I’ve often wondered with such a broad assortment of spiritual information and concepts of enlightenment available; why is it that so many people continue to struggle with life’s basic challenges? Despite the fact that spirituality is “in,” it seems that more and more people are finding that the spiritual road has many potholes and creates more questions than answers. We’ve attended all the seminars, and we’ve read all the books. We seem to know all the answers. Despite these facts our most significant objective, “PEACE” consistently eludes us. Why?
Perhaps we need to place our spiritual practices on hold. Perhaps our concern should not be focused on spiritual development, seeking enlightenment, or becoming “God-realized.” Maybe instead of trying to expand our consciousness, we need to learn to expand our hearts. Conceivably we need to be fully developed humans before we focus on our spiritual nature. It is in ignoring or skipping over our humanity that our souls find unrest. We can’t skip a step. It doesn’t work! It will backfire on us– and it has.
Now, how will we know when we’ve transformed into fully-developed human beings? The answer will not be found in our physical appearance, but instead in how we behave. There will be five signs indicating we’ve reached that plateau.
1. The day we stop harming and killing each other! As long as even one person on the Earth hurts or slaughters another; collectively, we will never attain our true humanity, and total PEACE will escape us. Actually, a fully-developed human being would never harm nor kill another. The value you place on life will be of such high magnitude that you’d rather give your own life than let another lose theirs. That is the greatest act of love any human can perform.
2. Our minds will be altruistically transformed, and we’ll enjoy an unselfish concern and devotion to the welfare of others.
3. We will possess and project unconditional love for ourselves, our family, our neighbor, and every living thing on this planet.
4. We will possess and project unconditional compassion for ourselves, our family, our neighbor, and every living thing on this planet.
5. We will possess and project unconditional kindness to ourselves, our family, our neighbor, and every living thing on this planet.
Are these not the same behaviors demonstrated by the great masters who walked the Earth before us? However, these are not spiritual practices. These are the actions that allow us to define ourselves as human and separate us from the animal kingdom. Today, we see some animals exhibiting higher moral behavior than some so-called humans. Therefore, our greatness lies not in our spirituality, but instead with the right use of our humanity. Similarly, our greatness lies in not being strong, but instead with the proper use of our strength.
It is in the expansion of the human heart and in loving and serving others that our humanity can be channeled and developed. Consequently, we will never find enlightenment in an ashram. We will never find love in a doctrine. We will not learn compassion in a sweat lodge. We will never find peace or truth in dogma. Human beings find love, enlightenment, compassion, and PEACE only in serving others. It is in our service to others that we lose our love of power and find the power of love. That is the only correct path, and seemingly the road least traveled.
It is our fully developed humanity that will bring us all the PEACE we long for. PEACE for ourselves, PEACE for our families, and PEACE for our neighbor. The PEACE we experience will be so extraordinary; we’ll crave nothing else. Our spirituality will then be a by-product.