The French Jesuit priest and philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, once said “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Indeed we have two aspects about ourselves — one mortal and the other eternal. Both serve a purpose, but the one upon which we focus can have quite an impact on our state of mind.
When we are oriented on our mortality we tend to think in terms of lack and limitation. We race the clock to get our tasks done. We see finite resources and opportunities. We feel our bodies aging and are acutely aware of the impermanence of everything. Worry and fear dominate our thoughts as we cling to that which has never been ours to keep.
Yet when we are oriented on our eternal nature, we are inclined to think in terms of possibilities. We savor being present to each moment as it unfolds. We feel healthy and optimistic. We gaze in awe and wonder at the beauty and mystery of it all. A sense of calm and peace takes the lead as we know deep inside something larger holds us.
To have this human experience of mortality is a gift to be sure. Let us focus on its grander context, however — that of our eternal nature — and give rise to our spirits.
May you be inspired!