Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery, like the idle, curved tunnels of
leaf miners on the face of a leaf. We must somehow take a wider view,
look at the whole landscape, really see it, and describe what’s going on here.
Then we can at least wail the right question into the swaddling band of darkness,
or, if it comes to that, choir the proper praise.
– Annie Dillard
Some scholars suggest that making spirituality operative in our “real” lives today starts with how we make meaning in our lives. Each of us walks around with a mental map in our minds constructed in large part by lessons we learned from others. These lessons attempt to address the deep questions of our existence:
Who is God?
Who am I?
Why am I here?
How am I to be here with others?
I believe we need to ask and answer these four fundamental questions anew for ourselves in light of what science is telling us about our place in our Universe, and in view of the experiences and challenges we encounter individually and as a global community on a daily basis. We must re-examine the story of who and what we are, both individually and as a planetary people.
Which brings us to yet another question. Many of the scientific revelations about the origins of our Universe, coming swiftly upon us in recent decades, have prompted the need to ask:
Where Are We?
Again, this is not a new question for humans. Throughout our conscious journey, humans have used the information available to them from their experience, along with their imaginations, to create images and stories that explained the world. Today, we can look back at these images and read these stories, and see that our time needs a new image and a new story. In fact, the image of the planet Earth from space, first seen by humans in 1969, only 40 years ago, has become the dominant image of reality for us today. Previous humans could only imagine what Earth might look like, and in doing so, they came up with some pretty wild ideas, some of which have held influenced behaviors for thousands of years.
In the posts on this blog, I share with you how I am coming to answer all of these important questions in a new way, drawing upon my own experience, my learnings from contemporary scientists and other leading thinkers, and the wisdom of the world’s religious traditions and spiritual thinkers. In doing so, I also will try to indicate how these new answers help me to make daily, life-giving choices that are in concert with these new insights guiding me.
But for me, the implications of this work go beyond the merely personal. Consultants to businesses and corporations call finding the answers to the questions of meaning and purpose part of the process of identifying an organization’s vision, its mission, and its goals and objectives:
- Vision – Who are we?
- Mission – Why are we here?
- Goals and Objectives – How are we to be here with one another? (i.e, customers, fellow employees, other stakeholders)
I see the work of answering these questions anew not only important to our personal lives, but to the way we as humans come together in our organizations and workplaces to try to accomplish our mutual goals.