If you think about it, we’re all drawn to people most like us. Call it in-group bias or being “hard-wired” for like-minded people—the fact remains that we can connect best with those we think are similar to us. That’s why, when a celebrity, superstar, or sports person comes forward with a challenge they’ve been facing, we begin seeing them in a different light. Their candor and the fact that they’re also dealing with something you or someone you love have made them more human and relatable.
Spiritual Teaching Reform
No matter who you are, you will have to confront some challenging concepts like death, disease, and suffering at some point in life. To understand and get through these difficult moments, many of us will turn to religious or spiritual teachings, hoping for (spiritual ) help or support. Others will turn towards psychology and science, hoping to regain their awareness through medicine or counseling. Some will even do both.
When we look up to someone, often, we tend to place them on a pedestal. We may do this unknowingly, or we may do it because that person behaves in a way that is far from us. Today, as spiritual teachers embody and share tenets of the original teachings, there’s a need for them to go beyond simply listening and responding to their followers. Whether it’s medication, meditation, or anything else, we all depend on more than divinity and enlightenment to take care of ourselves.
Some folks think attending a religious service (like confessing your sins and burdens to a priest) is similar to therapy. After all, they both are designed to help you come to terms with what is most essential in life. But while these two activities might sound similar in theory, what they offer people is very different. There is a unique nexus between religion and psychology because both help you expand your quality of life, one way or another. Therapy encourages you to explore your feelings and, at its best, helps guide you to your core needs.
One of the core tenets across most religions and spiritual practices around the globe is being a more generous person. We unlock our greatest potential when our attitudes, thoughts, actions, and beliefs contribute positively to society. To do that, we also need to work through personal challenges, which requires awareness, humility and faith. That way, we can share what we’ve learned and help others in their difficulties.
A problem shared is a problem halved. Isn’t that why most of us choose to share our troubles and difficulties with our loved ones? We value their advice, their insight, and their support. In this episode of The Missing Conversation, Robert and Dave share how religious and spiritual leaders can extrapolate this idea by sharing their own challenging issues to help their community better. We tend to place teachers of formal religion or leaders in spirituality on a pedestal. While believers and practitioners may take advice from them, rarely do we see help flow the other way around.
What’s common between religious folks, spiritual people, and those that do not formally identify as anything but try their best to better life in our world? Robert and Dave explore the united goal among the three — caring for our planet and for humanity. Core universal values like compassion, kindness, and authenticity are embodied in original religious and spiritual teachings. These values are how religious teachers like Jesus, Buddha, Muhammed, Moses lived their lives.