Charlois Principles

Principle #4 – We are first of all Spiritual Beings that need to nurture our connection with the Greater Spiritual presence of God.

“Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”  Genesis 2:7 NRSV

     God first created the physical man but we did not become living beings until He breathed the breath of life into us.  It is through this life force, the Spirit of God, that we complete our being made in the image of God.

     Various traditions speak of this spirit in differing ways.  But for all of them it is an energy that permeates all of creation.  As was mentioned earlier, all matter vibrates, creating a frequency of energy that animates the substance.  To cut off this vibration would be the end of life.

     Nurturing this spirit is necessary if we are to continue being living beings.  Without the life force that God provides we are a mere collection of elemental atoms.  By caring for our spiritual selves, we are assuring ourselves of the benefits and power of being connected to the Creator.

We nurture this connection by participating in various spiritual disciplines. Some of these, although not exhaustive, are as follows…

1) Prayer

     Prayer is where we converse with our creator.  There is no single set way of doing it, it can be as formal as written prayers recited as in a worship service, or as simple as a friendly conversation with one’s closest friend.  These prayers don’t even have to be spoken, because God hears the intentions and groanings of the heart.

2) Meditation

     Whereas prayer is speaking with God, meditation is where we are listening to and experiencing Him.  There are many ways in which to meditate, but they all consist in focusing on God through some medium.  In this way we use our senses to experience His voice or presence.

3) Study

     This is where we learn about God and His ways.  For many traditions it is recommended that this study focus on the scriptures or sacred readings of the faith.  With the Charlois Philosophy we take a broader view.  It is felt that God speaks and can be known through any and all expressions.  It is because of this that we hold as scripture any expression that speaks God’s love in whatever form.

4) Fasting

     Taken in its most basic manifestation fasting is the act of sacrificial denial of something for the purpose of developing a deeper relationship with the Father.

5) Breath control

     It has long been understood that by controlling one’s breath we can affect physiological changes.  This is thought to result from its spiritual connections.  We may calm or excite ourselves merely by changing the rate and duration of our breaths thus opening ourselves to an influx of the life-giving aspects of the spirit.

     These five disciplines form the basis of the spiritual practices used by most faith traditions.  There are others, that while beneficial are not as widely experienced or understood.  These esoteric practices are of value to those who understand and appreciate them.

     It is because of misunderstandings that they are demonized in some circles.  However, when we study them in more detail, we come to realize that they are just an alternative way of connecting with and worshipping the Creator and Sustainer of all of creation.

     While we may not choose to practice or even believe in any or all of them, each and every one has been used by people through the ages to value and so we should not criticize their use because we don’t understand them. Whatever method we use to connect with God, without turning it into an object of our worship, is valuable in our search for that Spiritual connection.

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