Sunday, June 1, 2014

Principles of Spiritual Nutrition

  1. Core Book
  2. Dig Deeper, Look For Answers, Ask the Right Question
  3. Leave the Comfort of Home and Go into the Wilderness
  4. Go with your Gut
  5. Get off your “junk food” diet - Your Gut will thank you
  6. Draw out your thoughts until you find the treasure at the end of the line
  7. Plants that don’t get water WILT

Everyone believes in something.  Some of us believe in God and some of us believe there is no God.  Either way, we believe the truth is near one of those two statements.  Whatever you believe, there is a book that speaks to and explains the truths you believe.  This book is your Core Book.  If you study it daily, the truths you believe will be repeated in your thoughts so often that you will know them well and be able to discern when a new idea matches your accepted truths or doesn’t fit.  This is very important because you cannot add to truth without beginning somewhere.  Spiritual nutrition is about being “fed” by additional truth on a daily basis.  The Core Book of all true Christians is the Bible (Old & New Testaments) which contains the words of Christ.  If you are Muslim, your Core Book is the Koran.  Maybe your Core Book is something else like, The Biography of a Yogi.  The book you choose doesn’t matter as long as you study it every day.  If you don’t read it, you will gradually lose touch with your beliefs and drift into a place where everything and nothing matters.  I encourage you to strengthen your beliefs by feeding your soul truth rather than drifting into weakness through spiritual starvation.

Spiritual nutrition is like any other method of food gathering.  It comes by digging deep, looking high and low for answers and above all asking the right questions.  Only parents feed children.  Adults have to feed themselves.  First they feed themselves from their Core Book.  Then they look around for more that matches, elaborates and goes deeper in the same vein of truth.  I dig Shakespeare.  He goes deep in a way that strengthens my Christian beliefs.  I also look for answers in Classic Literature — books that generations of others have found to elaborate and illustrate ideas like mercy, forgiveness, honor and love.  I personally invest in myself by reading or listening to the great books.  I’ve included my top 10 classics at the end of this essay.

Leaving the comfort of home isn’t a literal mandate so please don’t move.  What I mean is that truth is found in the wilderness not in Ivory Towers.  Often we have to challenge assumptions and break out of molds to see things differently.  Scientists are truth-seekers.  “Scientists don’t challenge any and all assumptions; they challenge assumptions that don’t match the patterns they’ve observed.” (Tiffany Earl, Inteligro Math) Assumptions are anything we take to be true without thinking.  The truth is found in patterns of ideas that corroborate each other.

A gut feeling is a subtle sense that we use to feel out where we should go or whom we should trust.  In matters of spiritual nutrition, ideas get thrown around and some of them aren’t that useful.  Picking and choosing between ideas can be tricky.  Ideas that stop us from progressing if not challenged include:  “I’m not capable of understanding…”  “I’m powerless to change…”  and “I don’t know how to solve…” We have to keep trying…to grow.  Spiritual nutrition provides the fuel needed to grow and find solutions to problems in our lives.

Our spirits need to be fed “light” and truth.  If all we feed our spirits is Facebook and news, or soap operas and sports, or gossip and movie stars — what will happen to our spirits?  There is too much junk out there.  Our spirits are getting weak from poor nutrition.  It is not anyone else’s fault if your spirit is weak.  Adults feed themselves.  Your parents and teachers are not to blame if you choose to feed your spirit junk.  They may have been poor examples but they are not responsible for your choices.  I try to choose only the best material for my mind to “chew” on.  I am not always able to read new material but I can think on ideas that I’ve read before or observed in the world around me.  What I “feed” my spirit affects my “gut feelings.”  There is a strong correlation between spiritual strength and sensing power.

Thoughts follow lines of logic.  As I put patterns together in my mind, I find that one idea correlates to another.  I try to follow these trains in my head but I often get lost.  I do better if I write down the train of thought and follow it all the way to the end.  The “aha” moment is at the end of a train when everything suddenly makes sense.  I think we stop short a lot of times in our thinking and never get to the treasure.  In the sense that we have to stay focused and keep going — thinking is work and sometimes it is hard.  It is always worth the effort.

Everyone knows that plants that don’t get water wilt and eventually die.  Our spirits must be fed.  They do wilt.  We do become lazy and stop engaging with life.  To grow we have to engage.  To engage we have to try.  To try we have to have proper nourishment.  To be nourished we have to spend time in our core book(s) and in “places” that feed the soul.

If you liked this post you might like Spirituality 101
My Caladiums
My Top 10 Classic Books for Spiritual Nutrition  (all links to Goodreads reviews)

1.  The Bible, Book of Mormon, and other religious texts included as my Core Book
2.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee Harper
4.  Middlemarch by George Eliot
6.  Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
7.  The 8th Habit by Stephen Covey
8.  Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver
9.  Drawing on the Powers of Heaven by Grant Von Harrison
10.  Hearing God by Dallas Willard

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