Our greatest purpose is to express the highest quality of life possible. It is to bring truth, honesty, goodness, love, and beauty into the world. It is to be fully human in the world. It is to be practical in the world, but practical in a spiritual way. So it is a spiritual path of being in the world, and bringing to the world these higher qualities. Is a path of being fully sensitive in the world and fully expressive in the world; without becoming attached and trapped in the many influences of this world. Then one is not merely living out an ordinary life of ego vs. ego, but rather bringing into life an extraordinary higher quality of love, wisdom, and consciousness. This is the goal. It is not a retreat from the world. It is not an abandonment of the world. It is not some kind of immediate resurrection into heaven or a higher plane beyond this world. Rather, it is bringing the Divine into expression in this world.
The ultimate purpose of life is to become the Universal Self walking on earth. This is quite a big goal to consider. It may seem quite outrageous to even consider. And sure, it may not really be possible in the complete sense. Yet, it is certainly worthy to approach; and thus it is a worthy goal to consider and work towards. If we can consider this as our Goal, and if we will work towards it, then a profound self-transformation will start to occur. Remember that God seeks to be known, which is the reason for this existence. The Divine Self is the Spirit/Being of Love, Wisdom, and creative-artistic Power; and this Divine Being seeks to be known and manifest through us. Yet on our part, there has to be an allowing of this and an approaching to it. There has to be a kind of coming into the Universal Self; almost like a stepping into larger shoes, so to speak. It is a self-transformation, or alchemy, into something quite larger and more profound than we can possibly understand at this present time. But even now, at present, we can use our spiritual imagination (or intuition) to get a sense of what quality of person we can be as the Universal Self walking on earth. Foremost, the Universal Self is openly aware in mind and openly loving in heart. He/She is compassionately and empathetically loving, as well as being intelligently wise and understanding. The Universal Man/Woman is the lover of all beings - the One Who walks in love, Who walks in the wisdom of love, and Who walks in the power of acting from love. The Universal Man/Woman is as humble as a lonely Shepard receiving guests into their little hut; while simultaneously being as bright as the shining sun in their love.
Our purpose is for the Great Spirit to live through us and express through us. This is a potential; and it comes to be more or less. To some extent it happens naturally, but this can be increased with conscious intentional agreement and effort. The spirit within can be developed, and one who has greater spirit has greater love, honesty and courage in life. If we open up to and allow the Great Spirit to come forth, we feel more love, honesty and courage, and we are more able to express these qualities. We become more loving, honest and courageous. These are qualities of the Great Spirit. And we become these qualities when we invite and allow the Great Spirit into our being. But we have to be willing to BE a great spirit in life. If we become a great spirit in life, then we are the Great Spirit in expression. The Great Spirit is a great lover. The Great Spirit is greatly honest. The Great Spirit is greatly courageous. And we can be all of this. The Great Spirit is also greatly passionate in life, a passionate lover and dancer in life. This is having great spirit in life. Great Spirit is also intelligent and creative, being creative with intelligent love. And Great Spirit is appreciative of love and beauty. This is all part of being a great spirit in life. Great Spirit is caring for all life and concerned with fairness for all life. So this too is part of what it means to be a great spirit in life.
We are potentially the expressive qualities of Divine Being in this particular world. We are in fact micro-reflections of the One Macrocosmic Being, and thus we have all of the potential capacities of the One Being, though in lesser degrees.
So what Spiritual Qualities can we develop in ourselves?
There are many, but we will at first consider the primary Qualities of Divine Being. The first Quality or Potential to consider can simply be called ‘conscious being’. This is the potential to be conscious of our beingness in itself – the depth and spaciousness of our being. We could also call this ‘conscious presence’. It is the conscious presence of being. It is having conscious presence, and being consciously present. Reflect upon this, and try to experience what this is. It is supremely simple, and yet immensely profound. It is the very basis of truly spiritual experience and spiritual life. It is simply being consciously present and awake, without any lingering thoughts or calculating plans. It is being present to the flow of the moment. It is also having conscious presence of just-being. Conscious Presence is most primary essence of Divine Being, and thus it is the primary potential quality of our self. If we concentrate attention on this practice, then conscious presence develops.
The next primary quality of Divine Being, and our being, is love. Love is the primary essence-quality emerging from being itself, and it comes from the heart of conscious being. Love enfolds that which is around being. It includes other beings into one’s own being. Or, we might also say that love expands our being to include others. We develop this quality of love by the recognition of our love and by the decision to love. We develop love by loving and by being a lover. We develop love by including others in our love and by sharing our love. If we can concentrate attention to this practice of loving, then the quality of love develops in us.
