Friday, March 07, 2008

What are your spiritual definitions?

I took a long walk and realized that if I had to define my spiritual beliefs by a label, it would be “radical universalist.” Which lead me to define radical universalist, which lead me to define a host of other radical (in our world) words. Here are my spiritual definitions. What are yours?

Holy Spirit: inherent in EVERYONE and connecting everyone. It is the spirit of love – the ability to love others unselfishly, the ability to receive love from others, the ability to love oneself. Everyone has the Holy Spirit in them, whether they know it or not. You can ignore the Holy Spirit, you can block it, but you can never get rid of it. It can be pushed down so far so as to make it invisible, but it’s still there.

God: a name used for accessing the Holy Spirit. We can communicate with the Holy Spirit, we can get guidance from the Holy Spirit. If we need to see God, one of the easiest ways is to look at another person. God is in every person.

Radical Universalism: the belief that all individuals, no matter what, have the Holy Spirit in them and that all individuals, no matter what, are capable of salvation.

Salvation: becoming the person whose life reflects their inmost values, which are guided by the Holy Spirit.


Jeff W. said...

I don't want to criticize your definitions: everyone needs to find the ones that work best for them, and yours seem pretty good. But I do wonder whether you're accurate to describe this as radical "universalism." The reason is that you explicitly talk about everyone having the "capacity" for salvation, which is a perfectly mainstream view in, for instance, average American Christianity.

Universalism, in the classic sense used by one of our parent denominations, was something far beyond this--the understanding that everyone would necessarily have that potential for salvation (variously understood) realized to the fullest, without exception. That's what made them universalist. There's a world of philosophical difference between "can" and "will."

Am I misunderstanding something about how you're approaching this term? To believe that everyone "could" achieve salvation doesn't seem particularly universalist to me, and certainly not radically universalist, but I could be overlooking something. Even if you mean something rather different from classic Universalism, you might find it helpful to come up with a better term, since confusion on this point is likely to arise in other people as well.

Comrade Kevin said...

Christian anarchism, the Inner Light, Continuing Revelation

Lizard Eater said...

Hmm, Jeff. I'll have to muse on how better to explain it.