Martin Luther King



Religion & Philosophy


Essay: Biospirituality as a Path to Fulfillment


Promoting spiritual evolution towards a more peaceful, compassionate, and just world.

I have nothing new to tell you. Nonviolence and truth are as old as the hills.
This site's authors encourage visitors to join us on a quest as old as humankind. We seek a sense of purpose and meaning in our lives, which promises to liberate us from the hardships of human existence and give us inner peace, perhaps even joy. We agree with Leo Tolstoy, who recognized that the path to personal liberation involves dedicating one's life to simplicity, goodness, and truth. To stay on (or at least near) this path requires wisdom, and this pursuit of life-enhancing knowledge, we believe, is a spiritual quest. Following the teachings of nearly all great spiritual leaders, we are convinced that we can only find inner peace when we are at peace with the rest of creation, and therefore we entitle this site "biospirituality."

Modern technologies provide humans with powerful tools that can impact, positively or negatively, many individuals. Unfortunately, because we have not been responsible stewards of these technologies, we live in a world filled with violence - within communities, between communities, against nonhuman animals, against nature. Perhaps most distressing is that, apparently, our society is largely indifferent to the great harm unnecessarily inflicted by human hands.
Clearly, we suffer a spiritual crisis. Our choice to ignore violence towards humans, animals, and the environment, or even contribute to it, results in much suffering and threatens the existence of many animals, including humans. Undoubtedly, our society's beliefs and values are failing to address contemporary social and environmental challenges. Many traditional values have stressed tribal allegiance, which was appropriate for small, isolated communities. Today, our lifestyle choices and our governments' activities have worldwide impacts, yet tribal mentalities undermine the broad sense of community needed to inspire peaceful, constructive solutions to worldwide problems. We all have the capacity for love and compassion. So, why don't we lead more spiritual lives? Perhaps the problem, as the Rev. Martin Luther King recognized, is that we are too complacent about victimization. It is true that we can never rid the world of injustice. However, when we dismiss any injustice as acceptable or irrelevant, we diminish spiritually -- in our hearts and in our communities. History shows only too well that a spiritless community is capable of great depravity.
Of course, no one has all the answers. It seems to us that, if we wish to promote spiritual evolution in our communities, we must become, in our hearts and in our actions, beacons of peace. Therefore, we should first focus on our own spirituality. As we start to understand our own needs and desires, strengths and weaknesses, we are becoming prepared to share spiritual knowledge and contribute to spiritual evolution.

If we as a community work towards spiritual evolution, we may or may not be able to prevent global crisis, but we can certainly make the world a better place to live. And, regardless of our effect on others, the biospiritual quest can be personally liberating. It can give meaning to our lives, free us from complicity in harmful activities, and help us appreciate the beauty of the world around us. For example, perhaps the reason many people who eat pork see pigs as dirty, ugly, and contemptible is that these people wish to rationalize their complicity in the brutal methods of raising and killing pigs. In contrast, most vegetarians see the beauty in pigs, who are intelligent, sociable, and playful.
In this site, we will explore biospirituality and its relationship to traditional religions and philosophies. Also, every second month we will post questions related to biospirituality and your responses, highlighting those we find most insightful. Throughout this site, we will add links to other information and ideas on the internet. Please help this site develop by contacting us with your
comments and relevant links.

Albert Schweitzer
Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace.
-Dr. Albert Schweitzer

Sponsored by
Justice for Animals Fund

Steve Kaufman, MD; Anne Green, PhD; Matt Ball, VOWeb

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