What’s Your Take on the Human Spirit?

by Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas

in Loving Your Life

Our Home

Never the Spirit was born; the Spirit shall cease to be never;

Never was time it was not;

End and Beginning are dreams!

Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the Spirit forever;

Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems!

– The Bhagavad Gita

Your Sense of Spirit/Soul

What do you believe about the human soul or spirit?  Do you feel a part of you remains after leaving your body behind? What is it that remains?

How have you come to your beliefs?

I don’t know about you, but for me I need to have a direct experience or sense of knowing for something to feel real to me.   That means an element of mystery and not knowing is part of the human condition.   What makes something “real” to you?


I’ve had many moments, though,  of coming in contact with a sense of presence, of great mystery if you will.  The nameless that remains when thought ceases. The presence that sits within the stillness. An overwhelming experience of love and peace.

While I can’t define it, I am comforted by those moments and accept that there is tremendous mystery and that we humans don’t know it all. Doesn’t that make the ride all the more wonderful?

These moments of presence tend to occur during yoga, meditation, a near-death experience, or anything that opens us to life on a larger basis than our “small” personal concerns.

What Does It Mean To You?

If you do sense there is something that exists beyond the confines of your body, how do you experience it?  What creates that opening in your life?  How do you experience these glimpses?  And what does it mean to you?

Explore Our Earth, The Universe, The Oceans

I suggest that you explore the miracle of being human on a planet that is orbiting the sun in space, in our universe.  Watch videos about the earth, the universe, and our knowledge of the vastness of space.  We now know that BILLIONS of universes exist!  Explore the vastness of the oceans and nature, all the different life that exists on this planet.

An exploration of these things opens you to the wonder of it all and the opportunity you’ve been given to inhabit a body on this planet!

A Paradox Of Life

Next, reflect upon the fact that there is no other YOU.  There never has been and never will be.

A paradox of life is that we are unique individuals and yet intricately connected with all other humans and with our planet, as well as the universe itself.

Remember To Remember

It is easy to forget these remarkable rememberings when we become caught up in our everyday lives.  Our focus diminishes to only personal concerns and we fail to consider the “larger picture”.  Yet, this larger picture is cause for WONDERMENT and CURIOSITY, two qualities that enhance our lives considerably.  Remember to remember. At the point of remembrance we embrace our connection to others in our own communities and around the world.  We embrace our stewardship toward all living things and our earth.

What Purpose or Meaning Do You Attribute To Your Life?

What does your life mean to you?  What meaning do you attribute to life itself and your life in particular? Do you feel you have a purpose?  Are you in touch with your purpose?

I’d love to hear your thoughts regarding these questions about inhabiting your body and that part of you that may exist beyond the boundaries of your body.   Feel free to mention the possiblity of parallel universes and quantum mechanics/physics!

Be well, and may you experience the most uplifting sense of spirit and the best relationships ever!

Photo Courtesy of: dailymail.ca.uk


{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda February 28, 2011 at 9:08 pm

I’m still forming my thoughts on the human spirit. On the one hand, I’d like to believe it exists outside of the body but I don’t know if we’re born with a strong one, or a fragile one or if the spirit is something we make/build/strengthen as we go along. I’ve seen courageous/heroic displays of human spirit and I’ve also seen the opposite. For now, I’m not sure whether or not spirit is not bound by choice, or chance, struggle as much as the mind and body over good and evil. I do think spirit is capable of transmission, of responding to stirrings of the heart and being inspired by the muse. I’m not sure I quite get yet where the mind/heart/body end and the spirit begins.

Reply

Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas March 1, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Dear Belinda,

I love hearing your thoughts about this very big topic – very thought provoking. I’m not sure myself, yet you bring up great food for thought.

We certainly seem to have many significant “choices” in life. I, too, think spirit is capable of “responding to stirrings of the heart and being inspired by the muse”. I love that!

Big hugs,
Lauren

Reply

Nancy March 3, 2011 at 2:15 pm

@ Belinda (and Lauren),

Wonderfully expressed.

