“We are not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual beings on a human path,” says Dr. Lauren Artress, an Episcopal priest. Read that quote again and think about it for a bit. Let it roll around in your mind. Doesn’t it cause a powerful change in how we view our human experience?
Believing we’re human beings on a spiritual path implies that we’re on a quest, searching for or seeking spirituality from our human platform. Searching and seeking inherently imply that failure is possible, that we may have difficulty in finding what we’re looking for.
If we believe that we’re primarily humans seeking spirituality then spirituality is something we aspire to but might not reach, something for which we are eligible but might not qualify, and something we can strive for, but perhaps not achieve.
Once more, “We’re not human beings on a spiritual path, but spiritual beings on a human path.”
This has totally different implications for us. It means we’re already there. We need not seek spirituality, it’s already within us. We are spiritual beings pursuing a path of humanity for the experience of being human. In the human existence we are able to experience love and fear, joy and despair, bondage and freedom, nurturing and victimization, and many, many more from a vast array of activities and emotions available to us. Our spiritual selves have knowledge of all these emotions and activities, but can not experience them—only as humans can we have these experiences.
Seeing our lives differently, as primarily spiritual beings brings us the freedom to simply be, to enjoy, to love unconditionally, and to abandon fear. Spiritual beings need not fear death, need not fear failure, nor wonder if they are loved. As spiritual beings, we know we are loved, indeed we are love. We know we will succeed, we cannot fail. Spiritual beings have it all. And so do we, when we recognize our true nature as spiritual beings.
Our lives are sometimes a joy and often a pain. But a simple reversal of perspective on who we are can make all the difference in the world in how we perceive the things that are happening to us and around us, the things we’re doing and failing to do, the things we’re afraid to do, the things we’d love to do, and the people we’d love to be if we weren’t so afraid.
Accepting that spirituality is the real me—the lasting and everlasting me—allows me to enjoy the ups and downs of my human life without taking it all too seriously. For me then, life becomes an adventure to enjoy.