“In the process, however, one psychological detail has been overlooked: the constant desire to have still more things and a still better life and the struggle to this end imprint many Western faces with worry and even depression, though it is customary to carefully conceal such feelings. This active and tense competition comes to dominate all human thought and does not in the least open a way to free spiritual development.” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918 – 2008)
Much of the time we are captivated by Economic and Political concerns – then we have Entertainment as relief from these two.
This does not leave much space for Cultivating Spiritual Strength.
As a result, signs of spiritual decay, like Narcissism and Nihilism, are extremely prominent in our modern culture. Spiritual bankruptcy predisposes modern people to all manner of neuroses, and leaves them pretty much defenseless against Groupthink and Mind Control.
So how can we cultivate Spiritual Strength??
I believe the top two Spiritual Axioms in the Western Tradition are:
#1.) Know Thyself
- The Delphic maxim “Know thyself” is the most fundamental command that aims at human strength and well-being.
- All other knowledge should be built on the foundation of your own self-knowledge.
- The repercussions of not knowing yourself are profound.
- You cannot know yourself if you are always distracted by externalities.
- Know the nucleus of your Being.
- Seek stability and completeness in the Self.
Another Ancient Greek proverb states: “Man know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe and its Gods.” This brings us to the second great Western Spiritual axiom:
#2.) the Kingdom of Heaven is within you…
- Can you really outwit and defeat the forces of darkness within each one of us?
- Can you triumph in a contest with evil?
- Our spiritual inheritance is the Kingdom of Heaven.
- Cultivate an inner life that reflects the kingdom of heaven.
“A human being has so many skins inside, covering the depths of the heart. We know so many things, but we don’t know ourselves! Why, thirty or forty skins or hides, as thick and hard as an ox’s or bear’s, cover the soul. Go into your own ground and learn to know yourself there.” – Meister Eckhart (1260 – 1328)