Another quote from Chapter Two: SPIRITUAL HUMANISM: The Quest for Human-centric Spirituality
…..When we put aside the God-concept, we have nothing but our humanity to rely upon. And what Spiritual Humanism encourages and endeavors to facilitate as a practical, reasonable and most urgent quest, is the awakening of each of us to our vast, undiscovered well of human ability, generally completely obscured by uninspected living. One of the pivotal observations that Spiritual Humanism brings to our attention centers on the insight that, as part of our evolutionary process, we have made use of instruments, such as thought, attention, emotional reactivities, conditioning, habituation and self-awareness to assist us in dealing with the totality of human life before we investigated and discovered how these instruments work. That is, we have used thought, memory, attention, emotional responses, reason and intuition to manage the full complexity of our living environment, before we developed the art of self-observation and self-reflection. Without true self-reflection we will remain unaware of how we use these instruments in ways that more often than not distort our vision and fragment our lives.
As a direct consequence of this uninspected use of these powerful instruments, we created a world which reflects not our deepest human potential, but rather the results of the indiscriminate, habitual and inappropriate use of these faculties which were not designed to deal with the complexity of human life as a whole. Instead of resolving the challenges of life by making use of the entire spectrum of our potential, we sought resolution of these by utilizing the same instruments which created our problems in the first place. This suggests that we projected ‘answers’ for facilitating human well-being before we properly inspected either the nature of our problems or the appropriateness of the instruments we applied to deal with the challenges of life. In this we perpetuated human-created suffering, truly believing we were dealing with it effectively and creatively.
The reference which Spiritual Humanism makes to ‘uninspected living’, not only suggests that we lack knowledge of ourselves as products of thought and emotion, but most profoundly, that we have little or no insight into the functioning of instruments which up to this point in our evolution have mostly been responsible for creating sorrow, conflict and inner and outer disorder. If we are at all serious about a quality of life which reflects our deeper, truly humane potential, it is imperative that we investigate how we are controlled by instruments at our disposal which operate in an inner environment of pure habit and unawareness. No-one, no traditional religion, no guru and no God can correct the error of this unconscious abuse of such powerful instruments. Only conscious living, when explored and allowed to function at its deepest levels of insight, intelligence and pure emotion, could deliver us from what we unconsciously sanction as an ongoing process of uniformed functioning.
Such self-observation and self-knowledge need to take place in the context of a wider enquiry into the whole matter of self-transcendence. As will become evident as our enquiry proceeds, only when self-transcendence becomes the motivating principle behind our investigations into the underlying causes of, and freedom from human-created suffering and disorder, could the possibility of true integral living arise. Holistic, intelligent living and self-transcendence are thus related in a very specific way: the process of self-transcendence facilitates the revelation of the truth of non-duality (wholeness) and this condition of undivided experience is the basis from which intelligence and compassion arises. Wholeness and emotional intelligence are thus two fundamental manifestations of our natural condition. The one cannot manifest in a sustainable way without the other……