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 is authenticated and further revealed by the statement made by Jesus “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, which displays its manifest brilliance in a billion forms all around us. The spiritual order is evidenced by the battle of good versus evil being waged everywhere at all times, and even 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 generated, developed, and furthered.
The acid test for every individual is whether they desire light more than they desire darkness, and whether they will follow the light to its abundant conclusion. For in this world light must be specifically chosen over and against darkness. Incredibly, it is in this very simplicity that man has commonly faltered, been ignorant of, or has actively suppressed. In fact, the entire story of human life from the beginning of time reveals the repeated themes of longing, addiction, pain, fear, conflict, and struggle for 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 throughout human history have always resisted and risen above the world’s downward pull. They have not only fought and survived, but they have overcome and thrived. And all who would do the same now must overthrow that which oppresses them, and enter into a great, new creative process. To aspire to greatness, to have light, 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, and 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 earth of one’s being -‐ mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and socially -‐ 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 that which 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 cannot get life from that lie.
All humans struggle against themselves and against the downward pull of this world. For the unenlightened man, it is his weak nature and his tendency to surrender that causes him to work against his own good by attempting to supplant life and the ways of life with that which is not supported by life, and therefore cannot produce the fruits of life. But for the enlightened man, the natural and spiritual order of life becomes progressively his desire, because only in that order does true happiness and health exist. It is his joy and glory to exert great effort in laying hold of what is naturally and spiritually true, so that he may experience life that is full and life that is endless.