“I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great ring of pure and endless light.”
~ Henry Vaughan, poet, (1622–1695)
Windows of the Soul
Our modern world would seem to be undergoing a strong re-identification with spiritual values and awareness. The re-identification can be noted by the growing public interest in a wide range of subjects such as angels and spirit guides, communication from the other side, spirituality, near-death experiences, reincarnation and past-lives therapy, the body-mind-soul connection and a holistic approach to healing, meditation and prayer, Oriental philosophy and medicine, self-empowerment, interpersonal and transformational psychology, and the list could go on and on.
The popularity of these various subjects, whether in literature, movies, television, seminars, and education, are representative of the re-awareness taking place among the general Western population. It appears in recent times, organized religion is not fulfilling all of the spiritual needs of the modern world, so it should be no surprise that large numbers of people are seeking their spiritual connection in many ways, and some ways seem not to be considered conventional by those of more conservative thought.
A recent poll indicates that eighty-two percent of Americans believe in an afterlife. The numbers are also increasing for those who believe that they have had communication from a loved one on the other side. Nearly seventy percent of Americans believe in the existence of angels as messengers of God, and nearly half of Americans believe they have their own guardian angel, or angels.
The Religious Instinct
It would seem the religious instinct is innate within humankind, as though a template for the religious experience had been programmed into our genetic structures that govern human expression. Within the innate religious or spiritual instinct are experiences that might be classified as miraculous. But, are many of the events or experiences actually miracles or no more than ordinary occurrences?
Reports of extraordinary and astonishing events attributed to supreme being or divine power will be found in virtually every world religion, every culture, and probably within every human mind from primitive times right up into the modern age. Many cultures do not regard miracles or paranormal events as anything extraordinary but merely the natural workings of a natural world. Most cultures who share that idea have well-formulated spiritual beliefs that have been carried forward from generation to generation, throughout history, and many of these cultures have evolved highly sophisticated belief systems.
When one reads the history of cultures, it is very apparent that there has always been a “knowing” within mankind that evolves into understandings that we are, indeed, spiritual beings and that life does not end with the death of the physical body. Mankind has always looked to the heavens in a search for answers. I have often wondered why that is and the answer I have come up with is, no matter our religious upbringing or belief system, we have an innate knowledge within, a knowledge that we are much more than a physical body having a life experience. We are temporarily using a physical body for an ongoing spiritual life.
The Marriage of Science and Spirituality
That idea and understanding has been presented in writings since the beginning of recorded history. We are also experiencing the coming together of science and spirituality and many in the medical profession are leading the way. Scientific studies are being conducted in various areas of life and death and maybe one day in the not to distant future there will be scientific evidence that consciousness lives on beyond the death of the physical body.
It is my hope that we are now coming into an age of new spiritual understanding where we can welcome and accept the gift of “knowing” that we are often given, no matter how subtle that gift may be. We are immortal, eternal spirits.
Those gifts not only make life more joyous, grief easier, but help to remove the fear of death that has been placed culturally as an obstacle to spiritual growth and understanding. We do know who we are. We just have to bring that knowing, our remembrance, to the forefront. An increasing number of people are achieving that while in the body. And for those who do not rediscover the knowing, they will know without doubt one day, as they pass into another state of being.
© Copyright 2006, 2015 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved.