Teilhard de Chardin wrote, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Excerpt: BOFAW, Chap. 4, “A Class is Born.”
1. The class was not a philosophy class.
2. The class was not a religion class.
3. The class was not a spirituality class.
Any discoveries that may relate to these topics would be a byproduct of biological studies and not a direct focus. Typically, if I asked students how many of them had a soul, every hand shot up. It may represent foolish optimism or self-delusion, however, it may also, as Carl Jung suggested, represent a deeply imbedded intuition of man’s spiritual nature. For thousands of years indigenous people have believed in an afterlife. They may be foolish, however, they may be correct.
Tuesday, 3-26 was the Jewish Passover celebration and this Sunday will be Easter Sunday. However, these are the latest chapters of a very big book. Spirituality dimly appeared in humans 100 thousand years ago and has been evolving ever since. Alaskan tribes have been living relatively peacefully with each other (and nature) for at least 10,000 years. Their spiritual beliefs were emerging 7,000 years before Moses envisioned the Book of Genesis, and 8,000 years before the birth of Jesus. Throughout the world people were slowly becoming aware of a possible reality that exceeded the limits of human understanding. Many of these beliefs were inextricably connected to living close to Nature. I am intrigued that Lao Tse, Confucius, and Buddha were all born in Asia within 100 years of each other, circa 500 years before Christ. It was a remarkable period of spiritual stirring. None of these men claimed to be God but, offered ideas to improve human harmony and well-being. Many of these ideas proclaim the importance of being deeply rooted in Nature. Lao Tse is credited with the concept of the “Tao” which can be translated into; Nature, Natural Order, “The Way” or “The Path.”
One of the goals of Biodesign was being dedicated to, “the illimitable freedom of the human mind.” This included a holistic approach to human biology (physical, mental and spiritual) and searching for truth, beauty and goodness.
When students dangled their feet off the edge of Half Dome, or stood on the edge of Grand Canyon, or pondered the vast Pacific Ocean from the bluffs of Mendocino, the word “religion” probably never entered their minds. Spirituality was not a focus of the class, but contemplating the human brain that was capable of thinking in spiritual terms was of great interest. Those who were in tune with their ancient spiritual heritage were more likely to see in macroscopic terms that encompass all of humanity.
According to Muir, Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau (and most authors referenced in Biodesign) every day is a Holy day, whether we choose to recognize it or not.