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The great delusion about using hallucinatory drugs is that whatever you experience you cannot communicate it to anybody. It stays with you and you alone. The great effect of taking drugs is that you become isolated from the world around you and all you can think about is your next “fix.” Your whole world is you. A recovering addict will tell you what she or he had to do in therapy: to start all over rethinking and rebuilding their lives.

The great delusion about a “personal” spirituality, choosing from a smorgasbord, is that it is all about your freedom to choose and your experience of the spiritual. Spiritual becomes a “quick fix” when you need it! The result is that a personal spirituality is a convenient way to avoid all the discipline and effort that goes into being truly spiritual. It cannot be all about you and you alone. Personal spirituality is incommunicable. The refrain is: I can’t explain it all to you. Spiritual becomes invisible.

So let’s begin with the human condition. The human condition is touchable and tangible, anything but invisible. The human condition is earthy and very often, messy. There are fundamental questions humans have been asking themselves from time immemorial. The answers are expected from various religions.

Men expect from the various religions answers to the unsolved riddles of the human condition, which today, even as in former times, deeply stir the hearts of men: What is man? What is the meaning, the aim of our life? What is moral good, what is sin? Whence suffering and what purpose does it serve? Which is the road to true happiness?

How then does man become human? We become human in dialogue when we share mutually and exchange our thoughts and ideas. We strive to be human when we are in relationship with others. We are individuals but we become fully an individual when we realize we are social animals; we are community.

Karen Armstrong in Transformations --- The beginning Of Religious Traditions:

Regardless of their theological beliefs – which did not much concern the sages – they all concluded that if people made a disciplined effort to re-educate themselves, they would experience an enhancement of their humanity… It is not a question of discovering your belief in “God” first and then living a compassionate life. The practice of disciplined sympathy would itself yield intimations of transcendence.

Diana Butler Bass says in Grounded – Finding God In The World – A Spiritual Revolution:

Listen for the whisper of God everywhere. Work for justice. Know that your life is in communion with all life. The spiritual revolution, finding God in the world, is an invitation to new birth, most especially for religion. There is no better place to start than in your synagogue, mosque, temple or church. And that new birth is happening. You can hear it as the earth groans for salvation, as poets and philosophers tell its stories, as scientists search the soil and the cosmos for life, as the oppressed, poor, and marginalized push for dignity and economic justice, It is time for the church to wake up, There is nothing worse than sleeping through a spiritual revolution.

The faith of Christians in the Incarnation (when God is seen in the flesh) convinces committed people that a divine living courant in history is pushing forth humanity to look for freedom and liberation. As a community, faith-filled people participate in the transcendent plan of God.

Authentic spirituality is rooted in a person’s faith and in a community’s celebration of faith to work for justice, uphold human rights and strive to help the poor, the alienated, those on the peripheries, the marginalized and the homeless. Faith allows people to feel the intimations of the transcendent and know they are part of God’s transcendent plan.

Spirituality experienced in the human condition allows compassion and dialogue to embrace. Faith must touch our everyday ordinary lives or else religion will distance itself from people. In working together to heal the world and create a better world faith blossoms into an authentic spirituality. There are no delusions possible.

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