good life

When life gets hard, for whatever reason (and that can be mental fragility as much as anything else), you can get brought home to subsisting truths. For me one of those truths is the spiritual need for a “good life”.

I think that’s quite a universal thing, and when I say “spiritual” I mean of that quality of integrity and wholeness, which in itself can give a sense of protection or shelter in the face of danger.

Having an unconventional spirituality, I do sometimes think on the basic nature and function of religion, and certainly an important one for me would be the facilitating of a good and wholesome life for the people that a religion serves. A religion should help you live better, and be a better person. I think this is where the quality of peace comes in, and it’s also part of what you learn when you fail, and when the confrontations with shadow are not successful. Some forms of understanding only enter through a wounding. I would maybe characterize that a savage grace, because whatever the experience, and however unrecognizable the healing is initially, it is a process of grace. I have never had a great understanding of faith, but I do understand the things one sometimes cannot help but intuit, in the incomprehensible, and the glancing, almost subliminal recognition of help and love that underlies the world of appearances. These intuitions are not constant in life, and I think that is why remembrance is such a strong practice in some traditions. We have to build the bridge, as well as sometimes finding ourselves flung across it.

There are certainly other aspects to spirituality, for instance areas that are more of the nature of straightforward trial and ordeal. Growth isn’t easy, and healing isn’t always easy either. For me I think that has been to do with the experimentations that lead to authentic individual self-actualization, and the extension of spiritual vocabulary to include the previously excluded. There is no point trying to lead a good life that is designed to not include you. Sometimes you just have to do work.

But there is a great part of spirituality which is to do with finding and living a good life. That most certainly has its magical counterpart.

One has to declare peace and live peace, if one can, without losing the freshness and nakedness of its self evidence.

Castle Campbell – green man by Otter (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons


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