Friday, October 17, 2014

Spiritual Maturity

We had a most remarkable conversation at the Sacred Soup: School for Living last night {10/16/2014}.  We have been talking about the process and purpose of our gatherings and we had affirmed that we are all in it to support a growing spiritual maturity in ourselves and in each other, when one member asked, “So, what do we each mean by spiritual maturity?”

It was a great question.  We had just noted that when we listen we need to be able to map onto our own understanding the words and meaning of the other so that we get them.  So even though we were in agreement about desiring greater spiritual maturity, there was no assurance that we each meant the same thing by those words.

So we took turns saying just what we each mean.  Even before we had gone all the way around it was clear that a profound thing was happening: actually, several profound things.

For one thing, everyone chose to define spiritual maturity, not in abstract terms, but in terms of their immediate life experience.  Each person had a different life experience that they named as the context in which they were seeking greater spiritual maturity but everyone easily saw the context that another raised as being completely valid; that is, even though everyone had a different “definition,” there was no question that the answers each gave were what we all mean by “spiritual maturity.”

No one used theological language.  No one invoked the name of God, or Jesus, or Ganesh.  Everyone answered in terms of their everyday experience.  I may have gotten as close to theological language as anyone by using the word “love.” Instead everyone spoke of a real and nearly daily challenge in their life about how they take care of themselves in their relationships with others, or in how they treat themselves.

We found this to be so helpful that we agreed to repeat this as an exercise in the group from time to time.  It was helpful both in terms of knowing where others are in their spiritual journey but also in identifying for ourselves where we are.  This is a good way to introduce ourselves to others when new people join the group and we expect that our answers will change over time. 

We invite you to join us.   No one is there every week so please don’t feel like you are making a huge commitment.  We really are looking to welcome others.  We are meeting every Thursday until Thanksgiving and then we will evaluate what we are going to do over the holidays.

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