The Lures of Maturity
The effort toward maturity necessitates work, and work requires energy. Whence the power to accomplish all this? The physical things can be taken for granted, but “Man cannot live by bread a lone.” Granted the possession of a normal body and reasonably good health, we must next look for those lures which will act as a stimulus to call forth our slumbering spiritual forces. So, if God lives in us, then how can we induce ourselves to release these soul-bound powers of divinity and infinity? How shall we induce ourselves to let go of God that we may spring forth to the refreshment of our own souls while in transit outward and then to serve the purpose of enlightening, uplifting, and blessing countless other souls? How best can we awaken these latent powers for good which lie dormant in our soul? One thing for sure: Emotional excitement is not the ideal spiritual stimulus. Excitement does not augment energy; it rather exhausts the powers of both mind and body. Whence then comes the energy to do these great things?
The secret of all these problems is wrapped up in spiritual communion, in worship. From our human standpoint, it is a question of combined meditation and relaxation.
Meditation makes the contact of mind with spirit; relaxation determines the capacity for spiritual receptivity. And this interchange of strength for weakness, courage for fear, the will of God for the mind of self, constitutes worship. At least, that is the way the philosopher views it.
When these experiences are frequently repeated, they crystallize into habits, strength-giving and worshipful habits, and such habits eventually formulate themselves into a spiritual character, and such a character is finally recognized by one’s fellows as a mature personality. These practices are difficult and time-consuming at first, but when they become habitual, they are at once restful and timesaving. The more complex society becomes, and the more the lures of civilization multiply, the more urgent will become the necessity for God-knowing individuals to form such protective habitual practices designed to conserve and augment their spiritual energies.
Another requirement for the attainment of maturity is the cooperative adjustment of social groups to an ever-changing environment. The immature individual arouses the antagonisms of fellows; the mature man wins the hearty cooperation of his associates, thereby many times multiplying the fruits of his life efforts.
On every mountaintop of intellectual thought are to be found relaxation for the mind, strength for the soul, and communion for the spirit. From such vantage points of high living, we are able to transcend the material irritations of the lower levels of thinking – worry, jealousy, envy, revenge, and the pride of immature personality. These high-climbing souls deliver themselves from a multitude of the crosscurrent conflicts of the trifles of living, thus becoming free to attain consciousness of the high currents of spirit concept and celestial communication. But the life purpose must be jealously guarded from the temptation to seek for easy and transient attainment; likewise, must it be so fostered as to become immune to the disastrous threats of fanaticism.
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