What I have found – and this is speaking for myself – is that the more I tried to find a definition, define properties, and otherwise intellectualize, philosophize, and categorize the human spirit, the more disconnected and troubled (or ill at ease) I became. I found that surrendering to the idea that spirit just IS was very freeing and transformational. Still, I struggle. And backslide. An essential irony of our human lives is that we’ve been given the intellectual and physical abilities to build an amazing world, but inherent in this is the danger of our becoming alienated from our selves/spirit; our connectedness with universal spirit, or “greater power”; and our purposes (which I think are individual – not sure). We’re pulled in every way away from enlightenment and into the dark (in its various definitions). Look at all the *things* we’ve created that amount to noise, distraction, and alienation from ourselves and others. Putting all of that aside, putting mind and body aside, on a totally removed, quiet and regular basis, and… surrendering… are a start. This is what I am thinking about right now as I try to bring myself out of a period of miserable disconnection.
Best,
Nancy

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Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas March 3, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Dear Nancy,

What beautiful thoughts you have shared.

I understand the miserable disconnection you speak of. While I feel I know how to become connected almost in an instant, I sometimes resist embracing in a moment – or month – those things I know do bring a sense of connection. Ah, we human critters!

I like to think of connectedness as a moment-to-moment thing we get to choose. Every new moment brings the opportunity again and again. We can jump on at any time.

It seems transformation involves taking a step or three forward and then one or two backward at times. Still, I feel we DO overall move in the direction of greater connectedness when we commit to that intention.

I know that from viewing myself at 18 years of age and now! ;-)

It’s a delight to hear from you and the best on your GENTLE journey of loving yourself into connection.

Visit and say hi anytime!

Warm regards,
Lauren

Reply

Nancy March 4, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Lauren,

“Commit to that intention” is a really good thought and focus to have. And “connectedness as a moment-to-moment thing we get to choose” is exactly right, I believe.

Transformation and connectedness aren’t things we can put on a to-do list, “get done,” and “achieve.” They require continuing commitment, frequent refreshing, and the ongoing perspective that they are living, breathing, dynamic things – not static. Considering them accomplished is mind-, heart-, and spirit-closing… maybe not the best way to put it, but you get it.

Choice, commitment, mindfulness. And, I think, continuing to do what sometimes feels like heavy lifting: existing in a place above and beyond what we can allow to eat us alive.

And on that happy note…

Thanks for your great work! and have a fantastic day.
Best,
Nancy

Reply

Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas March 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Dear Nancy,

Once again, very well put. And I always try to remember to embrace lots of joy and lighthearted fun, pleasures, and humor along the way!

Isn’t this life remarkable in all its wonder.

Wishing you all the very best in your journey and thanks for the well wishes.

Lauren
Lauren

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Ryan October 5, 2012 at 1:46 am

Lauren,

You ever see the movie Contact? I like the lines when Ellie talks to the Alien who has manifested to her in the form of her father Ted.

Ellie: Why did you contact us?

Ted: You contacted us. We were just listening.

Ellie: Then there are others?

Ted: Many others.

Ellie: They all travel here through that transit system that you built?

Ted: We didn’t build it. We don’t know who did. No, they were gone long before we ever got here. Maybe some day they’ll come back.

Ellie: All these other civilizations you find, they come here?

Ted: Not all.

Ellie: Is this some test?

Ted: No, no tests. You have your mother’s hands. You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You are capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone. Only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

Ellie: What happens now?

Ted: Now you go home.

Ellie: Home? But… I have so many questions. Do we get to come back?

Ted: This was just a first step. In time, you’ll take another.

Ellie: But other people need to see what I’ve seen, they need to see…

Ted: This is the way it’s been done for billions of years. Small moves, Ellie. Small moves…

From my point of view we are some type of Aquatic Primates on an amazing journey. We are very bright and very sensitive. As Carl Sagan said, “we climbed down out of the trees and went to the moon” So we are no dummies. And heck yeah we are very spiritual and life is very mystical. We humans are Life. I am Life experiencing itself this way. That part is simple. But what is the human spirit? What is the human spirit compared to what? We can look at the trees and say oh yeas, there is the spirit of the trees or the wolves or the earth and say I see the spirit of the wolves, or the spirit of the earth, but that is a limited answer. When and if we encounter other intellegent beings from other planets, that will be the moment, we have our first clear insight into the human spirit. How would we be like these aliens? How would we be different? They would be a wonderful mirror for us.

Reply

Dr. Lauren Sierra Thomas October 31, 2012 at 3:34 am

Hey Ryan,

I enjoyed your message. I especially loved this part:

Ellie: Is this some test?

Ted: No, no tests. You have your mother’s hands. You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You are capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone. Only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other.

Thanks so much for sharing your perspective.

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