“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring
will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”
- T.S. Eliot
This is the third blog elaborating on an alphabet of spiritual literacy developed by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat1. They’ve compiled a helpful list of qualities to remind us of the power of spiritual expression; I’ve taken inspiration from their descriptions and crafted my own.
Treat each of these as a mini-meditation, reading slowly and allowing the meaning to flow into you. Words can bring medicine into our lives and expand our awareness, especially when we open to the meaning woven between the lines and the words and the characters. Without space, there would be no meaning. That in itself is a helpful realization, midst a world that values form so highly.
We can navigate this object centered world very differently when we deliberately emphasize relationships, and come to experience ourselves as “one with” rather than “separate from.” That expanding sense of union is the core of all spiritual questing.
Here are the next seven key words on Brassat’s list.
We won’t feel confident to explore until we feel safe. Our life journey is from known to unknown so the necessary priority is to feel genuinely nurtured. This happens through loving relationships and courtesy of our growing connection with Source, which I prefer to call Love. When we feel held in the embrace of Love, from within and from without, our natural urge to explore can be safely followed.
What a wonderful quality. Openness allows us to enjoy new experiences. It adds color to our lives, the joy of novelty and the unique challenges of learning. Unfamiliar territory can seem thrilling or intimidating but with our connection to Love strongly in place, we can forge ahead with the trust and spirit of an innocent child.
Peace is an inside job. When we culture an atmosphere of peace within ourselves and test it throughout the rigors of daily life, we become a peacemaker, bringing peace through our thoughts, words, and actions. Physicists inform us that courtesy of “quantum entanglement” we are always affecting everyone and everything. Peace within us contributes to peace in the world.
A life without play is arduous and stressful. It’s a condition that not even meditation can cure. Rather than adding play to work, we can re-format our entire life as play and include work in a playful context. When we remember that most of what we encounter is illusory, we can relax and enjoy the play of consciousness, starring in our own life story, and finding novel ways to turn each moment into an opportunity for playful learning.
The heart of question is “quest.” Questing is an attitude of going beyond known answers, living in the spirit of discovery. It’s fine to not know from one moment to the next. In fact, a core competency for spiritual mastery is surrendering the need to know and becoming comfortable with not knowing. Socrates said, “I know one thing, that I know nothing.”
Reverence for life is natural and it’s infectious. Anyone who is in love with life is inherently lovable. Nothing stops any of us from deepening our primary relationship with life itself and there is nothing we can do that is more powerful for upgrading all our relationships. When we put this first, we learn that the love we share with others is all based in a mutual love for life.
Our fear of the dark is based in ignorance. Without night there could be no day. Everything casts a shadow, including every individual. It’s difficult to see our own which is why evolved friends and a spiritual teacher are so helpful. We can invite illumination, we can welcome our shadow and go fearlessly into the dark of our lives when those moments come. Even the dark can be nurturing, when we’re secure in our relationship with Love.
There is no greater adventure than exploring our lives. We can climb mountains, build families and businesses, vacation in exotic locations but what shows up consistently in every situation is you. Adopting the attitude of a life explorer turns every moment – from mundane to magnificent – into a learning adventure.