I think that most of us are like those students. We already have a sense of this mysterious and defining dimension that makes us special before we ask questions about the meaning of spirituality. How many times have we turned away from depression, hopelessness, irrational dependencies, destructive anger and a bloated ego by paying attention to our spiritual inner voice telling us to open our eyes. In those moments we intuitively saw the ways that our world could be. Instead of wallowing in depression, we chose joy. Instead of hanging on to our irrational dependencies, we focused on our freedom. Instead of fueling our destructive anger, we did a hundred and eighty-degree turn to solve our problems creatively. Instead of feeding our hate, we embraced love. When psychologically backed up against the wall, we drew on our spiritual powers that rescued us from the brink of self-destruction.
For many reasons, like inattentiveness and just being too busy, our spiritual awareness fades into the shadows of our well-honed routines. Our efficiency and effectiveness assuring the satisfaction of our basic needs can cut two ways. Although they contribute to a comfortable and complacent life, they can also rob us of the passion, joy and creativity of the spiritual life. Our contentment with the present moment can shroud our sense of the 'more'.
Sooner or later distressing events interrupt our placid life - a loved one dies; we lose a job; a deal goes sour; a close relationship crumbles; or, just plain boredom overwhelms us. On the heels of such crises the spiritual dimension comes roaring out of the shadows and proclaims, "There must be more to life than contentment!" At that moment we know that it's time for our busy egos to tone down its compulsive activities; it's time to listen to our intuition alerting us to the 'more'. Nature, the expanding universe, the spirit world of our ancestors, a personal God, or, all of these could be the 'more'.
Opening the door to our spiritual life is like coming home after a busy day at work. We take off our business clothes, dress down, relax, and talk with our loved ones. When we come home spiritually, we leave our worries behind and begin a conversation with the Source of our life. It's still the same world that we have been living in, but now we see it differently through our spiritual eyes. We also see ourselves clearly, fully and authentically beyond the labels, the titles and the roles that we have picked up along the way. In our spiritual home we can honestly say, "I am a dynamo of energy. I am really free. I can become what I see. I am connected to the Source of life and everyone in the universe". Then, our tough-minded reason asks, "What will I do with all this spiritual energy?"
The Vision Circles Program works on the hypothesis that we are spiritual beings meant to participate more intensely and creatively in this world, not to escape it. The spiritual world is a state of mind through which we see ourselves and each other authentically and through which we act genuinely. The following example shows you how to use the OSCAR method to think about your own sense of spirituality. I have not linked religious feelings, beliefs, rituals, or doctrines with an awareness of one's spirituality, although the spiritual and religious dimensions are intimately intertwined. But, you can easily incorporate your religious faith within the Vision Circles Program.