For those of us who consider ourselves religious, our understanding of God and the true nature of man has been defined to us by religion. While those who do not believe in or need the concept of God to live our lives reject religious definitions and prefer to rely on our inner guidance.
We have no connection and no thoughts of the Supreme Being. Religion has been a source of disappointment and we have felt betrayed or simply let down by God. We would have difficulty relating to those who speak in terms of God in their daily conversation. Even if we reject religion, in the broader sense of the word, we think of spirituality more as intuition. While we may use people who access their intuition, we are not likely to follow our own, even when aware of it. Spirituality touches upon aspects of life and death and seems to have a community mindedness to it. Overall, it is not seen by many of us as having anything to do with our daily existence.
Some of us think about religion as something that exists but doesn’t greatly influence us. We believe in God or at least some higher power or a Supreme Being. We feel disappointed and saddened by conventional religions for their attitudes, behaviours, and treatment of people throughout the centuries, and even still today. Religion seems to support a fear of people being different.
Even if we were altar boys, attended Sunday school, or came from religious families, we have moved away from it. We needed to form our own views not blindly accept those of the Church. The Church is seen as being too structured and not keeping up with the wants or needs of our changing society. As we understand it, forcing people to obey rules, simply turns them off. While the Church still has a place for some, it is a refuge for many. Religion is a matter of choice and should remain that way.
Even if we reject the structure of religion, we tend to hold on to, and run our lives by, a fundamental set of principles such as honesty, decency, and morality. Our sense of spirituality has a place in forming concepts about life after death, reincarnation, or where our loved ones who have died have gone. It could be as simple as not forgetting someone special so that they live on in our memories and hearts.
Spirituality is about our intent. It is expressed through our value system. Our concepts of spirituality influence the decisions we make and how we treat other people. For some, spirituality is about knowing who we are.
For some of us religion is still a powerful force in our lives. For others spirituality is the focus of our attention. Either way we speak strongly about the essential nature of knowing and connecting to the life force or God. Having a strong Christian faith cannot be separated from who we are. Spiritual faith is an integral part of who we are; it is always there and we come back to it all the time as our guiding compass. It is not dependent on or attached to anything else in our lives.
Our love of God and belief in Jesus Christ gives us the ability to know and understand how we want to run our lives. It is a passion; a driving force within. It gives us permission to express spiritual qualities of nurturing, gentleness, and giving. It implies we have a connectedness to something beyond ourselves and this planet. Praying is a powerful way to connect to this source.
Men are encouraged to think about everything as controllable, physical, and manageable structures. Even though we are a physical body, we have a spirit within; a soul that needs to be nurtured. It is a place we retreat to for counsel from our inner wisdom.
Our spirituality provides us with the structure for building other things from this inner core. It is as essential as breathing because it promotes a deepening of character traits such as compassion, accommodation, acceptance, joy, and belonging. It is a constant in our lives and is critical for the development of heart consciousness. It encourages us to give more than we receive. Spirituality gives us balance in our outlook on life; it effects who we are, our decisions, thought processes, and our very thinking.
Spirituality asks us to explore an energy field that is unseen by our eyes. Within religious fields God’s energy is called The Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit that talks to us and puts words in our mouths that are God’s messages for all of us.
It is through our feelings or sensing that we know we are connected to this spirit energy. This energy is within our very being. At our most molecular level we are energy and so we are connected to the very basic structure of life. It is a life giving force. The power of pray, meditation, and any other energy work stems from the understanding we have of the presence of a universal energy that connects us together. It is how we know that we are all one.
What is your experience of the Guardian Archetype within the men you know?