I’ve been thinking about worldviews lately and one of these days I may start asking the people I know what they’re crystalized thought about life and reality is. I know a lot of people that aren’t religious and like me have something other than an organized group thought that helps inform their beliefs. So especially for those that don’t have a spiritual community, what are their values based on and really, if it can be reduced and described very briefly, what word or words would be used. Love? Peace? Achievement? Reaching Potential? Enjoyment?
I don’t know that I can say for myself what that is despite all the thinking I’ve done about it. Considering how I make my decisions, especially the semi-unconscious ones, the ones that happen without much deliberation, balance is probably one of the highest orders for me. I don’t expect to experience happiness or joy all the time, but I do seek to find the middle way, the way of ease and non-conflict.
As a family, we practice gratitude. Now the boys have fully adopted it as a daily practice. “What are you thank-youed of?” my son asks at every meal as we go around the table sharing our thanks. While it’s not necessary to have a sense of a higher power for gratitude to be a practice, it seems that it would be easier for those of us that have a god of some sort or another- somewhere to direct our gratitude.
In those moments of sharing, or in those moments of other practices like being on my Yoga mat and looking upward and feeling an old sense of connection, of relief and joy, I suppose it is fulfilling a need to not feel alone. I feel connected to a long human lineage and our perception of the divine rooted in this very tangible, sensual reality. That there is all of this and even more that we don’t perceive with our eyes or our usual senses. Is this all just a trick of the mind to release endorphins and create comfort? Maybe. Science and even some schools of thought like Buddhism might say so. Electrical impulses reinforced by physical sensation- observable and fleeting, the chosen emphasis being rooted in whether you ascribe more value to the observation for study or the observation for a path to freeing yourself from desire.
Ultimately, I don’t think it matters which path you choose in organizing your view of the world. But it is infinitely interesting to hear what that is for people especially when they can explain it without any agenda of converting you to their way of thinking. But then as humans in search of that feeling of connection, agreement also fulfills our need. Converting may just be a part of our humanity. It seems a valuable practice to learn to listen without judgment. A practice that can be constantly renewed as the ego jumps in to be right.