The Basis For Spiritual Life

A spiritual person

by Jayaram V

When we look at our lives and the world the following facts become apparent.

1. Life is filled with suffering. Whether you are big or small, young or old, rich or poor you cannot escape from suffering.

2. You cannot control all aspects of your life. You have a limited control over what happens inside you and outside you.

3. You cannot fully comprehend the truths of life. Our vision goes only so far beyond which everything is hazy and dark.

4. Yet, in retrospect life is largely a result of individual actions and choices, whose consequences we cannot predict.

5. We are a mixture of opposites, and we live in a world opposites.

6. In a world ridden with temptations, distractions, and competition, it is always difficult to justify the virtue of virtuous living. It appears that the world favors largely those who disregard virtue and honesty.

7. The world does not seem to obey God and God does not seem to pay much attention to our problems.

At the same time we cannot ignore the limited powers and abilities we have such as the following:

1. With effort and persistence we can improve ourselves make a difference.

2. We have the intelligence to discern the best and the ideal for us.

3. We have the freedom to choose from the various alternative's life presents to us.

4. With focus and determination, we can learn and grow in the direction of our ideals and aspirations.

5. We can control our baser instincts and lower nature.

In these circumstances what are the remedies that available to us to live our lives and secure the best that life can offer to us? This question is not easy to answer because the answer depends upon what one expects from life and out of oneself. However, in the ultimate analysis people do care for the following.

1. Good health

2. Wealth and comforts

3. Security and stability

4. Peace and happiness

5. Fulfilling relationships

7. Opportunities to grow and prosper

We may call these the ideal goals which most people aspire to achieve. When people live in environments and cultures that do not support these goals or promote the values that lead to them or preserve them, they become dissatisfied with their lives and circumstances. Today, the world is so structured that it seems to favor a few groups at the expense of others. The inequalities of our world have the potential to create bitter conflicts between communities and nations for limited resources of the earth. While we have advanced technologically, we are still primitive spiritually because a vast number of people are reluctant to transcend their greed and self-interest.

I therefore believe that our primary aim should be to secure those ideas mentioned before while we grow mentally and spiritually, transcending our lower nature. It will be possible when we cultivate wisdom and higher nature for which I believe the following are vital.

1. Deeper awareness.

2. Right thinking

3. Right conduct

4. Love and compassion

5. Understanding and tolerance

6. Respect for life

7. Forgiveness

8. Moderation

9. Balance

10. Restraint

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