What is the Meaning of Life
Our Spirit is Dead Inside
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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Program 179 Our Spirit is Dead Inside by Ernest O’Neill
Have you ever had this kind of experience? You’ve had a few friends over to the house, and you had a supply of beer and wine. Your wife prepared a magnificent meal, and a beautiful dessert, after which you had good conversation. Everybody was very congenial — after being oiled by the alcohol — after the meal.
Generally, everybody made the right kinds of jokes and the right kinds of noises. The conversation was diplomatically brought around to whatever subject you’re good at: maybe you’re a good golfer or you’re good at investing money, or you’re clever with your hands on the house. Everybody made the proper compliments to you in regard to that. Even your wife agreed with all the others, and at the end of the evening everybody felt that they had got their due amount of praise.
As you closed the front door and walked back into the room you felt that it was a good evening and you said so to your wife. Your wife then went up to bed and you sat there looking at the last few coals in the fireplace. You sat there with the last few drops of a drink in your hand when suddenly there came into your mind a sense of wondering if that is all there is. Like that old song sung a few years ago. “Is that all there is?”
It was certainly a wonderful evening and you enjoyed it and felt elated by all the nice things that were said about you, and the whole thing was very appropriate and everybody dealt with each other very rightly — there were no difficult moments — but yet, you wondered, is that all there is? After your wife and friends have praised you, why do you feel an emptiness inside?
You look around the room and you see the empty glasses and the last few embers in the fire, and you think that it’s, after all, only the end of the evening and there is always tomorrow evening. As T.S. Elliot said, “it ends not with a bang but with a whimper.” You feel a little down, but figure that it will be up again the next time everyone has an evening together. Or, you tell yourself that tomorrow is Saturday and you can go to a football game and feel fine.
After all, it’s only the look of the room after a party. Yet deep down inside there IS something that echoes the scene of desolation around you in the room. There is something inside of you that interprets that as emptiness and as a kind of meaninglessness. That’s because there is part of you that feels unsatisfied.
Now, that is what we’ve been talking about. We’ve been talking about the fact that the problem with so many of us is not that of outer space, but the problem of inner space, and the problem of the exploration of inner space. There seems to be, at the center of most of our beings, a great part of us that is unsatisfied and continues to be unsatisfied, despite all the things we do with our hands and with our thoughts, our minds, bodies and emotions.
There seems to be part of us that is pretty desolate, and we would say a part of us that is utterly unsatisfied. And what we have been sharing for eight or nine months is that the reason for this is because we should be firing on three cylinders — and we are only in fact firing on two cylinders.
We were made with three levels in our personalities. We were made with a physical level — our bodies — through which we perceive the world of things and circumstances and people. We were given souls, which is the psychological part of us — our mind, emotions and will —by which we are conscious of ourselves. And,
lastly, we have a spirit level. The spirit is not anything spooky or even religious. The spirit is simply the real you. It is the real person that you were made to be.
We’ve been discussing how the evidence of order and design in the universe points to the existence of an intelligent Being behind it all. And, the evidence that we have studied in the first century of that unique man called Jesus of Nazareth indicates that He was indeed the Son of that Maker of the universe.
And Jesus explained to us that the reason the Creator made you was not simply to have a party and have your emotions stimulated, but so that you could love Him and know Him, and so that He could love you and be your friend. So that together you would develop this world and the infinite universe after this life is over.
Now, it is your spirit that relates to your Creator. That is the part of you that has gone dead, and that is the part of you that sends you messages of desolation and dissatisfaction such as we described after all the friends have left the house and you’ve had a beautiful evening together. That’s the part of us that is pretty dead.
The reason that it’s dead is because we operate primarily from the body to the soul. That is, we don’t operate from the spirit outwards. We don’t know any longer who we are or what we are meant to be. We don’t know why we were put here on earth, nor do we know what the Creator had in mind for us.
So, we haven’t consulted our spirits; in fact, we couldn’t find ourselves even if you paid us money. Many of us, if asked what we would really like to do, would think and think and then say that we would like to drink coke or eat ice cream all day or drink whiskey all day. We realize that we couldn’t do that for long, so then we say that we would like to sail or play tennis all day. We realize that we would get bored with that, so we say that we would like to keep doing what we are doing.
Yet what we are doing has so often come about through absolute necessity. It isn’t a job that we feel fitted to do, but it’s a job that brought money and security, or to support a family with and even some kind of happiness in life. But, it isn’t necessarily what we feel we were made for. Indeed we are at the point where we don’t know what we were made for, and we can’t find ourselves.
Now, all that is because our spirits have gone dead, and it has been ages since we thought seriously about the possibility of the existence of a Creator. We haven’t thought about our having something to do with the overall purpose of the universe.
Of course, the question that comes to all of us is, then how do we discover who we are and what we are here for? Well, the only way you can is if something comes alive inside of you again. That’s the problem. The problem is that your soul and body are very alive — your mind and emotions and your body — but your spirit is virtually dead.
At times, you remember, we said that the conscience, which is part of your spirit, makes itself known. Your conscience urges you to live up to the best that you know, and the best you know is what the Creator has told you in your spirit through intuition.
Usually, though, we have so perverted our consciences that it no longer does that. It simply tries to get us to live up to what we know in our minds. That, as we have said, is usually a set of laws, rules or regulations — or a set of religious do’s and don’ts that we have to follow. So, our conscience usually operates, but in a perverted way. Our conscience is really meant to urge us to live up to what the Creator is saying to us through our spirits.
Now, the problem is that when our spirit is dead our intuition is nonexistent and inoperative. We no longer know what the Creator wants us to do. So all we can do is follow what everybody else thinks. How do we ever come to the point where we begin to find ourselves again?
What we shared yesterday is that the Creator wants you to find yourself. He wants you to be the person He made you to be. He wants you to discover what He put you on the earth to do. He has a vested interest in that. He wants you to do what He made you to do. He will tell you — you ask Him. That’s what He said.
If you seek Him with all your heart you will find Him. If you ask Him for His Spirit He will give you His Spirit. He will make your spirit come alive so you will begin to be aware of Him. Ask Him. All you need to do is ask Him — that’s all you have to do. That’s the start. Begin. Just ask Him today. He will send the Spirit of His Son into your heart.