Chapter Three - Know Your Neighborhood

Chapter Three - Know Your Neighborhood

Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea...

                                                                            -William Wordsworth       

            To what distant lands will our spiritual progress and transformations take us? To what unexplored realms will we travel as we rove through the length, depth and breadth of spiritual dimensions?     
            As our Personality navigates its way through various dimensions, it would be beneficial to know the terrain, the universe within which we act out our personal lives. What is the working shape of the universe? What is the composition of the road upon which we travel?  We can know who we are, where we came from and where we'd like to go, but we must also know something about our surroundings, the world and universe, how it works, and how we fit in. This chapter deals with three aspects of our environment and how best to interact with them: I. The Universe  II. Relationships with Others and  III. Relationship with Ourselves.

I. The Universe

           One can look at the universe as a whole, or one can look at it piece by piece. One can look at it spiritually or one can look at it materially. One can deal with it pragmatically or idealistically. One can use science and linear logic to understand the universe or one can use religion and faith. What is the best way to deal with the universe? What is the shape and form of the universe? In speaking of the shape of the universe, I am not talking about the physical dimensions, but rather the universe's mode of existence characterized with identifiable features that can be used to understand and manipulate our place in it to a certain degree.

The Elliptical Universe

           In going back to the analogy of the automobile, it is as if we are driving a four wheel drive vehicle off-road across an unknown continent to a hazy, unclear destination. We do not have a map, no highways nor a clear-cut road. We must navigate using both our linear faculties like our five senses and logical deduction
plus our non-linear senses such as intuition, faith, insight and the compass of our divine spark. We use our five senses to navigate by the sun and stars, and by observation and logical thinking, but we must also use our faith, insights and intuitional leadings. Our body, mind and soul is the vehicle and the universe is the terrain we must negotiate.
          Originally, humans only had magic, the precursor to religion. We did not have enough knowledge to be able to think scientifically; even simple theories in logic had not been formed. To early man the universe was an unknowable place, and magic and religion was what we used to comprehend it.
After mathematics, logic and the scientific method was formulated, humans began to understand the universe with linear thinking. There was a cause and effect for everything and the logic of science was the key to the mysteries of the world. Mathematics and science became the new way of looking at things.
If a spiritually minded person were to pick a shape to describe how the universe works, a circle may be the logical choice, as a circle encompasses everything within it, and reflects faith in the whole of existence. A scientist may use the shape of a straight line, reasoning that things can best be understood sequentially, cause and effect following itself in linear order as in science. However, in my experience, the conceptual shape of the universe that describes not only its physical but also its spiritual aspects appear not to be either one, a circle or a line, but  a combination of the two, it is elliptical. This is an awareness that may not be the same for all, and yet it is obvious if one can open up to the reality that surrounds us, to the reality that we are. The universe is both material and spiritual. It can only be understood using methods that are both science based and faith based. And an elliptical philosophy is a good tool to have in traveling through an elliptical universe.

Elliptic Philosophy

          Living life in this world is quite puzzling. We are faced with our material needs (food, shelter, clothing, stimuli) yet we still have to deal with our thoughts (what is right and wrong, our political ideas, our ethics) and our spiritual leadings (our relationship with God, our values, our relationship to the universe). How can we manage to reconcile these things, especially when they are often seemingly in conflict ? What is the best philosophy to have that puts everything in order in our minds so that we can live life in the most fulfilling way?
          To have a philosophy that really works in our lives, we have to understand the true nature of real

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