Fully grounded

Image: Matthieu Comoy

When I think of the stereotype of the ‘spiritual person’, I think of the minister on the lectern, the monk in the monastery, or the guru on the riverbank. I see this person with their eyes closed and palms open — both directed upwards towards a world far, far above this one.

Even though we proved long ago that no puppeteer deity sits above the clouds, this person still seems to locate a God there.

I do it too. When I pray, I tend to look up. If I’m not looking up, I’m thinking up. I even named this publication Higher Thoughts as a way of giving props to the upward direction. Though I’d never admit to believing that God lives ‘up there’, something deep within my subconscious obviously believes otherwise.

Is it culturally driven? I don’t know. Is it biologically/instinctually hardwired? Maybe so...

Why is spirituality framed as a pastime where we remove ourselves from our material world and gaze at some imaginary place called Heaven? Why do we see our spiritual existence as a separate compartment isolated from the rest of our lives? Why is putting on a mask of a pious persona considered spiritual, but arguing with the meter maid — sorry, I mean the parking enforcement officer — not ?

My only wish is to transform friends of God into friends of man, believers into thinkers, devotees of prayer into devotees of work, candidates for the hereafter into students of the world, Christians who, by their own procession and admission, are “half animal, half angel” into persons, into whole persons…
 — Ludwig Feuerbach

This passage hit me hard. It literally turned the tables over in my mind.

It’s so true…

Every time I find myself trying to comprehend God, she vanishes into smoke.

Maybe God made herself incomprehensible so we’d stop trying to look for her outside of our own lives and get back to work.

The deeper I dive into spirituality, the more secular I become. Not as a way of rebelling against spirituality, but as a way of celebrating it.

Lately, instead of meditating/praying while drifting upwards, I’ve been forcing myself to become more rooted in the materiality of this very world I inhabit. Every time I feel myself trying to escape, I pull myself back into my life — my sacred, broken life — and I find solace here.

When I do this, I feel like this thing we call God is like, “Yeah, dude. Now you’re looking in the right direction.” (Because God uses the word ‘dude’ all the time.)

Believers into thinkers…
Devotees of prayer into devotees of work…
Candidates for the hereafter into students of the world…
Persons… Whole persons…

This is what I think they mean by Heaven on Earth. These are the fruits of a fully grounded spirituality.

Now, hand me that shovel.


Jonas writes short daily stories and preachments on the daily here in Higher Thoughts. Get one to enjoy with your coffee every morning by subscribing below.

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