Spiritual Evolution: True or Not?
Talk summary: Spiritual evolution is not something that is going to just happen by mere accident. It is something that requires an inner effort on the part of the human being. In this stirring podcast, Guy Finley talks about the importance of shaking ourselves out of our spiritual complacency.
Talk notes: There is a corrupting kind of complacency that lives inside almost all human beings. Although being complacent may seem like the easy way, along with the seeming comfort that comes with complacency also comes the loss of a person's possibilities. Most people on the planet are simply coasting through their lives because they feel they have an unlimited amount of time.
Human beings are one-hundred percent conditioned in one way or another. One conditioned belief that most of us live by is the notion that we are owed something. "I suffer, therefore I am owed," we say. We are driven through our days to find someone, something, anything to relieve the suffering we feel -- the anxiety, stress, fear, depression, confusion. By and large it is suffering, discontentment, and a certain fear of non-existence that drives us to make more money, find the next relationship (since the last one didn't work), and seek some measure of power.
There is no such thing as an individual's spiritual evolution that is caused by something outside of himself. There is no forced flowering of the soul. What is it that we think is going to evolve? Who is this person that is going to go through this radical change? Is what we call "I", which changes from one second to the next, going to evolve spiritually? Humanity is not evolving at all, but we do have an adept capacity for adaptation, which is completely different from spiritual evolution. Adaptation is simply imagining a better situation, and creating through imagination a more advanced form in response to unwanted events. The more that anything is imagined, the more corrupt it becomes. And although imagination has its proper place, it now serves as our reconciling force; it is the tool of desire.
What is the true evolution of the human being? True evolution would take place when desire is separated from imagination. Instead of desire driving this unending chain of events followed by an imagined tomorrow that will be better, desire itself would have to be reconciled. Only when the seeker and the thing sought after, which is desire, are finally one thing is there true evolution. There is no evolution forced upon a person because no individual human being can be commanded to give up his or her life. Life is asking, "Will you give this up? Will you lay down what you are?" And you cannot lay down what you are until you discover what you are not. Shake yourself out of your complacency! Be as honest as you can about your actual condition.