In this world but untethered to it

February 23, 2024


“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings
having a human experience.” 

(said by French philosopher and Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

If you have any spiritual beliefs at all you probably get this quote. This world is not all there is. We are in this world but not of it.

But lately I’ve become aware that I feel less tethered to this world than ever.

Ok, truth: I’ve never felt tethered to this experience. I’ve always felt like an observer, a stranger in a strange land. There are rules, apparently, and I don’t get them. I never have.

And when I look around and observe what’s happening around me, around us, I feel less affinity with this world than ever.

Why we are here

As I aged,  it became obvious that all we were here to love and be loved. But I didn’t get that right away. It took muddling around uncomfortably in these very strange waters for many years to see that truth.

Is it truth? I think so: It’s the message that virtually everyone who’s gone to the other side in a near-death experience has returned with. And let’s be honest: It’s not so hard to be kind and thoughtful, especially to those in need. But today we have an entire political party that’s turned a blind eye to this fact. It’s a movement, even.

Yeah, you know what kind of movement I think it is.

And on the more personal level

There’s more granular evidence of this, too, in some of the people I’ve known over the years. Even though I’ve always tried to focus on the good side of people, I’ve had to admit that some are really not very nice. Cruel, even. Passive aggressive or just flat out mean and not apologetic about it. Or they can wax eloquent about the thoughtfulness of others but be unable to think outside themselves and reach out to support them when needed.

I’ve experienced this.

It’s such a hard thing to admit. But admitting doesn’t mean accepting.

My point is that it’s all part and parcel of the same thing: this move toward societal hardness, self-centeredness and treating others with incredible disrespect. Just look at how some politicians are moving migrants around as if they weren’t human. It’s shocking that so many can’t see how inhumane this is.

So, if we’re feeling untethered, what do we do?  How do we ground ourselves in the here and now? I see several important actions we can take now.

Take action

Liz Cheney pointed out that regular people can’t afford to sit back and do nothing. We can’t. So first, sign up HERE for training to make calls on your own time schedule to get the Blue Vote out in priority areas. It’s not heavy lifting. I’m signing up.

Connect with your higher power

Connect with the bigger spiritual picture. I’m doing that by taking a couple of classes with a spiritually connected mentor of mine.  There’s  solace in being with others who feel untethered to this world and their suggestions for using spirituality to ground myself.

And I’ve been examining my own reactive behavior. Yes, me, too. I’m far from perfect. After all, this is “soul school”. We’re here to learn the ropes.

Cull the herd

Make any necessary changes in your social milieu. My best tool is asking the question, How do they make me feel?  If the answer is not good, then they no longer have a place in my life.

Go for the good

Finally, amp up engagement with people who do make you feel good. Even as I write this, I’m getting ready to drive a couple hours to meet up with a dear, longtime friend who has moved away. These connections are urgently important today. They’re a reminder that there IS good in this world.

It’s as simple as that. The only really hard thing is getting the motivation to act politically. So–take a look around you. Do you like what you see? If you don’t, go to the link above and sign up for training. Make some calls.

As we used to say back in the day, be part of the solution.  Because if you aren’t? You’re the problem.


12 comments on “In this world but untethered to it
  1. Beautifully written and great advice. Also, you started with one of my favorite quotes.

  2. Beth Havey says:

    Wonderful, awesome post. All of us need to LOOK AT REALITY. We can no longer hide behind our own personal gifts, because we are all connected. And it doesn’t take believing in the spiritual to see this. Content is often ours WHEN we reach out to others. And you do this…thank you.

  3. Laurie Stone says:

    So agree, especially about the stranger in a strange land part. More and more, I look at what’s happening on this planet and are aghast. I just don’t get it. That’s why so many people are done with “earth school.”

  4. “My best tool is asking the question, How do they make me feel? If the answer is not good, then they no longer have a place in my life.” Sound advice even if it’s hard to do. Thoughtful and encouraing post.

  5. Let us know if you are able to maintain your resolve to try to only include positive people in your life. That can be tough sometimes.

    • I think I’ve got it down, but it took a few years. Sure, someone can act out of character once or maybe twice. But when I realize it’s actually “in character” I move along. I’m not going to say I didn’t have false starts along the way, but it’s a way of life now. No regrets.

  6. Rebecca Olkowski says:

    I feel like there are people on Earth who live on another planet and I wish they would go back to where they came from. I’m guessing the planet is made out of orange Cheetos.

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