Want to live a life without fear or worry? Never have a desire to hurt, annoy, or offend any neighbor, especially those within your home?
Want to know what you should do with your life?
All of this and more is the reality of living a spiritual life.
What is the spiritual life?
Instead of needing to interpret symbols, fuzzy visions, or dreams:
A spiritual life hears God and understands his personality. Spiritual living accomplishes change in your home and the world’s problems—hopes on yours and God’s radar in daily living.
True spirituality has no fear of man but lives a sane, most loving, and at peace life.
How do you live a spiritual life?
Today you will learn nine fundamentals of a spiritually creative life.
Let’s dive in.
Some Main Fundamentals of a Spiritual Life
#1—Focuses on Play
Surprised “play” is first on the list?
I am too, was too.
I laughed out loud when I noticed the first section in the chapter discussing a ‘Spiritual Life” in The Spirit of the Disciplines is—Spirituality and Play.
“…a morbid human consciousness has misled us into the view that to be spiritual one must avoid play, diversion, and helpful amusement.
This view is not only opposed to scriptural teaching, but is a device of Satan to make the blessed life and God distasteful…”
Most religious men say desireless, chains, and restrictions are how to achieve spirituality.
“…desire disappears and you are left desireless… That is the state of fulfillment!” Buddha
“The Sage desires to be desireless” Lao Tzu.
Play, diversion, and helpful amusement is the most definitive difference of a spiritual life with God and a spirituality of suppressing man’s feelings.
A spiritual life feels, sees, and relishes in “helpful amusement” play.
Your burning desire in life is to be seen and know that you matter. That you “make a difference.”
While you can be noticed by, “Oh, here she comes again.”, you desire to make a difference—for good.
How can you make a difference for good?
You make a difference when you discover the 100% unique you that you are, that no one can ever duplicate or replace.
A spiritual life co-creates. Creating can only occur by taking risks, and you can only create from your will (heart, spirit).
“Will is the capacity for radical and underivative origination of events and things. Therefore it is the core of who and what we are as individuals, for what arises from it is from us alone.
It is that aspect of personality in virtue of which we have a likeness to God or are ‘In His Image.’ We are created to be creators—of good.” Dallas Willard
When you involve yourself in taking risks, you take the first steps of faith.
- Launching into the Unknown
A spiritual life wills to take risks, creates while relying on something larger than itself to make the good he has set out to accomplish become a reality.
And creating the unique you, comes from the dimensions of your body.
The Willard quote above is from Renovation of the Heart. The book that defines the 6-dimensions of personality and how each dimension is a part of spiritual life. In this video, Willard is flushing out the will, the dimension of your body that takes risks. Going through William James’s book, Principles of Psychology.
#3—Thinks of Your Body in this Way
Does pursuing spiritual living take work?
After the seed of a tree has busted through its shell, sprouts, and grows through survival efforts,
- A tree bears fruit virtually on autopilot.
Orange trees produce oranges; apple trees grow apples with no problem.
Likewise, an apple tree can’t produce oranges.
What’s the correlation to spiritual life?
You are a creative spiritual being and like a fruit-bearing tree,
- Your life will yield spiritual fruit when spiritual living is what is inside
Your body is your largest kingdom asset, and it governs every resource of a spiritual life.
If you view it as bad, an evil, how do you stand a chance in redeeming your life?
Everything on this spiritual life list either flails or thrives in and from your body in many ways; here are four of the most critical to contemplate.
Let me show you how.
Thoughts and Time
Controlling your time and thoughts are the most accessible places to begin to cultivate a spiritual life.
Thoughts are your only freedom that can not be taken away and time? You can pretty much always wake up a little bit earlier.
When you habitually shift your thoughts toward the spiritual, whatever is good, whatever is lovely, instead of being stuck in doom and gloom, freedom begins to become experienced.
The most impactful way to liberate thoughts that can last a lifetime is by managing what you do with your time.
Controlling your time, what you do, is also how to live the most impactful spiritual life.
What is one of those places of impact? Your estate.
The Biggest Estate
Money is a fixed resource; there is a certain amount of it that gets exchanged. An economy is a specific size in any government and the world.
When a spiritual life possesses and uses money, it keeps it out of men’s hands, expanding their selfish kingdoms.
A spiritual life’s estate is impactful when it learns to possess and use the money for the greatest good, instead of being controlled by mammon, the power of money.
Words create life or cause death and are the most mysterious assets of spiritual living.
With your words, you can create life for others and even yourself. Conversely, your words, either spoken out loud or in your thoughts, can cause death for yourself and others.
Words are one of the few glimpses we have of the Imago Dei — God’s self-actualization and God’s care for humanity.
Want a glimpse of your sovereignty over all the earth?
Yell or speak in love—and watch the responses.
How does a spiritual life think of their body?
A spiritual life realizes the ingrained bodily habits that have evil tendencies, flesh, and replaces these habits by stewarding time, money, thoughts, and words via the control panel of your body.
#4—Can Do What Needs to be Done
Like in playing the piano, learning a language, or becoming excellent in your job, the same key ingredient is necessary for spiritual life.
What is this key ingredient? Discipline.
Instead of viewing discipline as a hindrance to spontaneous and free-living, a spiritual life has learned that self-discipline is the doorway to cultivating more freedoms.
Because of embodying discipline, a spiritual life can do what needs to be done, when it can be done.
#5—Looks for Large Questions Instead of the Right Answers
What are you searching for when you want to know all the answers?
