It has been a while since I posted anything here, so to make up for my absence, I’m going to tell you everything I know in one short post. The rest is just details.
The purpose of life is to become our true selves, to reflect the qualities of God in the world of creation and to acquire virtues – which are three ways of saying the same thing.
In order to acquire virtues, we need to be able to recognize them, become attracted to them and practice them.
We learn to recognize virtues by using our hearts to perceive their presence or absence, and our minds to analyze, compare, contrast and correlate our experiences with our emotional responses to them.
We become attracted to virtues by opening our hearts to the positive sensations we feel when we experience or express a virtue.
Virtues are a form of energy. They motivate us to act. They are like food for the soul. They give us the energy we need to exercise our will.
Happiness comes from surrounding ourselves with God’s virtues. Joy comes from acquiring God’s virtues.
The physical world is not just a vague metaphor for spiritual reality; it is an active reflection of the spiritual world. Virtually every spiritual phenomenon has one or more forms of expression in the material world. Human souls and human bodies exhibit many “parallel systems.” We can learn more than we think about the soul by studying our bodies – and vice versa.
Our “higher nature” is that part of us that is attracted to the attributes of God themselves.
Our “lower nature” is that part of us that is attracted to the symbols (or reflections) of God’s attributes. Both are good. One is better. We can learn to turn an attraction to the symbol into an attraction to the virtue.
The inner life of the human soul is reflected in the social organization which it has collectively developed. We are composed of an inner community which must be unified, coherent, consistent and well-organized in order for us to live spiritually healthy lives.
The only way to achieve this is to practice internal consultation – that is, to meditate and learn how to listen, not just to our loud conscious thoughts, but to our quiet subconscious thoughts and feelings as well. They don’t always point in the same direction. Helping each voice be heard and resolving any differences between them brings us peace and inner unity. The technique called “focusing” is an excellent first step in acquiring this skill.
All of these skills – the ability to love and acquire virtues, and to create a harmonious inner and outer life – exist potentially in every person, and can be developed through education, prayer, meditation (internal consultation) and practice.
The religions of the world offer us inspiration, guidance and examples to follow. They are how we come to know what virtues really are.
That’s it. Once you know why you are here and how to get pointed in the right direction, the rest of life is in the traveling – or in the making music if you prefer. Enjoy.