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My life is becoming a spiritual quest and I am looking for a spiritual community - how do I honor this search?

heart to heart The questioner's philosophy
God is good, life is not easy, but OK, gets a little boring after a while.
The questioner's hopes and aspirations
I have done everything I wanted to do, need some new ideas.
Hi, I need some advice or I'll even settle for an opinion. I just had my 70th birthday, and have buried my mentors, so the questions I'm wrestling with are those that I truly don't have answers for. I live what some people would think is a crazy life, (I also think they're a little envious). I'm a full time Rover, traveling north in the summer and south in the winter, staying where I like, and leaving that which I don't like.

I have been singled and retired since 1985, though I do work now (I own a small business, that gives me profit and plenty of free time). I think I'm one of those rare people who pretty much live their own life, the way they want. That's probably why I'm single. LOL. Any way I think that most of the world is an insane asylum, run by the inmates, and as I get older it serves my best interest to stay as far away from their world as possible.

What I'm looking for is a spiritual community, not just a Church or Temple, but a way of life, I don't know if this is making any sense or not, but my life is becoming more of a spiritual quest, than a human experience. I am not a human being, with a spirit... but a spiritual being residing in an ageing body. So if you have any advice for an old war dog Marine, please share your knowledge and experiences.

Wallace's reply
Wallace Does a person fulfill a spiritual quest by suiting themselves? Where is spiritual community to be found? I'd like to see us discuss these issues both here and in the forum. I, for one, will gladly share my perspective. Since this week's magazine is focusing on finding your life's purpose I invite you, the reader, to share your perspective with this aging Marine.

For a spiritual quest to yield the fruits of expanded love, joy, peace and understanding, it must involve sacrifice. What is sacrifice? Sacrifice means devoting ourselves to a cause or purpose or person that needs attended to and the expenditure of our own time, money and energy in serving that cause, purpose or person.

I am reminded of the great scientist, Marie Curie who said, "We must believe we are gifted for something. And that this thing, at whatever cost, must be achieved." That in essence is sacrifice - at whatever cost. As an old war dog and Marine, you will have put your life on the line in the service of a cause "greater than yourself." You may even have seen your comrades pay the ultimate price in the service of such a cause.

Although war is in many ways the result of human weakness and failure to communicate, nevertheless as a soldier, when your country called on you in its hour of need, you responded. In that response you took risks, acted with courage and co-operated with others in the pursuit of that which needed to be done. There is a particular bond between people when they act with such motivation, risking all they have for the sake of a purpose greater than their own narrow interests. This bond is a spiritual bond woven together by common sacrifice and singleness of purpose.

Since you mentioned it in your reply, there were possibly elements of Marine life that you look back on with affection. You need to ask yourself why? What can you learn from your time spent in the Marines? How can you take the best from that experience and use it today to create for yourself that same sense of sacrifice, singleness of purpose and spiritual bonding that you experienced while in the Marines?

God knows the world has enough problems that need attending to. You need not be short of causes. A cause can come in any sized package, and it is usually best to start small. Instead of roving about and suiting yourself why not commit to someone or something that really needs help - and sacrifice the remainder of your life in such service. You will never be happier and the bond you will form with others, although it will be devoted to building rather than destroying, may surprise you with feelings of love and kinship that are similar to the times you spent in the Marines.

So why not drop in at your local homeless shelter and befriend a drug addict or start a sports team to take vulnerable kids off the streets, or whatever else you may feel is vitally important. Those vitally important tasks do not yield a big income - quite the opposite, they require sacrifice. When you are prepared to sacrifice your life for others, you can have any "job" you want. You do not need qualifications, nor do you need employees because people will queue up to help, nor do you even need money, other than something to prime the pump, because the money will be forthcoming. All you need is a powerful Vision of what you want to do and buckets of Love. Vision and Love will get you the best "job" in the world.

And when you find that "job" decide to stick with it. Let serving that "job" help you to put down roots and commit to one thing - the thing that makes your heart sing with joy. And as your commitment deepens, roots will grow. These roots will cause of the sprouting of a wonderful tree of service, that when it blossoms, will attract many friendly people and animals to gather in the welcome shade of its branches. Then in the shade of this tree of service you will have found the spiritual community for which you search. This tree of service will eventually bear the fruits of joy, peace, love and understanding. You will be surrounded by your spiritual home and you can die in peace knowing that your life was not lived in vain but was the cause of happiness for many.

Further Help and Resources
If you would like to know how to listen to inner guidance and through that listening find your life's purpose, I recommend you read my book, Unfold Your Wings and Watch Life Take Off. You can buy it in paperback.

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