“Our spirituality is a oneness and an interconnectedness with all that lives and breathes, even with all that does not live or breathe.”
— Voltaire —
ZERO, ONE AND INFINITY
Spirit is often called many other names, and its significance (or lack thereof to some) is different for everyone. God, Source, Spirit, Allah, Brahman, Jehovah, Tao, Infinite, Nothing, Supreme Being, Wankan Tanka, The Great Mystery, Y ahweh, the list goes on.
I have indulged my creative reflections with a little fictional story.
“Spirit” is in fact a deep and personal exploration. It doesn’t come with a set of rules or ways to live. It all stems down to our own personal relationship with our own soul. It's personal.
That’s the crux of any spiritual journey, an intimate and often unnameable exploration into the Infinite.
DEFINING SPIRIT AS MEDICINE
Everything is connected as energy to the “Source.” How you connect to this “Source” and what you call it is up to you. Our sense of connection, (spirit) with the energetic “Source” is as important for human well being as our connection to nature.
The “Source” is all around us, but it is felt and acknowledged in many different ways. Some people connect through collective rituals and ceremonies, some by looking at the stars, or planting in the soil, perhaps internal veneration or following virtuous principles for living from influential prophets, gods or deities. No matter how it’s done, we all worship this “Source” as our divine benefactor, having supremacy over nature and humans. It provides a sense of peace, comfort, destiny and energy to overcome hardship.
Human beings are wired to seek meaning from life. We have been attempting to define the source of everything for as long as civilisation itself. I don’t believe it’s possible to capture it in a few words, but a few curious souls come quite close in my opinion. Alfred James in his blog post “Spirituality— What Does it Really Mean?” suggests it is a personal and unique quest.
“Spirituality exists within a personal, unique, unbreakable relationship between the heart (feeling) and the mind (thinking). It is an internal harmony that allows one to endure the most harrowing of circumstances. It gives us hope in a future of unknowns. Even when lacking in material possessions and physical freedoms, this relationship endures and enables its host to continue to offer compassion to others. Spirituality is an internal sanctuary, free of the rules and expectations of the physical world. It is a place where one can submit to one’s mortality and rest properly, without worry, anxiety, desire and striving.”1
This definition allows for those not considering themselves as religious, still consider themselves as spiritual. It even allows us to relabel “God” as a connection with “Mother Nature” or the “Universal Source,” or some form of deep knowing.
From here our spiritual connection becomes easier to understand and encompasses many different cultures and thoughts processes. However, ultimately, how you define and marinate yourself in Spirit is your business only. As Mother Teresa was attributed as saying, “In the final analysis, it’s just between you and God.”
Historically, ancient quests for understanding “Spirit” became known as religions, a system to worship and organise our collection of beliefs, cultural nuances and world-views that relate humanity to an order of existence. There are thousands of religions even to this day. They use narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and its universal origin. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle from their chosen faith or universal view.
It is contrary to think we are all human with the same physical realities of earth, sun and sky, yet our belief systems about creation, how we should live our lives and what happens after we die, all manifest so differently. These beliefs will continue to adapt and evolve along with humanity as we become ever more conscious and conscientious beings. There are millions of unique beliefs about this subject all operating within the one Earth.
As human beings we will still continue to search for meaning within the three mental constructs that overarch virtually all “religions”—where we came from, why we are here and what happens after we die. This can be expressed in the essence of, “zero–one–infinity.”
Creation from nothing—How did we end up on this third rock from the sun?
Connection and meaning—How is everything interconnected as one?
Redistribution to everything—What happens when we die? Elementally, biologically, consciously and soulfully?
For some people, they no longer look to any “source” for guidance or comfort, some don’t believe in an omniscient energy at all. I would say to them, if their deep internal compass intuits that there is no source, then who am I to tell them otherwise? Except perhaps I would point them to the benefits of operating in their highest energetic human vibration anyway, good thoughts, good feelings and good relationships are all critical.
If they believe that this is all there is and ever will be, I’m sure they would want to still create the best life possible for themselves! Makes sense, right?
Love, peace and unity are the highest energetic human vibrations. They are the “Source.” So whether you call it God, emptiness, nothing, everything or Fred— love, peace and unity are both Divine and human qualities. You can be an atheist and still be an incredible loving and caring person.
Perhaps this is why Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching is so potent. He begins by reminding us there are no names that can reach “what is.”
“The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.” 2 — Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching —
Life is cyclical and in a constant state of change. We just give it meaning and decide to resist change or find energetic flow in the natural chaos and flux of life. Western cultures have become fixated on celebrating our births (birthdays), but ultimately fearing death as an ultimate end point. What if these mental constructs for life were missing something that would permit a sense of inner peace in all of us? Life is cyclical and infinite.
For me, the Dalai Lama exemplifies the simplicity of this conversation about Spirit as medicine.
“This is my simple religion, there is no need for temples of complex philosophy, our own brain, our own heart is our temple. My philosophy is kindness.”3
“However the tea is prepared, the primary ingredient is always water. While we can live with out tea, we can’t live with out water. Likewise we are born free of religion, but we are not born free of the need for love and compassion.”4
“All religions carry the same basic messages, that is love, forgiveness and compassion. Importantly this should be part of our daily lives.”5
“There is no way to escape death, it is just like trying to escape by four great mountains touching sky. There is no escape from these four mountains of birth, old age, sickness and death.”6
Coming to terms with the fact that one day we will all take our last breath is a powerful insight too. The Dalai Lama shares how to use these insights to live a virtuous life:
“We cannot hope to die peacefully if our lives have been full of violence, or if our minds have mostly been agitated by emotions like anger, attachment, or fear. So if we wish to die well, we must learn how to live well: Hoping for a peaceful death, we must cultivate peace in our mind, and in our way of life.”7
We all come from the same define source, irrespective of the mental construct and name we give it. As human beings we often need a "human form" to make it relate-able to our world view. Knowing that energy cannot be created or destroyed, and simply exchange from one form of another.
Would you be willing to be the energy and vibe that you hope to see in the world? Would you be willing to live by the golden rule? To treat yourself, others and nature in a way that you could only hope to be treated yourself.
If you run a business, do you treat the Janitor with the same respect that you treat the CEO? If you are a customer at a restaurant, do you treat the waiter with the same respect that you have for the people you love most. Remembering that you too started somewhere. Spirituality is the essence of connection that dissolves the illusion of separation.
Be the vibe you wish to see in the world and have faith that the universe and your bodies innate wisdom has always had your back. It's simply waiting for you to align your internal energy with the external reality that you may dream of.
CALL TO ACTION
Where can you show and be love, compassion and empathy right now?
Is it for the global conflict between "Russia and Ukraine"? Considering whether it is actually a conflict between them at all, or a higher power and source?
Do we need to be kinder to ourselves, our family or others.
This is directly referenced from the amazon best-selling SelfCare Book "Lifestyle Medicine For the People" by Rory Callaghan. If you would like to read more content like this. Grab the free online chapters of the book or a hard copy.
We have done our best to reference everyone’s expert opinions, peer-reviewed science, and original thoughts, all references available here and referenced in the text.
We also understand that most thoughts are not our own and there is a collective unconsciousness, unconsciousness, and universal mind stream of energy that is always at work. How are references are sorted and filtered is here.