A Simple Spirituality for the Future

A Simple Spirituality for the Future November 6, 2022

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Even though I tend to avoid creeds and belief statements and organized religion these days, the questions still come up all the time. Such as:

– What do we do now?
– What are your practices?
– How do we proceed?

Maybe a better question is “What does spirituality look like as we evolve towards a better future?”

This is what I think.

1. Go inside and be at peace trust yourself

Religion taught not to trust what we feel inside and that everything within us was bad and evil. But many of us have discovered that, like Jesus said, the Kingdom of God is within us and, when I find this inner knowing, it opens me up to wisdom and direction for the near future.

2. Embrace uncertainty

I suggest reading. Keith Giles book, Sola Mysterium, to understand this point. The first thing we must deconstruct is our certainty. It is counter to what we learned growing up that we should be certain about everything, especially our beliefs. But the opposite is true, none of us is right, and the things we are trying to discover are too big to be contained, we must approach all of them with a sense of mystery.

3. We must face our woundedness

Many people who deconstruct are surprised when they encounter their darkness in the trauma that religion tried to stuff down for them. It can seem like an obstacle or a detour or even a message to turn around and go back. But when we lean into the pain and discomfort of trauma, we find the healing we’ve been searching for all along. It will be like peeling an onion, and it will be hard, but it will also be worth it.

4. Live and love from our authenticity

The action items for most teachers, including Jesus, are very simple. They are things like: love your neighbor, treat people like you want to be to have treated, be present, etc. Things like love, compassion, and empathy are easy to discover as the key components and they show up in all types of teaching. But, the secret sauce to all of it may be the need to do those things as ourselves and in our own way.

5. Listen to each other and believe each other’s stories

For me, religion never provided enough time to process my grief. Maybe what we should have been doing while we were listening to a sermon should have been listening to each other. Our stories are sacred and we need to tell them and have the other person listen to us and believe us when we say what happened to us.

6. Experience real community

Real community and real family cannot be orchestrated in a central location by clergy or anyone else. What we call community in religion is usually faux community and more about common enemy intimacy than anything else. Real community happens organically as we live our lives. Our co-workers, neighbors, family, and friends naturally become our community.

Anytime we try to orchestrate family or community, it has negative effects. Corporations, businesses, and churches were never supposed to be our community. They are faux communities at best and toxic at their worst.

7. Keep asking questions, keep evolving

Some of the best teachers I know, including Jesus, stressed the simple fact that we don’t need a bunch of answers, what we need is better questions. It may be too simple to say that the way to evolve is to keep asking questions as we learn to ask better ones.

8. Be where you are (presence)

This simple statement is so important to me now that I sign every thing I write with the statement and the next. Occasionally I must visit the past to find healing and I do plan ahead and think about the future. But most of my life is spend right here, where I am. It behooves me to live where I am. I don’t know if I can make it any simpler than that.

9. Be who you are (authenticity)

As my current friends and I talk about what’s important, authenticity shows up in almost every conversation. I spent most of my life trying to be like my heroes, and especially like Jesus. When I learned to be myself, being like Jesus was natural. Many of the virtues like integrity are almost impossible unless we are authentic.

10. Be at peace

I used to say peace is not the absence of turmoil, it is the presence of God. Martin Luther King Jr. said that piece is the presence of justice. Peace happens in our world, and in our lives when we live and love authentically from our true self. When what we send out is true and authentic and honest, the residue left behind is genuine peace.

Please know that none of the spirituality can be orchestrated or mustered by a group with the right pastor, priest or teacher. ALL of it comes from within when we embrace our own evolution and embrace the being and becoming of what we always were.

Please join in the conversation and take advantage of our new book, Out Into the Desert below.

Be where you are,
Be who you are,

Karl Forehand

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/backlit-beach-clouds-dark-289998/

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