The Liberation of Belonging

                A deepening realization and revelation of relationship describes nearly the entirety of the spiritual journey; salvation or enlightenment are bi-products of realizing you belong.

                Nothing is independent of anything else. There is no “thing” standing apart or distant from other “things”. This can be practically understood as you are not separate from the earth, from the trees, the birds or the sea, but all are interconnected and function as one cohesive physical Reality. Slightly more abstract (or at least spiritualized) is the idea that you cannot be separate from God for God “is in all and is holding all things together” (Col. 1:17) so any idea of yourself as a separate entity from God is simply unclear sight or understanding. In essence these nature and God statements are exactly the same.  

                Meaning of life makes sense as we see ourselves as part of the whole, for if we are indeed part of the whole then how could the whole be whole without us? We belong. Every life, breath, flower, star, rock, cloud, and particle is functioning together to create the sum of all the parts; this “sum” we call Life, Reality and even God. This is precisely what the life and teaching of Jesus was to demonstrate and why he continually insisted on calling God “Father”; his words were not suggesting we should think of God as some man in the sky, but in calling him thus he was demonstrating that he came out of God, that he and God “were one”. The profundity of this teaching lies in the truth that if he, a man, was one with God then all humans are one with God. And if humans who are essentially life are one with God then all life is one with God… and so on and so forth until all creation is included in God, ascribing belonging and purpose to all that is.

                Gratefulness is one of the most effective gateways into deeper revelations of this understanding and freedom. As we become grateful for creation, people, plants, air, rocks, the heavens, the earth, truly and consciously grateful, we stop seeing ourselves as separate from them. We naturally desire deeper relationship with those things we are most grateful for. In my life, it may be my family, my wife, a painting I’m making, our home or the mountains that surround us; my deep appreciation for these things causes me to participate more intimately with them. The spiritual journey is one of ever increasing desire and actualized relationship until one day or for one moment the veil is lifted, our hearts desire is fulfilled, and we realize that we were never separate from these “others” that we have loved so much and our belonging is made complete in them. To live with such freedom to love and belong is most accurately described as salvation and is surely the aim and end of enlightenment.