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e spend the majority of our lives striving after something we want.
It changes over time and is typically not an end unto itself but a path to something much more profound. Something that does not exist in this life. At least not in the ideal, perfect form we have in mind when we set out for it.
In a word, this end goal reality we strive for is, spiritual.
We look to people to fulfill our desire for love, but they fail. We look to the stuff we buy to bring us joy, but it fails. We gather experiences to feel like we are really living, but nothing lasts.
The reason we can say they fail is that they are measured against something perfect. A rule of measurement we have never experienced on earth. The very existence of this desire should whisper that there is something more we are missing in this life.
Some of you believe we are chemical accidents, and the physical world is all that exists. You would say that these desires we have for a perfect embodiment of our ideals, a spiritual realm, or heaven even, is just a result of our biological instinct to survive. That it is simply nature’s way of implanting hope in us to preserve the human race. Yet this belief does not change your pursuit of this hope, of these ideals. You still get up and operate as if heaven exists. In other words, believing the spiritual world is imaginary does not change its impact on you.
When I say spiritual, I mean that which exists outside of physical reality. The world going on in parallel to our own. The forces that influence and inform our own world without any direct scientific proof.
So is the spiritual world imaginary? If so, we sure don’t live like it.
Despite these spiritual ideals having no existence in this world, we strive for them as if they do.
If spirituality were indeed imaginary, then we should live like it. We should be content with the wife that cheats on us, because hey, we loved for a moment and that’s all we can expect. Or we should be content with the police for throwing us in jail wrongly because hey, we had a good life up to this point and perfect justice doesn’t exist.
Our expectations would be incredibly realistic. We would not aspire to the best of anything, because it would not be written on our hearts. These examples would not shock us or upset us because we would laugh at the thought of anything better existing. When we hear stories about the Tooth Fairy, no one gets serious and starts setting up video cameras to capture the big moment when she swoops in at night.
Either we should live counter to what our hearts tell us, or heaven actually does exist. If it does, we have a hope worth living for and worth pursuing. True love. True joy. True peace. True justice. True perfection. Truly a place I want to be one day!
But there are a couple of huge problems. We are not perfect and would not be welcome in a place that is. We would make it imperfect the moment we arrived.
While our fictional stories end in living “happily ever after,” we know that’s not how the story really ends as long as we are talking about this life on earth. Furthermore, if there truly exists the perfect expression of love, then it would follow that there exists the perfect expression of hate or at least the complete absence of love. This reality would be spiritual as well but with slightly different rules.
In hell, we would not have to be perfectly evil to be welcome there. Why? Because we would not make hell perfectly good by doing a good deed here and there.
In other words, helping a neighbor ease their pain in hell doesn’t automatically create a perfectly loving person. To check our logic, try the converse statement, which should also be wrong: We would not make heaven perfectly evil by doing an evil deed here and there. Yes we would!
So earth then, seems to exist as a spiritual battle ground between these two ideals. And throughout history, we have lived out these truths in our lives. We know we are not perfect, and we desire to exist in a place that is.
Those who grapple with the implications here, grapple with the fact that they desperately need to transform into someone perfect, or rid themselves of their imperfect nature and past while in this short life on earth.
We know this life in the physical gives us today. We do not know what lies beyond that. Yet we live with the hope of heaven. We yearn for a cure.
There are many spiritual cures out there promising this transformation with eventual delivery into heaven. They deserve serious consideration.
And this should keep a lot of us up at night until we find the answer.
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