Years ago, I realized that the primary cause of all our world’s problems and difficulties is the loss of any real sense of life’s meaning and significance. We live in a scientific and commercial age, an age of rationality and utility. This is the culmination of the great humanitarian agenda of the Enlightenment, which sought to attain security and prosperity for everyone, rather than just a few lucky aristocrats. To accomplish this lofty goal, human thought and aspiration moved away from attempts to transcend the mundane realities of life and began to focus on the happiness and well-being that should be the lot of everyone, right now, in this life.
The value of this marvelous endeavor is undeniable, and we rightly continue to this day to make efforts to bring about its fulfillment for all human beings. This is the task of modern commercial society, struggling toward freedom, equality, happiness and prosperity.
But the cost has been enormous. Life is better, but somehow empty. We are certainly well rid of all the ancient emphasis on killing and dying for God and King. But what, then, is the meaning of it all? It seems there is little left to be passionate about, so we fill our brief allotted time with exaggerated acquisitiveness and relaxing with sensationalist entertainment. In the meantime, scientists tell us that we are living in a dead, hollow universe, and their efforts to take everything apart and analyze it in a laboratory has all the markings of an autopsy.
Of course, many people fight back against all this emptiness by denying the value of modern science and attempting to turn back the clock and return us to the ol’ time religion. And thus we see a rise in fundamentalism, from born-again Christians in America to Islamic fundamentalists in the Middle East. And this, as has always been the case, leads to ever-increasing hatred, violence and danger, as people disagree vehemently about “The Truth” and perceive enemies of God everywhere they look.
But there is another way. Our spirituality, our faith, our sacred convictions, should never be used to divide us. This includes traditional religions: and it is my belief that spirituality is still the hidden essence of all religions. Rather than reading scriptures as literal history, or dire warnings about the consequences of moral failure – where each religion sounds contrary to all the others and insists that it, alone, has the only ‘real’ Truth – I can show you how to read the fabulous stories of different traditions in an inner symbolic way. There you will find hidden spiritual instructions for the soul’s journey of spiritual awakening, and you will see that all the world’s faiths have everything essential in common. Bottom line: they are all illuminating the same path to the same God.
I’m afraid my blog won’t make you skinny or rich. But if you agree with outstanding figures like Socrates, Victor Frankl, and the Dalai Lama, that the most important thing in life is the quest for meaning, then you are in the right place.