A lot of spiritual communities and religious institutions talk about if we could see the soul of people we would be different. Kinder. Compassionate. Loving. Caring. This speaks to the idea of a universal idealized human or Spirit that is of a loftier less imperfect and the true essence of all beings. With out judgement or the hierarchy of social and cultural diversities. That idea seems to be a noble act… to recognize the Divine in each other… the bigger… grander… higher .. more evolved… light … etc.. of who we are.
Yet…. what if …..
It is the biology of us… the wonderous, complex gathering of cells and systems that we are….. This universe of flora, fauna, proteins, enzymes, chemical reactions, neural impulses, immune defenses, all the things that make up this body and the multitude of ways it expresses itself…. art, dance, music…
What if we took the time to celebrate that… to love it in all it’s systems and forms… the diverity and the experential.Would we be less inclined to destroy it? Enslave it? Abuse it? Wage war with and against it?
One of the questions we need to be asking today is….If we are assuming the Divinity of humanity as a soul… a spirit… as the greater truth of who we are…. doesn’t that in some way say it is ok to discard the husk… the body… to treat the container as less than?
It seems we are exploring this destructive notion in all the things that we are now doing to deny human beings rights, dignity…. love, nurturing, peaceful existence…. etc… because the biology is deemed less important than the spirit.
Isn’t that the opposite of what we say we want?
There is a point where we need to stop looking at the idealized human or the magicial spirit that is not of this world. It’s a archetype. A symbolic human. A dangerous idealogy that leads to exploitation. We need to embrace the very real viseral and messy of who we are. We are not just a spirit…a vapor… a light. We are flesh and bone. The complex biology of evolution and accident playing out the limits, possibilities of life’s many mysteries and ecologies. This process of evolution has been shaping us and reshaping us for billions of years in a constant progression of creation and adaptation.
I do understand the appeal for an idealized human. A divine human without warts and imperfections.
I am personally fascinated by religion, spirituality and all the ways this ideal is expressed. It is an endless tribute to the curiosity and imagination of humanity. Beautiful and delusional. Rich in pageantry and sensory stimulation. unifing and ostracizing… conflicting…messy…. very human….
Over time every group of people on this planet has created a cosmology about who we are, where we came from, some kind of before and after life story. They are as diverse as the places they come from. And we can not say any of them are true. Each serves the purpose of explaining and exploring the mysterious for a particular group. Filling the gaps, defining the moral direction(s) and embodiment of a community.
This dance of divine and earthly human unfolds in how we act and react to the world and each other. The choices we make. The art we make. The stories we create. We are hoping for an answer to our exchange of experiences in a seemingly beautiful and hostile world. We research…. try things out.. We blunder about… and mostly this procesd works. Yet these idealogies fashion the moral structures and laws we live in and sometimes die to keep in place.
I feel we are at a time where if we do not explore other perspectives in pursuit of meaningful change on this planet we are escalating extinction by greed, violence, neglecting and some kind of self hating. These things are self evident in the ways we are letting the world burn and the recent escalation towards war in the Middle East.
It is up to us to see a new way out of this. These old ideals around who we are and how we are in the world perpetuate the structures that become our communities/environments and these often come in and under the name of our spiritual and religious ideologies and practices. As the world today struggles these same things are becoming the foundations for policy, economic growth and a governmental moral directive.