If you’re a religious or spiritual kind of person, I’ve probably already pissed you off with this series of articles, and you’ve already stopped reading. That’s a pity, because you’re going to miss the best bit.
I’ve been rather dismissive and negative about this whole spirituality thing, so I want to conclude on a more upbeat note. To do this, I’m heading back to my original Wikipedia definition of spirituality:
Spirituality is the search for “the sacred,” where “the sacred” is broadly defined as that which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration.
Now, I discussed in part 3 how the search for the sacred is a natural thing. It arises from our quest to find meaning everywhere we look. I’ve put forward the proposition that there is no ultimate meaning to the universe. There are no secrets. The esoteric is false. But I also said that I too am on a quest for “That which is set apart from the ordinary and worthy of veneration”.
What then is worthy of veneration in a Godless world?
We really don’t have to look far. Is there someone you love in this world? Yourself, I hope. That’s a good starting point. Probably others too. Maybe one special person in particular. If you’re lucky, there are many special people in your life. And if you’re especially open-minded, perhaps you can find a place in your heart for all people, of all nations, however little in common they may seem to have with you on the surface.
Look further. Do you like animals? Trees? Flowers? Nature in general? Are you fascinated by the stars, by the weather, by mathematics, by the endless cycle of life and death? What about the dance of the atoms, the smile on the face of a child, the joy of reading a great book?
The sacred is right here, all around you.
If you’ve ever stayed up all night and watched the sun rise; if you’ve learned to ride a bike; played your music too loud; picked an apple from a tree you planted; held a newborn baby in your arms or shown kindness to a stranger, then you’ve already experienced a moment when the meaning of life was all too tangible.
Life is a collection of moments. Make each one worthy of veneration.