The Great Culmination

“Calming the Storm” by Mark R. Turner, pen and ink, July, 2019

It does not take a very discerning analysis to conclude that the driving force of most human endeavor is focused on the material world. We are all living at some level of acquiring, managing, serving, or struggling with the material circumstances of reality. It is considered normal to view the material world as reality. Yet, some sense this is only part of a Greater Reality and act surprisingly based on something other than material well-being. We all know we are capable of such acts.

I contemplate a state of being I call the Great Culmination when and where creation is living in complete harmony of material and spiritual. How can a human contemplate such a thing? Many think about it as some future state. Some renounce the thought because they feel the resistance of current circumstances and view the evil of history as ample testimony to the contrary. But how can we even discuss such a notion? Because we are creatures that know it is a possibility.

Many would tell me it is an old dream but that we have blown it and we are too late. Others say, no, we must keep fighting for it. But most, perhaps unwittingly, are holding to the material perspective that everything is here and now, physically transactional, that reality is what we make it to be right now.

Our Ideals

The inventions abound to create the ideal society, the ideal body, the ideal economy, the perfect solution to all circumstances, or at least “make do.” If you will just vote for me, if you will just buy this car, if you will just follow my system, if you will just dress like this … then we will have an ideal world, or at least “make America great — again (for some).”

This is focusing on only the material aspect of reality as well as thinking linearly and dualistically. In other words, viewing reality as if there are no subtleties, only one way or the other, all finite and controllable. We know in our gut this is not reality. We don’t have to stop and think long to know it, but the tragic thing is that many who do know it just ignore their conscience of the truth hoping they can get away with enough to comfort themselves before others act on some other perspective. Maybe if we crucify this guy, the truth will go away.

May I add my voice to others who are warning not to think linearly (i.e.: we are on our way there), but to think holistically (i.e.: we have it here and we are becoming it more and more)?

Glimpses in the Dark

Though the evils, atrocities and darkness persist, we know that glimpses of the Greater Reality have been witnessed all along our progression. We recognize them in the instances of love, truth, beauty, kindness, rescuing and righteousness, in the largely unnoticed acts of patience, tolerance, and respect that we receive and give. When we witness word and deed based on that “something” beyond the exclusively material perspective we encounter the Greater Reality. In fact, we can intentionally pursue such encounters and even make them a way of life. It is not something we fight for, not something to force on the world, not something that only some qualify for. It is not based on physical characteristics, but on the physical becoming the dwelling of God. What will God do through my mind and body, the minds and bodies of all humanity on-going?

We must keep walking through the routines, discomforts and struggles of the material world, but that is not the whole reality. We are evolving into the greater reality of the union of spirit and material. This is the demonstration of Jesus walking through all the physical stuff while healing, calming the storm and resurrecting.

Being Physical

The physical is not to overwhelm us, nor for us to utterly consume; we neither serve it nor dominate it. As we awaken to the larger reality of spiritual life, we realize a unity in all of creation which supersedes all our systems and hierarchies invented to “manage” the material world.

This is not a call to renounce material reality, but to awaken our material selves as the dwelling of the Spirit of God, to awaken to Jesus’ demonstration of the whole person, body, mind and spirit, moving as one. This is what Christ calls us to, why Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as in heaven.”

Let us remind ourselves daily to let go of the perspective which is riveted to the material and to embrace the perspective merging the material and spiritual; growing in our capacity to relate to our work, society and all circumstances as people of that Greater Reality.

4 Responses

  1. Dave Olson

    I found this one that helps me orient to Reality: I am not a human being on a spiritual journey; I am a spiritual being on a human journey.

    • markart

      Yes. This re-orienting statement helps awaken freedom to grow. Thanks for offering it, Dave.

  2. Barry

    Well said and something it seems we are awakening to more and more that the material and spiritual belong together, can’t be separated and have been reminded of especially in Jesus the Christ. The Christian teaching of Incarnation is a powerful lens for seeing all creation.

    • markart

      To me life is about becoming that merger — learning to walk the material path as a spiritual/material being, as Dave suggests above. It truly is learning in the true sense of the word because we are being transformed through taking experiencial steps into the yet unknown. The question is will we do the spiritual/physical action with the elements we are given?