Ideals & Values (Part 1)
We each define what “a more spiritual life” might mean to us. Inspired by four spiritual ideals inherited from my Christian and Buddhist experience, I’ve come to define spiritual life for myself as a (very gradual) increase in wisdom, peace, love, and compassion. To help me anchor these four lofty ideals more securely to my everyday secular life, I’ve clarified more than sixty practical behaviors and counter-cultural perspectives that I refer to collectively as spiritual values.
The Ideal of Wisdom
My instinctive hedonic search for ease and comfort distracts me from confronting many challenging and discomforting truths about the world and about myself. To counter these tendencies, spiritual values like self-understanding, integrity, questioning, realism, discernment, humility, and holism have all been useful to me.
The Ideal of Compassion
I noticed how sympathetic I’ve been with the poor; and yet how meager the community service or money I had contributed on their behalf. To overcome my instinctive selfishness, I’m learning to more faithfully practice more spiritual values like equality, economic justice, merciful service, redemption, and sacrifice.