AAPL member Dr. Gary Josephson’s new book, Ordinary to Extraordinary: Seven Principles for Life Success was designed as a quick read, with simple-to-follow principles for anyone short with time and, “on the go.”
Principle Five: Spiritual Core
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, 1881–1955, French philosopher, Jesuit priest, paleontologist, and geologist who took part in the discovery of the Peking Man.
Look at the period at the end of this sentence. From our perspective, the dot is a static blip resting on a piece of paper or an e-reader screen, but there are literally zillions of subatomic interactions happening within the boundaries of that black circle. In the world of quantum mechanics, particles smaller than atoms can tunnel through barriers as if they didn’t exist. The quantum world gets even weirder. When two particles physically interact with each other, they become linked. What happens to one particle instantly affects what happens to the other particle. Even if these entangled particles are light-years apart, the effects are instant. Einstein called the reaction of entangled particles “spooky action at a distance.” I do not think it’s spooky at all.
There is a common thread sewn into the fabric of the universe that connects everything. Entangled quantum particles are just one example of that connectedness. Anecdotal examples of underlying connectivity abound in the hard and social sciences alike. The French sociologist Émile Durkheim coined the term “collective consciousness” in 1893 to describe the interconnectivity among people. Collective consciousness is usually described as a fundamental force in society that is comprised of shared beliefs, ideas, and moral attitudes. Psychoanalyst Carl Jung modified that theory somewhat with what he called a “collective unconscious.” Jung thought there was a genetic memory or near-mystical bond that creates certain patterns in society. Think about a time you visited the grocery store and walked past empty checkout lines. Isn’t it always the case that, by the time you finish your shopping, everyone else in the store has also? The once empty checkouts are now backed up three people deep. How or why did everyone stop shopping at the same time? Jung would say that it is the interconnectivity of our collective unconscious at work.
The concept of having a spiritual core starts with recognizing all of humanity’s interconnectivity. How we treat others and ourselves has far-reaching implications that we may never see. While I’m writing this chapter, we are in the midst of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. We are living history in the making and what I’m seeing and experiencing is extraordinary. People throughout the country are shopping for at-risk persons, sewing masks, and making sacrifices to keep their communities safe. This crisis has underpinned how our actions toward others can literally be lifesaving. A kind word, a human gesture, or a charitable act can have an exponential effect. Joy and good tidings are as infectious as any disease, so small acts can change the moods of a multitude of people.
Understanding your connectivity to others and acting for the good of your fellow man is difficult, if not impossible, to do until you first center your own mind and spirit.
Excerpted from Ordinary to Extraordinary: Seven Principles for Life Success by Dr. Gary Josephson.
Dr. Josephson’s book is available at www.O2E4Life.com