A Pearl of Great Price

I often wonder why people don’t involve themselves in spiritual life. Yes, many folks go to church on Sunday, which is a comfort to them, and I’m sure it does them good in numerous ways—points them in the right direction and makes them better people.

 Still, actual spiritual life isn’t just words. That’s what I want to emphasize here. In spiritual life we’re not just talking or listening to empty, though majestic, rhetoric.

 So I’ve been thinking that perhaps many individuals don’t realize what a shift into experiencing the realm of the spirit means. The most exalted experiences in life are those we partake of in a spiritual mode, but getting there may sometimes require a little bit of trying.

 I say “may sometimes” since I know that many people stumble onto this gift because they simply have what it takes, whether they or the outer world knows it or not. In fact, we all have what it takes, ultimately.

 The work we do is the work of opening and then accustoming ourselves to entering spiritual states and opening further. But some people are simply given this type of experience out of the blue. The…“I was walking in the mountains, and suddenly I felt (or saw, or heard)” kind of thing.

 Those of us who’ve become habituated to these shifts join groups of others who regularly partake because nothing is so sublime as those glimpses of a different—and higher—state of being. We want more.

 But a great many people, especially in our cynical age when nonbelieving is thought to be “smart,” either haven’t yet gotten a clue, or forgot the clue they were once given. Or they think digging up that clue again would be too hard. Or they suspect God doesn’t or won’t favor them. (After all, their parents didn’t.)

 Still, the thing is, nothing is of greater value than this shift in perceiving and feeling, which takes us from the mundane to something entirely different, entirely elevating, entirely wonderful. That’s the pearl of great price, the kingdom of heaven, which is within, and is currently (and forevermore) available.

 I’ve had many spiritual experiences over the years and I hang out with people who also have a lot of wonderful inner receivings—experiences, knowledge, and abilities—and that tells me how marvelously varied these things can be. And though we probably never quite get back to the one peak moment we had before (but may have other types of such moments), we can often have shifts that throw us into a higher background state. I see nothing as being predictable in all of this, only something that we want to chase.

 Those of us who know, know, and those who don’t, don’t—to date, anyway.

 Let’s stop being cynical and disbelieving what venturing into the world of spirituality can offer us because nothing means more than this.

 You don’t have to stop your life midstream or your pursuits of whatever. You want money and power, go for it, though the warning here is that you could be changed by the wonderful pearl of great price. Then you’ll find yourself giving up some of that seeking in the world to have more of these magnificent moments.

 It’s the real thing. Life is short and we’d best get hustling.

 Speaking of hustling, here’s my science blog with a new post coming soon: http://gmikihayden.tumblr.com/