The next essence-quality is knowledge. Knowledge has four major aspects. The first is knowledge of ourself. The second is knowledge of spiritual truths, acquired by intuition, experience, and reasoning. The third is knowledge of this manifest world, its physical and social causes and effects. And the fourth is knowledge of practical means to effectively solve problems and make things better. Each of these types of knowledge require observation, intuition, reflection and reason, and knowledge can also be gained from learning what others have discovered and by dialogue and dialectical discourse. Gaining knowledge also requires an inquisitive mind, sincerely in search of the truth. So besides conscious presence and love, knowledge is also important to the spiritual life.
The fourth type of development is the power of expressive creativity. This includes creativity in life. It also includes the personal expression of our love and knowledge in our relationships and in our life in general. So we can call this expressive love or expressive intelligence.
Expressing Spiritual Qualities
Remember that all spiritual qualities come from our soul, and ultimately from Divine Being. Our true spiritual goal as human beings is to develop and express a finer balance of our spiritually inherent qualities. When we realize and express only a few of these qualities, yet neglect others, then our expression is not a comprehensive balance. In other words, we are not in balance if we extremely express one quality (or just a few) while neglecting the other potential qualities of our being. This goal of comprehensive balance may seem impossible, but it is the Divine Goal set out for us. We can at least attempt the task and come closer to this goal.
out of balance
If we self-examine our life, we will discover aspects and qualities of our life that are neglected or out of balance. This tells us what we need to develop in order to become more balanced as a Divine-human being. This tells us what we need to invoke and express more in our life. But this is not an easy task, because the inertia of our personality is to continue emphasizing those traits which are strong, while neglecting our under-developed potential qualities.
If we look at the human situation in general, and problems caused by individuals or groups, we find that problems are caused by imbalanced character traits. This means that certain personality traits or qualities are over-dominant, while other [potential] qualities are under-expressed. This creates imbalance, even though one is usually unaware of it. Personal imbalance, regarding our own expressive qualities, is usually difficult to perceive, and there is no clear-cut objective measurement of imbalance. But if we are honest, we can notice or feel when our expressions or our tendencies are out of balance, that is, when certain self-qualities are over-emphasized at the expense of others. Love is an important key to becoming more balanced in our expressive qualities, because love is both inclusive and caring. The attitude of psychological inclusiveness will help bring together all the various qualities of our inner-potential being, which will bring about a finer balance of our character. The loving attitude of caring for others will help evoke those inner qualities which are needed in the moment of any particular situation. The general attitude of inclusiveness and caring, and the attitude of loving and service, will help balance our expressive character and personality qualities.
Another kind of imbalance is with beliefs. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with having strong beliefs, yet some beliefs can become too one-sided and fanatical when there is not enough thoughtful consideration of the other points of view. So again, balance is needed. This does not necessarily mean, though, that middle-of-the-road beliefs or moderate positions are always ideal. It just means we need to be cautious that our personality disposition does not over-emphasize one side of truth while ignoring other aspects of truth. Balanced belief is a matter of being fair considering of all viewpoints, though critically examining the various views before making firm conclusions. To be balanced does not mean that one should nicely accept all views and beliefs as equally true. This sort of relativist attitude is just as imbalanced as the belief fanatic. Having true beliefs and rejecting false beliefs is important, but at the same time we can be open-minded to new evidence and be prepared to change our beliefs upon new evidence or new experience.
One further way to attain a finer balance of qualities is:
allowing the Divine to bring forth its Qualities of Being [through us]. The Divine seeks to express [through us] a comprehensive harmonious balance of all divine potential Qualities, so if we allow the Divine to come through us, the Divine will express those Qualities that will balance the personality expression.
Our goal is that we can work with the Divine, to manifest divine qualities of goodness. We can work with the greater Divine Power, Intelligence and Love. This Divine Intelligence gives us general direction and general principles, but we have to work out the practical details. So we become mediators between the highest Divine Power/Wisdom and the lower world of manifestation, which means that we must be receptively aligned to the higher while actively working on the lower. This is our spiritual purpose and work. We need to be develop abilities to work effectively in the world of manifestation, while simultaneously having a receptive capacity to be worked on by the Higher. The goal is to become a divine agent or representative on earth, which is called theurgy.
Our dual purpose is to become and do; that is, to become more divine in our being and to make good in the world. The more divine we become, the more good we can do in the world. The ultimate goal is to become fully and completely divine, both in realization and in quality of being, though we must accept that getting ever closer to divine gnosis and being is all that we can realistically hope for. This is the meaning of spiritual ascension, which is not something that is merely meant to happen after death but rather in life. The complementing goal is to be a divine worker on earth, to be a vehicle for divine descension. In order to be this, we must develop abilities to manifest what is needed and good, and we also need to come into harmony with divine powers and qualities.
