how we live.
Most people are not disenchanted with the possibilities of a higher power who loves all people unconditionally and is willing to send miracles to those in need. Most people are disenchanted with religion, with religiosity that has been used to commit separation, hate, and thus violence in all its forms including genocides throughout the world. Whether someone attributes goodness in this world to the words good, humanitarian, love, God, miracles, or just plain common sense, is irrelevant to me, so long as others can see goodness in action. Don’t be so spiritual that you’re no earthly good.
Spirituality isn’t about believing in God and then going around trying to prove the God of your understanding exists. It’s about believing the God of your understanding so that the teachings of love, hope, faith, and charity that thread through all spiritual practices exists in you. Spiritual practice is not about converting others, it’s about converting your own mind and heart from fear to love. Instead of sending prayers, love, and light from a distance, why not close the distance and fill the lack, fill the need? Why not be the prayer, love, and light, and deliver the food, clothes, comfort, medicines, and blankets to those in need? Why not allow the God of your understanding to answer the prayers of others through you? Fill whatever is lacking within the lives of those around you with love and prayer in action, so that even if the person you serve never claims to believe in a higher power known as God, they will always know, even if for just a moment, the power of love.
I do know and love the Creator of my understanding. Not because of religion, but because when I was hurting deeply and in great need, the love of the Creator poured through someone to fill me with goodness. They didn’t try to convert me, they saw me as an inseparable part of God, and themselves. They reached out to me, not with religion, but with love. No stipulations, just a humaneness that awoken me to my humanity. After that moment all I wanted was for others to have that same experience. The same experience of being filled with goodness, eliminating what was once a lack, and returning to a wholeness I had forgotten about until the moment when love reached out to me through another person.
No, I cannot define love or God, but I know when something I am writing, speaking, or doing is with love and God, because it fills me as I give it away. As love and God move through us to meet the needs of others, we are filled, because we will always receive what we give. Do the math so that you’re not so spiritual that you’re no earthly good.
I’m not a theologian, nor a mathematician
We know God through love, not religion
Love given is only addition
In God’s math there exists no division