(this article is a chapter of my future book – Conscious Evolution – Crafting Our Way Together)
The book states that the evolution of Life on this planet has a direction and that direction is toward increasing degrees of cooperation and correlation between living beings. Therefore, it states that there can be no true evolution as long as it doesn’t mean a step forward toward cooperation. It speaks of the conscious orientation toward cooperation as the only way to overcome our crisis. Without cooperation, our divergent tendencies, fueled by our powerful technologies, will tear us apart.
Furthermore, to help the reader align with the principles that make Life flourish on this planet, the book presents 7 principles of life. They all speak of co-living and cooperation. The book helps the reader in her spiritual endeavor to perceive and engage daily activities as veritable spiritual practices.
But there is just one missing puzzle piece to complete all the others…
Conscious evolution is about understanding what is necessary for future evolutionary success and acting accordingly. Without clarity about who we want to become, life is literally pointless. It is an endless wandering rather than a spiritual becoming. It lacks a spiritual map that shows clearly the direction in which we must orient ourselves if our spiritual endeavor is to be fruitful and meaningful. Thus, I suggest you take the time to look back on your life and write a meaningful story about yourself: who are you, how did you become who you are and who you want to become?
As a former priest, I know something about the reasons why one engages in spiritual practices and their results. I believe we can greatly improve these results if we: 1) engage our spiritual practices in a proper way and 2) craft them properly.
The puzzle piece that usually is missing from our spiritual endeavor is the clarity of who we want to become and what we want to bring into the world. So, first of all, we have to decide who we want to become. For this spiritual achievement your worldview should be 1) very coherent in itself and 2) very clear to you. Everything should be very clear to you: the story you tell yourself about the Universe; the story you tell yourself about the emergence and evolution of our planet, the story you tell yourself about the emergence and evolution of Life, the story you tell yourself about the emergence and evolution of human species, the story you tell yourself about the humanity past, present and future and, the last but not the least, the story you tell yourself about yourself. The clarity of your worldview gives you the clarity of how you want to participate in the unfolding of our world (the clarity of who you want to become and what world you want to bring forth around you). The coherence of your worldview gives the coherence of your decisions and actions.
Therefore, I urge you to direct your spiritual work – first and foremost – toward learning about our world and crafting for you a coherent and meaningful worldview – one that could give your “why”. Learn about the latest scientific discoveries in biology, natural sciences or history. Developing a large horizon of knowledge is the first step in your spiritual evolution toward a loving understanding.
The best approach to spiritual practices is the clarity of who we want to become. Once it becomes clear who we want to become, we can craft spiritual practices more appropriate to our purpose. Thanks to our awareness, everyday activities become the most appropriate spiritual practices. We can easily transform the activities necessary for everyday life into rituals and ceremonies. What if we approached every communication as a celebration of our communion?
I have just shown in part VI how daily activities required by co-living can turn into veritable spiritual practices. They could become not only effective, but also practiced with ease and joy, as long as what we want to become is aligned with the spiritual requirements of cohabitation and cooperation.
Everyone of us has to take a “vision quest” to clarify who she wants to become and what world wants to create around her, what values she wants to stand for. Without clarity there is no proper orientation. Without proper orientation there is no proper evolution. Without proper orientation, all the spiritual practices we use will not be very effective, because there is no edifying direction.
We can pray and meditate to become “better persons”, “patient” or “nonviolent”, but as long as our true goals remain rooted unconsciously in our pre-conditionings we won’t succeed too much in becoming kinder, more patient or happier. As long as our goals remain individualistic, we will only struggle in becoming a “relational self”.
For those who want to develop an attitude conducive to interbeing, the first step is to understand their preconditions (which keep them prisoners in self-centered goals). The second is to choose cooperation. This choice comes, at least for me, from the wider understanding of Life and its way and from my decision to align myself with it. It comes from the understanding that my life depends on the Great Circle of Life, that my well-being and the well-being of the environment are the same, that the whole of humanity/ the whole planet is my true body in time and space.
The conscious choice of becoming a relational self makes the spiritual practices of living together fruitful, for the simple reason that now there is a clear direction of becoming. They become easy to practice because they align with our true goals.