We need to transform disharmony in ourselves into divine harmony, which requires a sincere receptivity to the harmonizing Divine Power. It is important to remember that, although one needs to actively work on one’s own self-transformation and development, through various techniques and practices, there is also a need for being worked on by the higher Divine Power, or by various angelic or celestial powers. So one has to be both active and receptive. We need the Higher, or the Divine, to work in us and through us. Facilitating this, and being open to this, is a significant aspect of spiritual and magical work.
Now let us consider the inner form of action, which is the quality of the action or service. This is the quality of our doing. It is the how of our inward being, rather than the how of our outer doing. We might learn how to perform an activity or a service very well, whereby the outer form is very fine. For example, one might perform a ritual or duty with precise order and smoothness, such that the manifested form has a very fine outer quality. But the inner form, the quality of our being while doing the action, is of a different meaning. The quality of the outer form is still significant, but also significant is the inner quality of our being. A robot might perform an action and get the job done very well. But the robot would not have any significant inner quality of being. Likewise, one can perform needed actions in a mechanical way, without any inner consciousness and love. So fulfilling needs is good action, but there is something missing if one is merely doing those actions mechanically.
The inner form or quality of an action/service requires that one have conscious intention. In other words, it is important that ‘I’ am intentionally doing the action, or that there is a divine motivation to do the action. For example, the intention might be to be of service, or the motivation might be from love. This intention and motivation is part of one’s ‘quality of being’ that is inward within the action. There needs to be a ‘quality of being’ that is actively involved in the action. We could also call this ‘conscious presence,’ which is being consciously present in the activity with the full quality and intention of our being. The full quality of our being could include love, sincerity, generosity, caring, respect, heightened awareness, and sensitive relationship with whatever or whoever we are serving. The principle in this is to be there in the activity with all of oneself, to the best degree possible. This is different from merely being mechanical or performing the activity with only subconscious awareness.
The highest quality of being in an activity of service also includes detachment and freedom from one’s personality desires and reactions. This is freedom from the personality patterns of ‘I don’t want to do this’ or ‘I don’t want to do that.’ Real service or spiritual action is not about what the personality likes or wants to do. Rather, it is a selfless service, for the good of a greater purpose, which has to go beyond personal likes and dislikes. It has to move beyond the personality tendency of calculating what is best for me, or what am I going to get from this. This personality trait can be very strong, and also very destructive in the spiritual work. It is the thought that I have to get something from every interaction or from every bit of work that I do.
The personality tends to see every interaction as a kind of bargaining, whereby one gives something but only if there is something tangible in return. In other words, I have to get something out of this, at least some reward or praise. If I give, I need to get. But this personality attitude is not true love, compassion, and service. For true love and giving is selfless, unconcerned about what will be given in return and even unconcerned about praise or esteem. So the highest quality of being in any action or service is free of any personal desire for rewards, payback, praise, or any other subtle demands of the personality. The highest quality of being in service is pure love and caring to fulfill a higher divine purpose and to give whatever we can to the needs of others. Then one is simply a pure instrument and servant of God.
We each participate in the Divine Will. This means that we each have a portion of the power of Will and the power of decision. Will involves a power to do, as well as a power of decision. So we have some ability to make decisions and complete things, and this ability or power comes from the Divine Source. Thus, Divine Will is not a power that is completely separate from our own power. We share in that greater Power, and our use of this power can be more or less in alignment with the Divine Intention and Purpose, generally called the Divine Will. We have ability to make decisions and do things, but our decisions and actions are not necessarily identical or in alignment with the Divine Will. Alignment depends on our degree of (or portion of) Love and Intelligence.
Now, the Divine Being (God) does have general Intention, Will, Purpose, and Creative Power. This guides creation, generally, but it is seldom specific. If it were always specific, as well as general, then everything would be Top-down micro-managed from God, and creation would merely be like a mechanically determined instrument for the creator God. But the truth is that all of creation somewhat participates in Divine Creativity, meaning that living beings like ourselves actively participate in the Great Creative Process, for we participate in Divine Decisions and Activity to the degree that we can.
It is important to understand with an appropriate model, and to let go of out-worn models from past religions or dogma. So first let go of the notion that Authority Figure God is deciding every little thing and making it happen with His unlimited Power or Will. Truth is that Will and Decision is delegated throughout creation, so that everyone can actively participate to some degree in the Creative Process, and this does not mean merely being a puppet. It means, instead, that each has a degree of freedom, a portion of Divine Freedom Itself, and also a portion of Divine Decision-making, as well as a portion of Divine Power to complete our goals and intentions. In other words, we are sharing in Divine Freedom and Creativity. For we have been given this freedom and power to decide and make happen.
Potentially, the power of God runs through us. This is the power of Love, the power of Knowledge, the power of Will, and the power of transformation and healing. We become a regent of God, an activated centre and power of God. We become responsible for God’s Work on Earth. This is our spiritual potential.