The mariner writes this post for several readers. The quandary is “how does one measure spiritual value at a time in the world’s history that it is overcome with empirical success, scientific wonderment that explains everything, and a social mandate that one MUST place cash value at the top of their measure of personal value?”
Everyone, whether a religious believer or an atheist, requires a way to measure personal value. “What am I?” “What am I worth- even to myself?” “Who depends on me?” “How will I know I am successful?” It is hard today to answer these questions. The entire world is in the midst of a time whorl changing so rapidly that one cannot take root in an identity that is permanent.
In the old days (not so long ago), one had a job or career that would last until retirement. One could marry successfully and financial strife was of little concern that it would lead to divorce. Today, and for the ensuing years, the definition of “job” is changing dramatically. One thinks of working from home but that is just a predecessor. As computers and computerized devices take over more and more functions that used to require humans, how do the masses earn a living?
There will come a time when the current conflict between government conservatives and liberals will no longer have ideological pedestals upon which to stand. The capitalistic structure will fail because of the need to sustain the citizens of the nation. That nasty word, “democratic socialism” will become a path to human decency.
This is hard to believe today but already the division between haves and have-nots is approaching dysfunction. Must we have another French Revolution?
The mariner could go on infinitely with transition but the original question is this: “How does one measure spiritual value?”
First, we must recognize that spiritual worth and empirical worth is not the same thing. One could be held in a tortuous prison and still have strength derived from what one believes within oneself about personal worth in an orderly universe. Spiritual worth is not dependent on empirical reality.
Second, we must recognize that spirituality is a very personal value system. It may draw from great literature, art, music, or personal insight. However you construct the pillars of your soul, they are yours regardless of the empirical world.
From spirituality comes morality and ethics. Today, morality and ethics are in short supply. Do not presume that you are soulless. Identify your pillars of spiritual strength and secure them for the trials of the future. Regardless of the empirical confusion of our world, you will know your spiritual worth.