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Are You Missing Something of Vital Importance?
By Art Ramsay, Ph.D.

 The average person on planet earth goes about his or her day mostly unaware of what life is about. For most of the world, even those in the Western culture, life consists of taking whatever steps that are needed to survive; for most, this means finding nourishment and shelter for our bodies.

 You may consider the above a ridicules statement, but let’s take it a few steps further. I will use the United States society, since it is the one of which I am most familiar. People begin their day preparing their bodies, which includes bathing, dressing, and feeding the body.

 Then, it is off to work (for most) to earn money in order to buy food, clothing, shelter, and other body-oriented accessories. So far, it is all about the body’s survival with a bit of vanity thrown in. In order for me to explain what I am talking about, let us look at psychologist Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (HON). Survival is at the bottom and labeled “basic needs”.

 Next level up is “safety needs”, which includes shelter (your home) and protection through law enforcement. To me, this is still at the survival level of living. The third level on the HON is “social needs” that even the homeless person has in this society. This need is not about survival per se, but without it most people will not survive mentally and emotionally. For most people it is about family.

 It is not until we get to the forth level of the HON that we move past survival, which is “esteem needs”. Here we see that the human need to discover oneself, begins to emerge. Humans have been on this planet for thousands of years or even longer. Why has it taken all of this time to just barely get beyond “survival” needs?

 There are perhaps many answers to the above question, including “The Fall” in whatever way you have learned of its occurrence. The truth is that we have always been able to rise above this survival level, but have been unaware of anything greater. Again, there are many philosophies about why this is so, and many of them will point to the “truth” that deep within each one us has always been the means to rise beyond survival.

 When we get to the top level of HON we find “self actualization”. This is where many of us are today: realizing our potential, self fulfillment, personal growth, and peak performance. But we are even moving beyond these mostly physical attributes to discovery of who we really are as spiritual beings.

 Maslow actually expanded his five basic needs modifying the “self-actualization need” somewhat with three needs instead of one which ended with an eight need called “transcendence”. This need is to transcend your own needs to help others find self actualization or “enlightenment”, although not expressed in that word.

 Where are you in the basic HON (1-5)? Anyone reading this I am sure has satisfied the basic five to one degree or another. That is, have shelter, food, safety, income from a job or business, social connections, a family, and are doing something toward self-actualization or self discovery in some way. You may be satisfied to some degree with your life and doing something you like. But . . . are you stepping beyond the basic level five to grasp the more spiritual meaning of what is calling you?

 I realize it gets dicey when I seem to separate physical actions from spiritual actions since there is really only one, but I do this to point out the difference in how you approach what you are doing. Let me explain.

 While everything is spiritual most of us do not look at driving a car, pumping gas, or watching TV as spiritual. These may be physical activities, but the person doing them is a spiritual being with a body. As we learn more about who we are as a spiritual being, we find that our body is merely a mechanism we use to perform physical tasks.

 There comes a time thought, when we have meditated or looked within enough that we realize there is something more than our body and its brain running things. It is your “higher self”, “I am presence”, “God-self”, “Holy Ghost”, or whatever words you wish to use to describe the “force” acting on behalf of your Soul.

 This Presence is who you are at a deep level of knowing or awareness. This is the “vital” element to which I refer in the title of this article. Without awareness of it, you will continue to move through life as a body following your brains’ and subconscious’ guidance. If this is what you want and either have no interest in seeking a “higher” explanation for why your life is as it is, than so be it. I am only a guide.

 However, most everyone reading this article signed up for my newsletter knowing where I am coming from. Therefore, I believe you truly want this guidance. Many of you may be on the “fence” relative to believing what I say is true to some degree. As always I suggest that you suspend your level of “disbelief” and contemplate what is written.

 Knowing that you are a spiritual being first, and a body second, is critical at this time in our world. We are here for a reason, and chose at a soul-level to come into the world at this time. We are living at the beginning of a new age, a new cycle of time that has never been lived before. In doing so, many things must, and are changing as you have witnessed over the past few years.

 In order for our lives to fall in line with these changes, we must make changes as well. Whatever and whenever those changes take place is up to you, but take place they must, if you are going to be part of this new cycle’s evolution. Contemplate this at the deepest level and follow the guidance you get. Let your Soul speak to you.

 

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