Fear & Longing for Depth
Danah Zohar completed her undergraduate work at MIT in Physics & Philosophy, and graduate studies at Harvard in Philosophy, Psychology & Religion. She's written several books that wed insights from science with attempts to evolve our understanding of spirituality; lectures internationally to educational, governmental, & business organizations & conferences, and has been on the guest faculties of several universities & business schools in the UK & Australia; and has been named by The Financial Times as “one of the hundred best business minds.”
Here's this well-educated, thoughtful woman's perspective on what's meaningful for us individually, as well as in groups:
"Spiritual capital is the wealth or power an individual or organization has, based on their deepest meanings, values, and purposes. It is reflected in what that individual or organization exists for, believes in, aspires to, and takes responsibility for. We build spiritual capital by asking spiritually-intelligent questions, such as why do I exist, what is the purpose of my life, what do I really want to achieve? If the spiritual capital of a collaboration is high, that is, if a group has a common aspiration for its existence that they take responsibility for, then their collaboration will be an organic synthesis of the people participating. If the spiritual capital is low, it means you either don't know what you aspire to or you don't aspire to anything very high. It means you don't know why you exist or you just exist to make a profit. It means you don't think about what you take responsibility for because you're caught up in your immediate goal, your short-term thinking. Spiritual capital, if it's low, can tear a collaboration to pieces. Spiritual capital, if it's high, is the glue that holds it together." Danah Zohar
How does reading the above make you feel? Many would not like this at all - even hate it! We really good at rationalizing all our weaknesses. And even if intellectually Zohar's statement sounds reasonable, it may still make most of us feel uneasy! Why? FEAR.
Many of us are scarred to death of our deeper nature AND YET want nothing more than to connect with it.
Most of us today have never acquired the skills, tools & attitudes needed to meditate, to contemplate what is most meaningful in life, to self-reflect, to ask open questions about our true identity. Our spiritual capital is sadly neglected. This leaves many of us constantly hungering - and we can't even articulate for what. Today's levels of depression, anxiety, cynicism, hopelessness & suicide are far too high, even among those considered to be privileged.
We need gentle, skillful, experienced guidance to help us approach & gradually inhabit that aspect of ourselves we most cherish AND, at this point, most fear.