The Natural and Spiritual Order of Life
By Jay Etzel
That man was created for goodness and light is self-evident to the enlightened mind and soul, and clearly supported by the statement made by Jesus that “the kingdom of God is within you.” This reality points to both a natural and spiritual order of life, happiness, and creativity. All that is needed for the fulfillment of life has already been given; it is contained within the gift itself.
The natural order is evidenced by all of creation. The spiritual order is evidenced by the battle of good versus evil waged everywhere, at all times, and within every person to one degree or another. Natural refers to that which is good, right, and whole- complete within its own nature. Spiritual refers to that which is life giving and life sustaining. Together the natural and spiritual order refer to the process of life- the way and by what means life is developed, experienced, and promoted.
The acid test for every individual is whether they desire light more than they desire darkness. For in this world the light must be specifically chosen over and against the darkness. Incredibly, it is this very simplicity that man has commonly faltered, been ignorant of, or has actively suppressed. In fact the entire story of the human heart from the beginning of time reveals the repeated themes of longing, addiction, pain, struggle and survival, as being the constant experiences, while the higher aspirations of love, hope, happiness, peace, and triumph as being the more elusive and less realized experiences.
But the great ones in whatever time and place have always resisted and risen above the world’s downward pull. Having desired the light, they now are free to pursue that light to its abundant conclusion. They have not only fought and survived, but they have overcome and thrived. And all who would do the same now enter into a great creative process. To aspire to greatness, to know God, to use gifts and talents for good, to strive after that which is wonderful and beautiful, to be open to receive grace and guidance for the journey, to live and love with heart and soul- is to have found the purpose of life.
But when man departs from that natural and spiritual order of life, he pierces himself with many sorrows and sets off for a destination that is non-existent in the kingdom of light. Whatever goes into the soil of one’s being- mental, physical, spiritual, and social, etc. determines exactly what will be produced in his life.
Life is therefore not just a matter of effort and activity, but of correct effort and activity. If a thing is inherently wrong, it is so because it opposes what is inherently right. Life exists first and the counterfeit follows. Man can alter his experience of life -whether for good or evil- but he cannot alter the nature of God or life itself. He can live a lie, but he can’t get life from that lie.
All humans struggle against themselves and their own good; for the unenlightened man, it is human nature to attempt to supplant life and the elements of life with that which is not supported by life, and therefore cannot produce the fruit of life.