We are each born with an innate, intuitive knowing of the Being within all Creation. We are born with that innate and intuitive knowing of ourselves and other people, all of nature and all of Creation. Children have that innate understanding without having to be taught or told.
Reflecting on my own childhood, I remember how that awareness pervaded my life. I would bet that we each have those kinds of memories. One memory I recall is being read the Thornton Burgess nature books, very beautiful stories of the creatures of the woodlands. There was reference to Mother Nature, who was a character in the story. It certainly didn’t take any belief on my part to understand who Mother Nature was. It was my own innate, intuitive knowing that easily accepted that there was a spirit surrounding all the woodland creatures and all of nature that cared for them—Mother Nature.
That’s only one small example in my own life. I make reference to it just to help you evoke your own memories of your own innate, intuitive knowing—not a religious belief, but something sensed easily and naturally through the heart. That’s how we’re made as human beings. We’re made to walk upon the Earth with that innate and intuitive knowing of Being. And yet the fact is that there has been a major disruption of that knowing in human experience for almost everybody as adults.
How Great Thou Art is a well-known Christian hymn that’s based on a Swedish folk tune. The title, and the reoccurring phrase How Great Thou Art, evokes honour and love for Universal Being—God by whatever name. I do not seek to diminish what someone else holds sacred, or to contend with anyone’s religious beliefs if, indeed, it’s a belief they want to accept for themselves. However, I believe it’s important for people who are awakening spiritually to face how religion has disrupted the innate, intuitive knowing that’s so natural to us. This hymn evokes a love for Universal Being and then portrays that reality in the most horrifying ways.
And when I think that God, his son not sparing,
sent him to die, I scarce can take it in
that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
he bled and died to take away my sin.
Really? I’m quoting the hymn in hopes that we can appreciate how the human thinking has messed with our intuitive and innate knowing. So I have no desire to pick a fight with the Christian Church, or whoever loves this hymn. But I think it’s worth appreciating how religion takes our natural, native spiritual knowing—our primal spirituality—and messes with it in this horrible way. Because how, indeed, would it be possible to open your heart, to be in constant communion with Mother Nature, with Father God, with the reality of Being within all Creation, if the belief about that reality is that it would take its offspring and send it to slaughter? That’s the part that messes with your mind and heart.
For some, they may think that they have avoided the problem because they have rejected religion. What I witness is that rejecting religion does not necessarily solve the problem. Because, in the process, the person may have walked away from their own primal spirituality, having had that well poisoned by the false beliefs of religion.
Our contemporary Western culture seems to offer two awful choices. One choice is to worship the God of religious belief and imagination that would slay its offspring. This choice requires a person to contort their own heart enough to believe that such a God is a God of love and a God of grace. Apparently, the second choice is to reject religion and, with it, to reject one’s own primal spirituality. Finding that the well has been poisoned, the person walks away from it.
There is a third choice: to walk upon the Earth in innocence, rejecting any belief that’s not true to one’s own innate, intuitive knowing of the creative spirit that is the nature of all things and that is our own nature, embracing our primal spirituality. The reality of Being within us gives us life, generously and freely, always. It does not demand suffering before it will love us or give us life. If we let it, the Being within us offers its life-giving reality to everyone in our life through us. And not even on a choosy basis—not because we like this person or don’t like that person, or because we’re being particularly nice on a given day, or that we’re welling up with some special niceness or blessing that we’re going to offer to somebody else. It is, simply, our primal nature to emanate the life that we are.
That is who we are and that is what we do when this innate and intuitive connection is not disrupted. But we live in a society in which it clearly has been disrupted. Human thinking and feeling have been wrapped into a pretzel by beliefs as strange as this, and other strange and convoluted beliefs about the nature of our own Being.
For those who are particularly inclined to do something about this, there may be a rejection of what is thought of as religion, and then a person may go on what they deem to be a spiritual path, by whatever name. And yet, all too often, that spiritual path is plastering on more convolution on top of the convolution that’s already there. More convoluted beliefs. More religious fabrication. A true spiritual path takes a person back to their primal spirituality, to the spirituality with which they were born. The spirituality that would naturally blossom and grow through their life and strengthen if they let it. We’re not made only to have the spirituality of a child who can read about Mother Nature in a children’s book or who can have a childhood innocence and connection at the level of a child. We’re born to let that primal spirituality grow and strengthen in us as an adult—to express with innocence but also with the intelligence and strength of an adult. This is the primal spirituality of our enlightened ancestors—their first nature, our first nature and really the first nature of humanity. Seeing that that is our first nature, we could well ask, how did it get this way?
As you can tell, I’m blaming it partly on religion. But actually there’s something behind religion that caused this disruption in human awareness, because, after all, why do people create religion, particularly religion that distorts the nature of Being? Behind a convoluted religion is a person or a people who have lost their innocence. They have lost their primal spirituality and have turned to sophisticated manipulation of the world to try to achieve happiness. What breaks our primal connection with the Creator and all Creation is an attempt to bend the world to one’s own personal will.
You cannot help but do it to another person and to yourself if you’re doing it to the natural world around you. If you’re manipulating the world, you’re manipulating your own humanity and you end up manipulating the people around you. One way this manipulation manifests is as religion. And certainly there has been a horrible manipulation of people in the name of religion. Of course, we have our own modern religions that do not all go by that name, whether it’s advertising or money, or media, war, politics or something else.
So what would it mean to you to reclaim your primal spirituality—your own innate, intuitive awareness of the beingness within yourself and all Creation? Here are four steps a person can take:
- Nourish the opportunities in your life to let your heart awareness of Being grow, however that happens best for you.
- Nurture the thoughts that foster and strengthen that heart awareness.
- Protect your heart from erroneous beliefs about who you are and about the people and the world around you.
- Live with gratitude for the wonder of Being.