For human civilization to evolve, developing a universal spirituality is essential. Why? It is a mark of a primitive stage of evolution that thousands of religions and spiritual traditions clash together and even create division and hatred in the human community. Humanity would benefit enormously by uniting on a simple spiritual basis common to all.
If you look at the world today, we are not clearly moving towards a better world for all. It is not politics or guns that can save this world, it will be kindness, cooperation, compassion, gratitude and respect. Human beings feel inspired to manifest these kinds of values through their spiritual dimension. This is why a universal spirituality, a spirituality that is clear and simple, and inspiring for all, would be of great help to evolve together as a planetary civilization.
Here are some signs to help us move towards a more universal spirituality:
A spirituality based on elements that transcend cultures
What is universal should be obvious to all. This is the case of simple values such as kindness, compassion, gratitude, respect, cooperation, generosity. All values associated with the spiritual heart are universally and easily recognized as essential for a better world. So there is no need to complicate things and add all sorts of complex doctrines, symbols and teachings. There is no need to introduce cultural elements and try to make them universal practices. If your ways are clearly benevolent and compassionate, and support the greater good of all, they will appeal to others. A common ground for all, based on safe, simple and obvious values such as caring, compassion and gratitude, easily integrates anything that is compatible with these benchmarks. A universal spirituality is inclusive, and everyone can relate to it.
No reference to particular founders or culture
The essential values of universal spirituality are spontaneously recognizable by the inner wisdom present in every human being. It’s quite simple, actually. We know what we need, at least, to live well. We know what we would like others to do for us. So we already know to a very large extent, by reflection, how to discern what we can do for others and how to be kind and compassionate to others. So do we really need someone to come and teach us how to be caring? Because often, in passing, we are asked for obedience and allegiance, and precepts and rules are added to be observed. Half-truths get mixed up with the simple truth, and everything becomes very complicated, and the divisions begin. Are we not capable of helping a person in need, in a natural and spontaneous way? On the contrary, creating religious hierarchies, worshipping masters and the culture they come from, creates more problems than solutions. I don’t want to know who your spiritual master is, what your practices or rituals are, what sacred books you read, but I want to see your kindness, in real life 🙂
No external physical signs or symbols
The world’s religions and spiritualities frequently have outward signs and symbols, distinctive clothing, specific social behaviors. Yet what makes a real difference in the world is a genuinely caring manifestation, The rest is the equivalent of advertising your spiritual home group. I don’t want to know what religion you belong to, what spiritual movement you belong to… I want to know if you will reach out to me if I fall, if you will feed me if I am starving, if you will support me if I am going through a difficult time, and with no expectations in return, especially not that I will join your religious group. I also hope that you won’t empty my house or steal my car if I forget to lock them, and that you will help the child who is lost in the neighborhood in a caring way. The only membership that matters is being a member of spiritually evolved humanity, all together!
No specific spiritual practice obligations
True practice is in the daily manifestation of universal virtues. No reason to be against individual practices or gatherings, but no rigidity or obligations. The ritual dimension of spirituality, if present by choice, must remain very light and inclusive, because it easily becomes a factor of cultural compartmentalization. This compartmentalization promotes group identification and the creation of an “us” and a “them”. And, think about it, it makes no sense to be unkind to someone because they may not adopt the same practices, dogma and spiritual beliefs as we do! These practices are meant to connect us to what we designate as the highest, noblest, most inspiring for us, so why would that lead us to be unkind? What matters is not how you pray, what name you give to the divine, or what ritual you participate in, but whether it all makes you more compassionate, more tolerant, and more benevolent to yourself and others ( https://kindnessandcompassion.org/kindness-and-compassion-are-essential/ ).
Spirituality in line with survival and simple well-being for all
Human beings are already innately oriented to what ensures their own survival and that of their family. We are also naturally oriented to find what is necessary for our basic well-being. I am not talking about the artificial needs created by the consumer society, but the basic needs of every human being, such as food, shelter, clothing, access to health care, education, and so on. A universal spirituality is in direct line with these basic orientations already present in us. So we don’t have to find something that we have lost, in order to return to a humanity in line with a universal and authentic spirituality. It is much more a question of eliminating all the distorted desires of power, material possession, domination, performance, recognition, sensorial excitements by extreme activities. We don’t need to risk our lives by jumping off a building with a parachute to feel alive; kindness and compassion are lived in simplicity, and the fulfillment they bring is much more real and satisfying.
No expectation of a future event or awakening
A universal spirituality is based in the everyday, ordinary aspects of human life, as we all share it. It has no expectation of a future achievement from an intense personal awakening or the coming of an extraordinary person. A better world is built one gesture at a time, now, by the totality of the gestures of each and every one, in simplicity. So why spend decades meditating for hours and hours every day, trying to “kill” your ego, reading thousands of spiritual texts and looking for a master who inspires you? There are simple and obvious acts of kindness that do not need so much preparation and effort. For example, there are elderly, sick and lonely people in your community who need a presence and a little help. You don’t need a guru or an expensive silent retreat with a spiritual leader to see this kind of need and do something to help. Nor do we need to wait for an extraordinary event, such as the arrival of a great person, who will solve everything for us. What is important is to take control of our own capacity to show kindness to ourselves and to others, now.
In closing, a little virtual experiment to help you see if your spirituality is universal or not. Imagine a human being who has never been in contact with our society (you can imagine that he comes from another planet, if you want). What would he understand about your spirituality, if you tried to explain it to him? Would you need to make him understand symbols and beliefs that are totally foreign to him? Would he have to memorize names, places, customs, to understand it? Or, simply by living with you, would he spontaneously understand what drives you spiritually? It’s up to you!
* Call to Manifestation *
Each week, I choose one of the themes mentioned above, and I notice if my way of manifesting spirituality is in line with it. If not, I observe peacefully my way of expressing my spirituality in this world, and I make adjustments to make it more universal 🙂
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