Governor George Wallace. Undoubtedly sure at the time that he was a wonderfully spiritual man
Photo credit comes to us via the Civil Rights Movement in America and, more specifically, Warren K. Leffler, U.S. News & World Report Magazine [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
Definitely, this photo comes courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. In no way is it implied that the photographer or the subject endorses either me or this use of the image.
What does it mean to me, Rose Rosetree, calling someone “A spiritual person”?
After days of conversation here at the blog — and more comments on this topic to come, I hope — it strikes me as important to add my personal opinion. Just to set an example.
Having your own opinion is what matters most, of course, Blog-Buddies.
Why is it important, deciding for yourself what it means, being a spiritual person? So you can live up to your ideals.
Also, this can free you when behavior from others has been hurtful to you. Or confusing. Or (worst of all) the iffy behavior has gone unquestioned. Because that person did something horrible but other people chime in, “No matter. Her heart is in the right place. She is such a spiritual person.”
You see, old definitions and beliefs live within us subconsciously, causing expectations. Then we can get weirded out consciously by reality, entangled in our smelly old illusions like wine in the cellar that has turned to vinegar.
At least if you consciously examine what you believe now, that can protect you. You can recognize when somebody widely considered “A spiritual person” may clash horribly with your own deep standards. Clear and current standards, congruent with your present level of consciousness, can spare you a great deal of anguish.
Anguish like what? Like the quiet anguish that I suspect lay behind our first prize-winning contest entry from JESSICA. She admired Orson Scott Card’s writing for years and, I gather, admired him as a person because of that writing talent. Then (also my interpretation, admittedly) JESSICA felt personally hurt at the homophobia in his writing. And why wouldn’t she?
If you have followed this thread, you know what happened over at Anti-bullying mixed with homophobia, an aura reading of Orson Scott Card. I was touched by JESSICA’s contest entry and proceeded to do aura reading research on Orson Scott Card. In Comment 2, KAREN courageously spoke up, as someone who personally knows the bestselling science fiction writer. She called him “a very spiritual person who deeply loves God.”
This was based on knowing him well, and knowing the religion he follows (plus, of course, her own definition of what it means to be “A spiritual person.”)
And thus, with true beginner’s luck, KAREN set off one of the bigger controversies we have had here in a while at “Deeper Perception Made Practical.” 😉
Well, I won’t shy away from sharing my personal view of what it means, being “A spiritual person,” so here goes.
My definition of “A spiritual person” begins with this
Every human being has the right to self-define as “A spiritual person” and have credibility as such…
if that person also displays ethical behavior…
given the standard of mainstream culture at the time.
Really, who else would have the right to define that most personal thing, being spiritual? It’s like having the right to self-define what it means, connecting to the God of Your Understanding. This is a sacred right, inextricably connected to each individual’s unique sacred path.
However, there are laws on the books today against hate crimes. Legally there is such a thing as right versus wrong.
So I wouldn’t not consider JOE “A spiritual person” if he murders somebody because, he believes, that means following his religion.
And I wouldn’t think much of JOE’s religion, either, if it sanctioned such a crime.
So do I consider Orson Scott Card “A spiritual person”?
Has he murdered anyone? No, unless perhaps the occasional fictional character. 😉
Certainly I appreciate that, in the past, Orson Scott Card has met my standard as “A spiritual person.”
Except for now. In Rose Rosetree World, the man is now — pardon my saying — on probabation. As “A spiritual person.”
Simply because collective consciousness in America has progressed to the point where it is no longer appropriate to publicly sneer at lesbians and gays, nor okay to deny them legal rights, nor to flout well established scientific research — according to which being born homosexual is neither a hobby nor a choice nor a lifestyle.
American society was not always this awake. Similarly it was once socially okay to own slaves, perfectly fine for a spiritual person to do. And later it was considered just Georgia peachy keen for a spiritual person to sneer and segregate, or make it a crime for people of different races to love each other.
I’m older than many of you Blog-Buddies. So I can remember watching network news on TV and seeing “George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama, in a symbolic attempt to keep his inaugural promise of ‘segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.'” As pictured at the top of today’s article, he tried to stop the desegregation of schools as he stood at a schoolroom door, blocking the entry of two black students.
People fought hard for their prejudices back then, their way of life, their “lifestyle.” Although the word lifestyle wasn’t in common usage back then. Had it been, folks might have said they just wanted to protect their “beautiful, traditional, Southern lifestyle.” Whereas living in a body with dark-colored skin represented “an inferior lifestyle” or even “a choice that these souls made before they were born,” so they must have deserved to be treated like slaves or inferior humans.
But slavery isn’t legal in America now. Nor is segregation. Nor is it legal what happened recently in South Carolina, shooting an unarmed man for the “crime” of being an African-American.
Similarly, in our lifetimes, collective consciousness and the law have evolved to the point where gays and lesbians are beginning to have basic rights formerly denied them as citizens.
Well, people evolve and change their minds. All of us can keep up with the times, growing and adapting even though we don’t like it. Orson Scott Card has the right to change his mind about homosexuals, along with plenty of others whose sexual fears or bigotry had been sanctified by religious beliefs.
And then, personally, I might think and feel something like this:
“Yes. Here is a spiritual person. Another child of God. Not exactly like me with the same set of struggles. He is a different one.
“Now somehow he found the strength to do something so hard and courageous, letting go of that old thing he had been taught. He has cared so much about God that he was willing to let his pride go. I love how he is letting in more of that light. For years he has said that God mattered so much to him. And now he has done this wonderfully human thing.
“May God bless him. His God. The one he loves more than anything or anyone, his inspiration as a spiritual person.”
Americans — and I hope humanity worldwide — together we are evolving. We can grow beyond that old sort of prejudice. Personally, I have said some stupid and ignorant things about homosexuals. At least there was never malice.
Never in my life, not for a second, did I consider that there was anything wrong with being wired differently from me sexually. (Of course, I have had to overcome plenty of other problems. Just that particular one wasn’t in my set of things to overcome in this lifetime.)
I believe that a truly spiritual person must keep up with the nation’s collective awakening into what is fair and good, more true, more worthy as a way to treat others.
Three cheers for political correctness!!!
Usually the term is used sarcastically, I know. Yet here is what “political correctness” means, to me, “It is now socially and legally unacceptable to keep up the old prejudices and insults. If I do this in public, people may not think well of me. So I had better shut up. Until I get home.”
When folks complain about having to act politically correct, it’s understandable. And not unlike a sulky kid who is being punished by parents for good reason, then retaliates with resentment.
Until people willingly throw off their small-minded, out-of-date prejudices… let them complain about that oh-so-nasty-and-cruel political correctness.
I’d rather have people blame politics or society than to keep on demeaning people by calling them retarded or queer, use the N-word or any of the many ethnic slurs that are as old as dirt.
A spiritual person still needs to save face, like anyone else
All of us need to save face. That isn’t about being spiritual, just being human.
We need the term “Politically Correct“ now — or an equivalent term, used without irony — because society is changing so fast.
How fast? Hello, we’re living during the Shift into the Age of Aquarius. Never on earth has so much about life changed so fast.
Meanwhile, being “A spiritual person” according to our lights is a grace note. Like balm applied to a wound, true spiritual compassion and integrity can make such a difference in this world.
So many of us today feel raw. We are hurting. So many beautiful spiritual people are struggling now.
Being kind to others whenever we can — it isn’t all that’s required for being a spiritual person, not to me — but it could be a very good start.