What does knowledge do?
- It puffs up
A humble expert in any territory knows the most questions, more than the best answers.
Looking for the right answers, the best answers, keeps you stuck.
You miss the holistic spiritual life when continually trying to impress yourself, God, and others by knowing the right answers.
This Happens More Often Than You Realize
Does this sound familiar?
The legend goes that – Nikolaas Tinbergen, a Dutch biologist, painted cardboard butterflies that were larger and more vibrantly colored than their real female counterparts.
When the male butterflies saw these more enhanced females, they began trying to mate with cardboard, ignoring the real females fluttering all around.
Though I have heard this helpful picture re-told many times,
- I could not find a source validating this cardboard butterfly story. (many references to it, but even the Nobel prize page makes no mention of butterflies)
We hear an answer from someone else, adopt those words as truth, and regurgitate possible facts from another man as absolute truth for yourself.
A spiritual life has learned:
- They can’t come close to knowing all of the right answers
- That discovering more questions is the game.
#6—Doesn’t Get Addicted to Spiritual Tools
Often, helpful spiritual tools that can cultivate spirituality become the ultimate end, instead of a fruitful life.
- the Bible,
- and solitude
- become a drug
The instrument necessary to change something internal or external of my body that I can not, without them, accomplish.
Spiritual disciplines and tools are helpful for a time on the journey to a liberated spiritual life, some ongoingly.
More often than not, the tool becomes the end, the focus, the hill that we die on in us versus them conversations.
When is a spiritual tool no longer necessary?
Depending on your personality, some spiritual tools will be necessary for years before the fruit yields automatically; other fruits will emerge more easily.
A spiritual life has learned that spiritual disciplines and tools are a means to an end — to become an “orange tree” that produces “oranges” with minimal effort.
#7—Engages in Physical Delight and Pleasure
Eden’s meaning is – delight?
In the Christian sect I grew up in, other than football, soda, and desserts, pleasures, and delights were viewed as enemies.
Here lies the strength of temptation in C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters as he causes the demon wormwood to explain.
“On your own showing, you first of all allowed the patient to read a book he really enjoyed, because he enjoyed it and not in order to make clever remarks about it to his new friends.
In the second place, you allowed him to walk down to the Old Mill and have tea there – a walk through country he really likes, and taken alone. In other words you allowed him two real positive pleasures.
Were you so ignorant as not to see the danger of this?
The characteristics of pains and pleasures is that they are unmistakably real, and therefore, as far as they go, give the man who feels them a touchstone of reality.” (emphasis added)
When you stifle passions and pleasures, you degrade into survival as a mere animal, instead of embracing the adoration and enjoyment of beauty and love unique to humans.
- How did frequencies for music get here?
- Why are we the most oversexed animals on the planet?
- Why is there color?
- Why do we taste?
- Why can you even think about these questions?
A spiritual life experiences physical delight and pleasure while being careful not to practice things you don’t want to become and continually asks:
Why do I have this ability? From where does this delight come?
Asking questions like these are likely the first step of giving glory.
Want to erode anger, wrath, and the need to manipulate others?
End being in a continental state of hurry. Said differently, a spiritual life is relaxed.
When in a hurry, you are fending off something terrible that’s about to happen.
When relaxed, you can lay down all burdens and stop hurrying, cease worrying. Why?
Because a spiritual life knows the world is a perfectly safe place for you and others you care about to be.
- A spiritual life rarely has a hurry because peace has arrived.
When not in a hurry, everything you do goes so much better because you can get out of the way every once in a while. And, this relaxed disposition has a dramatic effect on everyone around you.
Never hurrying is different than not acting quickly. A spiritual life can act rapidly without hurrying because the lack of hurry, relaxed, is instead, an inward disposition.
When you can lay your head on the pillow at night, release all and utter something similar to this and believe it,
- This world is a perfectly safe place to be.
That is the first stage to foster a relaxed disposition that never heeds to hurry.
Why do you struggle with the temptation to hurry?
Because your god is not a big enough, God. Able to handle life’s problems, family situations, work, money, and health crises.
You have to take things into your own hands because you have a little god in a great big world instead of a great big God in a teeny tiny world.
Which is another fundamental of the spiritual life:
#9—Has a HUGE Divine
Religion takes many shapes and sizes. Even a non-religion is a theology, beliefs, and theories about God.
Instead of the aim being to discover and know The Ultimate Divine, connecting with and expanding entities, religions, and feelings is the common focus.
From pursuing a “higher” emotion to attaching myself to and converting humans to a specific denomination, these lesser spiritual efforts are the cardboard butterflies that look like the real thing, feels like… the thing.
How do you discover the vastness of God?
The most reliable place is on your own, maybe with a mentor, reading the Bible in a particular way, looking for these clues.
- Discovering God the Father; Maker of heaven and earth
- The God of Jesus and his people
- God’s hand, seen through the events of the lives recorded.
And doing this, realize that you are working alongside him; you are not on your own and help is available.
While there may be more, when you commit to keeping at the forefront of your mind, these spiritual life fundamentals:
- Takes Risks, launches out in faith
- Views the body as a spiritual ally, not an enemy
- Cultivates a disciplined life
- Discovers more questions than answers
- Uses but doesn’t get addicted to spiritual tools
- Engage in physical delight and pleasure
- Is never in a hurry, is relaxed
- Has a huge Divine
Like the tree that automatically bears fruit from consistent work and effort, the spiritual life’s fruits will emerge in you.