Of all creation, only humans are endowed with freedom. Choice involves freedom. Sin or evil and virtue or good deed presuppose choice. Psycho-spiritual growth involves choice. It affects all: theists, agnostics, and atheists. God of theists is considered as Force or Organizing Energy that is beyond oneself. And if one does not want to consider anything beyond oneself, that is alright too. Everyone by the mere fact of one’s existence has a unique place in this universe. Humans right from the beginning had and have all that was required for physical, mental, and spiritual growth before the coming of prophets, special messengers, and incarnations. They lived a life that could be purposeful and full for their time
In the beginning humans could not understand various forces of nature. They started believing in these forces as superhuman; categorized them as good or evil on the basis of their useful or destructive nature. They started believing in gods, demons, and good and evil spirits. They started believing in immortality and immortal souls that have life after death. They started believing in heaven and hell, re-births or re-incarnations. . All revelations, speculations, and theologizations about God can be useful, and may be used beneficially according to each one’s belief system.
Where are we now in 2016? Christians believe in a Trinitarian God: one God with one nature or substance has three divine persons – Father (generates the Son), Son (is begotten from the Father), and the Holy Spirit (proceeds from the Father and the Son). The divine persons are distinct from one another in their relations of origin only; in all other respects they are the same; they are co-equal and co-eternal. Christ through his incarnation reveals this God and the Kingdom of God. There is judgment after death, and one goes to heaven or hell according to one’s life. Muslims believes in a God revealed by Prophet Mohammed as Allah, and goes to heaven/paradise or hell-fire according to one’s life. The Hindus and Buddhists believe in re-births until liberation (mukti or nirvana) through right living.
Psycho-spiritual growth coming from knowledge dawns through integration into consciousness or awareness or insight. It may be actualization or realization where the human through catharsis or purification achieves full potential or becomes fully what he or she is capable of as determine by nature or Energy beyond/God. For this certain basic factors common to all humans may be considered:
- There is order and harmony in nature or the universe at large that is the macrocosm.
- Similarly there is order or harmony needed in the microcosm that is the human. The universe is determined and ordered by the Organizing Intelligence. By the mere fact a human has the all-important attribute of freedom that makes a human distinct from animals and everything else in one’s environment, the human person directs one’s life in freedom from the acquired philosophy of life, world-view, and/or religious belief system.
- Intra-psychic or intra-personal harmony or getting oneself together is necessary before inter-personal harmony.
- Interpersonal harmony in the process of psycho-spiritual growth involves elements needed for unity of humanity and brotherhood/sisterhood of humans as the one God of humans is a Unifying and loving Super Energy. Elements such as equality, reverence for life, respect for others’ rights, and accepting others for who they are irrespective of caste, race, religion, class, ethnic origin, and nationality are essential for unity of humanity.
- One’s approach to the environment or ecological systems and the use of world’s resources are of paramount importance especially in this age of very fragile ecological balance in the context of mindless consumerism and uncontrolled exploitation of nature due to human greed.
- One needs to relentlessly search for truth, have a sincere attitude, purity of intention in everything one does, and be faithful to one’s conscience.
- The above basic points are common to all humans received from nature right from the beginning. Growing in consciousness or awareness of these points comes with time and beneficial circumstances. One’s belief system coming from one’s faith (religion) needs to be integrated with these basis points for harmonious living for all that is the destiny of the universe.