Have you seen it? We are in the middle of a great evolutionary upheaval. Humanity is changing. The Coronavirus pandemic is an evolutionary tipping point, a moment of intense evolutionary pressure that significantly shifts who we are, and after which we will forever be changed.
What we will become remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: we have an opportunity as never before to shape our own evolution.
SHAPING OUR OWN EVOLUTION
For the first time in the history of the cosmos (as far as we know at this time) there exists a species that has the power to direct not only their own evolution, but that of their environment, their planet, and possibly (since all things are connected) even the universe. But what does it actually look like for us to become good architects of our own and our planet’s evolutionary trajectory?
If we are to be intentional, responsible, and wise as we navigate the choices and processes of change, then we need to develop our human capacities for empathy, insight, awareness, creativity, learning, and collaboration. I believe that this is exactly the work that spirituality is designed to do.
GOOD AND BAD SPIRITUALITY
In his book A New Kind Of Christian (affiliate link) Brian McLaren makes the distinction between good faith and bad faith. Within every spiritual tradition there are those whose practice makes them kinder, humbler, and more gracious. But, there are also those whose spiritual practice leads them to be more rigid, judgemental, self-righteous, and exclusionary. So our choice is not about which religion or spiritual path is ‘best’. Our choice is about which paths, within all spiritual traditions, lead to good faith, and which do not.
There is no shortage of spirituality in our world today that is self-centred, self-protective, self-aggrandising, and self-satisfying. Much of religion focusses on believing in an unchanging God in order to attain a blissful afterlife. While most of these paths do offer benefits, especially for those who practice them, intentional evolution and greater human wholeness have little or no place. This is not what I would call good faith.
DEVELOPING GOOD SPIRITUALITY
Over the last couple of months at EvoFaith we have been exploring two foundational elements of spirituality: our understanding and experience of God, and our understanding and experience of ourselves and one another (the links will take you to a list of the posts relative to those two themes).
Once we have established those foundations, we need to explore what kind of spirituality—in practical terms—will actually help us to engage those realities in healthy ways. The first question to ask, though, is this: Why spirituality? To put it another way: what is the purpose of our spirituality? Is to get to heaven when we die? To find happiness? To win God’s approval? Or is it to become the most compassionate, connected, and contributing human beings we are capable of being? Clearly my vote goes to the last option.
Once we have identified and defined our ‘Why’ we can then move on to the ‘What’. We need to identify which actual practices enable us to move toward the purpose of our spirituality. And then finally we can determine the ‘How’ which speaks to the specific ways in which we might choose to package our own spiritual practice.
In the next few weeks we will be exploring each of these elements in detail and offering practical guidelines for developing a spiritual practice that helps us to contribute to a creative, life-giving evolution for ourselves and our species. I hope you choose to come along for the journey!
In the meantime, you may want to consider your own ‘Why’ of spirituality.
- Why do you believe spirituality is important?
- What is the goal or purpose of spirituality?
- How is that ‘Why’ shaping and being expressed in your own spiritual practice?
Please share your thoughts and answers in the comments and let’s keep the conversation going!
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