The “uncomfortable” spiritual life

In listening to Elise and her supernatural experiences that she has a hard time communicating, and reading about Miko’s brushes with supernatural, and remembering many friends of mine (Christian or atheist) talking to me quietly about similar experiences, I am once again brought to this topic: the uncomfortable existence of the supernatural world in our lives.

It’s a strange thing – these ‘supernatural’ occurrences. They definitely happen to most, if not all of us, but in my experience, we all tend not to talk about them and sweep them under the rug. We don’t want to put too much stock in them, and often for good reason wonder if they really happened. When we do talk about them, we used hushed voices and make sure no one else is looking. We are ashamed to some degree of them. Why? Possibly because we have come to a point in our culture that the only evidence that something is real is if it can be observed and repeated, or in other words, fulfill the prerequisites for scientific validity for observation in the natural world. Also, we don’t want people to think we are loosing our minds because our experiences don’t match up with the world view that’s in vogue in our society at the time (church, workplace, nation, etc.). However, there is little doubt that at some point in our lives, something supernatural has happened, but we are left without the tools to verify it, or a well established worldview to understand it, and so we sweep it under the rug, and we thus cut out a portion of reality from our lives.

It’s too bad we don’t possess the excellent tools of observation that science allows us for observing the natural world when studying events in the supernatural or spiritual one. It seems to me a mistake to downplay things that cannot be observed in this dimension (spiritual stuff) and elevate things that can (3d stuff) simply because we have well established tools of observation for the latter. Should we live our lives on the basis that one set of tools works better than the other, so ignore a whole world of reality (not letting it impact our lives) simply because we do not possess good enough tools to observe it?

What is it that is in us that shuts down the hunger for truth for the unexplained, confusing, supernatural phenomena that occurs in our lives? Because we have bad tools? Did bad tools stop early scientists from trying to find truth about the natural world? No. Why are bad tools stopping us from trying to find truth about the spiritual one? Is the spiritual life not mysterious and inviting, almost equally or more so than trying to understand the beauty and complexity of the physical one?

In scientific inquiry, we try and fail, over and over, to understand things. Think of Edison – genius is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration. This is the power behind scientific observation and discovery. Why do we throw in the towel so quickly when we come to a dead end in spiritual inquiries? Why is Edison’s necessary passion to make headway in making scientific discoveries lacking in spiritual reality in our own lives? It wasn’t Edison’s bad tools that prevented him.

So what holds us back? Why do we suffer from lazy spiritual inquiry? Surely not the bad tools. What holds back good scientific research on alternative energy sources? Is it not big oil companies or a government friendly to them? Politically speaking, they would stand to loose money, power, and influence. Likewise, in the realm of our own inner nature, is there not also a political battle? Is there not some part of our nature that would stand to loose if we were to further investigate the wild frontier of the spiritual life?

    One Response to “The “uncomfortable” spiritual life”

    1. Elise

      Thanks, Jonathan – this was very thought-provoking. I responded here.

      Reply to this comment.

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