Last week I attended a course at Arthur Findlay College (AFC) in Stansted, England. AFC is a Spiritualist college, and Spiritualism is a religion based upon the knowledge that we are more than our physical bodies. I can’t say that I agree with all their principles or beliefs, but it’s an interesting place. I won’t say more about it now, as it isn’t the point of this essay. What I’ve been thinking about all day is a quick little snapshot that took place within about twenty seconds of my week at AFC.
One evening at dinner I asked a man at the table where he worked. We had been talking about some business subjects that Harry appeared to be very knowledgable about. Before telling me the name of the company that he worked for, he squirmed and looked uncomfortable for a moment. As if apologizing, he explained that this job of his was just a job. It had nothing to do, really, with his spiritual life or his exploration of spirit.
The noise level in the dining hall was so high that I didn’t do anything more than wave a hand at Harry’s apologetic explanation at the time. But I’ve thought about what he said quite often since that evening.
We draw such strange mental lines between the physical and non-physical. Yet these strange lines are arbitrary and imaginary.
Everything that we do is necessarily “of spirit.” We are non-physical beings having a physical world experience … we are All, and so doesn’t it follow that everything that we do is an expression of All That Is? How can anything that we do not be a beautiful integration of the non-physical and the physical?
Only our own human-mind beliefs mask the fact that there are no lines between the physical and non-physical. Not one thing that exists is not “of spirit.” And if it is only our own thoughts that say otherwise, our own awareness, then shifting awareness is all it takes to experience everything we do as “of spirit,” “holy,” or whatever words one wants to use.
(Those words with religious connotations – “spirit” and “holy” can create a layer of separation, implying something beyond our little selves. Don’t buy that … own the holiness. Make it your own – lighten it up. Add laughter and irreverent goofiness to it. Add awkwardness and curiosity. Add embarrassment and tentative not-knowing. Make it real.)
Every single thing about this existence in the physical is an expression of the non-physical One, the All That Is. So it doesn’t matter whether we’re selling IT systems, washing dishes, building strip malls, cussing at the dog, styling someone’s hair, slogging through a marsh, duck hunting, riding the Metro, creating a painting, or staring at the ceiling. These things are no less momentous and meaningful than talking with dead people, bending spoons, or traveling out of body.
It’s not what we’re doing, it’s what awareness we carry while we’re doing it. Try thinking “this is holy” when doing something mundane, something that you never really thought of as an expression of the non-physical All. I wonder what will happen … ?
That’s what I wanted to say to Harry.