If I say I believe that spirit is present in everything we do, that will mean different things to different people. I do believe that, but the resulting imprecision and expectation that we each fill in the details for ourselves renders the term about as useful as, anymore, ‘sustainability’. In this territory, there are few shortcuts to shared meaning.

For me, spirit means we abide in connection to a higher power; and this power can foremost be associated with love; and the existence of the power and its connection to us means that the things we do matter.

Beyond that, it gets hard to be precise, because circumstances are as varied as the world at large, and the connection and perhaps even the salient nature of the power may vary, and because motion closer to the power eventually leads into mystery and even paradox, and thus limits in what we humans are able to communicate with one another.

Does this power have any interactive qualities that could be understood as personhood? Intelligence? Is this power a guide? Comforter? Judge? Creative force? Impassive observer? Background condition? I do not hold to the notion that the answer is only in the eyes of the beholder. I do think that at any given time there is an answer, and I suspect that the relevant answer, the face that matters, may vary depending on circumstances.

I believe that the accumulation of worldly power, though necessary, is inherently corrupting, and that that corruption can only be countered by the successful self-imposition of moral limits (endings, giving away). So this higher power must be of a different nature than the worldly power we are familiar with.

Can some gain greater access or insight than others? I think so. I also think that those who have greater access or insight can just as well lose it over time, or come to deceive themselves about it. And obtaining the aura of access is always an opportunity to deceive others. So one must be careful.

Is there something in between us and that power? Oh, yes, I certainly believe so, because all that is in between us and the power is my answer to the problem of evil. So, what is it? That’s an answer for another day.

I think that in times of questioning of and about spirit, a sincere effort to get at an answer that makes a difference, in concert with another person, is among the most precious things we can do and have. For if that quest is not in some way shared, one’s privacy brings us to the position, “Spirituality? That’s something personal to each of us.” And if that’s all there is to say about it, it’s worth little, in my view.