— 3.H.3 Christian response by Timothy Wright

(Response to 3.H.3 Bhagavadgita (9:27), presented by Anantanand Rambachan)

That one short, pithy sentence summarises an important principle of spirituality; it is never orientated towards self-interest; the divinity cannot, by definition, be privatised. To see spirituality in personal terms: an experience that satisfies my need for something deeper in life, is self-seeking, a form of idol worship.

Anantanand’s comment, ‘We are called here to be like God in living out of the fullness of love’ sums this up very well. Spirituality is not just an experience which magnifies my human life, it is a revelation of the greatness of God reflected in the uniqueness of each individual, rich or poor, believer or not.

As technological innovation makes all of us more aware of our neighbours at the other side of the world at the press of a button, so the temptation is to be so absorbed in the variety of the human that the spiritual is sidelined; people as seen as who they are culturally, linguistically and not as revelations of God; the pictures may by promoting the photographic image, cloud the divine image.

The result could be an undermining of the shared spirituality in which is found the uniqueness of each person, of whatever age or skill or position. However, this may only be temporary; the spiritual insight can be quickly re-awakened, especially when deeper needs are revealed, for health, education, food, jobs. At this moment each of us can realise that the spirituality of daily life starts not with a transcendent experience but in the revelation that in looking at each person we are looking at a fragment of the divine, alive within.