In observing that I believe spiritual maturity will be the next planet-wide baseline of social behavior, I’m expressing a wish more than an observation. I’m “putting it out there” as something to be achieved, as much as saying that I think it will be forthcoming.
What is the relationship between spiritual maturity and the divine qualities?
In my view, the person who’s successful in following the divine qualities in their life is a spiritually-mature person. The two are synonymous.
The divine qualities include such godly ways of being as love, compassion, courage, integrity, impartiality, unity, harmony, and so on. They’re the qualities that we think God has. I’m not sure we can know. We’re always faced with talking in estimates.
I’d imagine that our knowledge of what qualities God actually has just grows and grows so anything I or perhaps anyone else says on the matter is definitely subject to being revised and even discarded either soon or eventually.
Anything said about God has to be by successive approximations. In fact anything said about God may have the shortest shelf life of any statements made about anything. So do know that I know that. I can’t think of another area in life where there are guaranteed to be no “experts” but this must be one of them.
But at the same time, I believe there’s no more fruitful area for contemplation than what the divine qualities are or may be. How can one lose from focusing one’s attention on a subject like that? I cannot conceive of how.
Spiritual maturity could be said to be the commitment to live life according to the divine qualities. How far we get in our contemplation may depend on how successful we’ve been in clearing out our leftover vasanas (habit and reaction patterns) and exiting the constructed self. The constructed self is the persona we create in reaction to the trauma we’ve suffered in life to see that we don’t suffer that trauma again.
As we emerge from our “old business” in life, we stand a better chance of being able to (1) live by the divine qualities and (2) act in a manner that can be described as spiritually mature.
I don’t particularly hold myself up as a person who behaves spiritually mature. I’m an aspirant in that area along with everyone else, I think. I could point to any number of lapses and failings. But I do aspire.
A further baseline might be enlightened behavior. As soon as we contemplate that as a baseline, we’d have to be specific about the degree or level of enlightenment we’re talking about. There are many levels. I just mention it now as a possible further baseline.
The baseline of spiritual maturity is a lesser baseline than that of enlightenment. What I’d like to see is an entire planet in which the population aims at living lives that are at least spiritually mature. That for me would be a world that works for everyone – or would soon lead to it.
To see that arise, I’m willing to speculate on what would need to happen, but not as a show stopper; instead as a show opener. I fully expect what I say here overtaken in a very short time.
The first achievement that would bring us closer to that goal would be that we’re no longer subject to being swept away by our emotional reactions to things. Not me, there!
The second achievement would be that we’ve left aside judging others. Hmmmm…. That’s an admirable goal.
The third achievement would be that we reliably commit ourselves to behavior on our part that reflects the divine qualities and to avoid behavior that does not.
The fourth achievement would be that we’re able to place our caring for others alongside or or even ahead of our caring for self, except in those areas where caring for self represents a wise, necessary, or advisable matter. So standing aside from greed, looking out for Number One, complacency about the lot of others.
There are undoubtedly other achievements that would be desirable but let me stop here and allow others to add to that list or argue for the exclusion of any from that list that turn out to be ill advised. This is not a matter that can be settled once and for all. This is a subject for deeper and deeper contemplation.