To a Better Place


 

“He’s a very spiritual man.”

What bothered me about that statement?

The speaker, a friend of mine, had delivered it with utmost sincerity.  And the man in question was definitely a fine human being, someone who’d helped many.

However…

…I would say that we are all spiritual.  We all have spirits.  Not a provable fact, but this belief leads me to a good place, so I’m keeping it.

Here’s where it leads me:

If we all have spirits, then wouldn’t it follow that all those spirits originate from the same source?  So, in truth…

…who is really higher or lower?  If my spirit is not really separate from yours, how can I be more spiritual—more spiritual than you or anyone else?

Someone may appear to be higher up the ladder—may appear to be “very spiritual”.  But who are we to judge?  Someone may seem to come from a dark, dismal place.  But how can we know what that person was born to do, born to learn, born to express?

To place him lower than myself would be to play god.

I understand what my friend meant when she said, “He’s a very spiritual man.”  But when she made that statement, wasn’t she also talking about herself?  How could she recognize spirit unless she had spirit herself?

So what do we say instead?  How can we express our deep appreciation for those lights among us that seem to shine a little brighter?

Perhaps following their fine examples is appreciation enough.  In any case…

…if the world of spirit does exist…

…though some may seem to be ahead, and some behind, no one can really say who is where and even if you could…

…for some to be ahead, others must be behind.

Even if we don’t believe in spirit, perhaps we should at least act in accordance with these ideas, because when we do I believe this world becomes a better place…

This world becomes a better place when we tell ourselves that each and every person is struggling to grow beyond where he or she currently is…

…even though it may often appear otherwise.

© 2011, Michael R. Patton
webbed site

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About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, essayist, cartoonist, graphic artist, peace miller, new mythologist, and fledgling world citizen.... I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and have lived and worked all over the United States.... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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