The Three Essentials
It’s a fundamental truth that people don’t treat their spiritual selves the same way they treat their bodies. Most people are prepared to serve their bodies, at least if they’re confronted with a powerful need. We’ll go on diets, take medication, consult experts… we’ll put in the work. But when it comes to our spiritual side, we can’t see those needs, and the cause-and-effect in our day-to-day lives can be harder to observe. Most of the time we seem to expect our spirituality to serve us, and then wonder why it continues to give us problems.
Our physical bodies need oxygen, nourishment, and shelter. Likewise, our spiritual selves need three basic essentials to function with the joy and energy we are meant to have. Those three essentials are love, truth, and power. We’re going to talk briefly about each in turn.
Love is probably the most obvious of the three. About a million different songs are ready and waiting to tell us that love is the greatest force for good in the world, and I can’t disagree. My life philosophy is built around living in love in the present moment, because love is both a process and a goal, and any lasting meaning in life has to be built on that foundation. Since this one is so familiar to us all, I’m going to quickly move along.
Truth is a much more controversial topic because it seems to be getting harder every day to agree on virtually anything. I think a lot of people these days are so sick of arguments that they give up on searching for the truth. Just keep your head down and try to be as loving as you can. I can sympathize with that, but it does mean missing out on a basic spiritual need.
On a basic, instinctual level, human beings are wired to want answers. Yes, we can push through that and work in the dark—and when answers are this difficult, it’s easy to convince ourselves that’s all we can do. But it makes our work hard and confusing. I’m thinking specifically of spiritual beliefs (or lack thereof) here, but you could apply this concept to more mundane aspects of your life just as easily. Now, there’s no doubt that truth is a difficult thing to find, but it brings a clarity and an ease of operation to your life that can’t exist without it. In my experience, even an honest attempt to pursue the truth ends up making me feel more relaxed, more at peace, and more capable in the long run.
Power is probably the vaguest of our three terms, but try to think of it in terms of physics. Everything that exists has a frequency and an amplitude. The frequency is the identity of the object. Sunlight, for example, has a unique frequency that isn’t shared by any other form of matter or energy. Amplitude is simply the strength of that frequency. The stronger and more direct the sunlight, the greater the amplitude would be.
So if love and truth are your frequency, then power reflects your amplitude. Essentially, it means having the vitality and energy to project those qualities to everyone around you. But the trick is, it also comes from love and truth, at least in large part. After all, you can’t have strength of conviction until you’re sure of what your convictions are. But if I can give you one piece of advice specifically suited towards power, it’s to make yourself a servant to your convictions. Treat them as a daily discipline, not simply something to be treated when it starts to pain you, and otherwise left to fade into the background. Power is an active practice, and it grows with use.
Have a blessed, wonderful day!
Dr. Alex Loyd
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