Do you long for spirituality? Einstein once famously said, “God doesn’t play dice with the universe.”By this, he was suggesting that there is an order to life, that things don’t happen randomly, but with some purpose. The implication is that the purpose or guiding principles are constructive in some way. At the deepest level, anxiety is the uncertainty of your place in the universe and whether that place is a permanent or temporary location. This “existential crisis,” as it is sometimes referred to, lies below the surface of our busy life. It most often goes unnoticed, but it can bubble up when your life calms down. Ironically, when you are stressed by your worries about survival and getting ahead, there isn’t any time left over to worry about life or death.
Thus stress, crises, drama and business are great preoccupations that put up a smoke screen, with the dilemma of your death hovering behind it. Wouldn’t it be great if you had this ultimate dilemma addressed? Belief in a loving and infinite existence and universe can do this for you. Faith and belief may not be positions that can be taught. Furthermore, I’m not a preacher whose task it is to get you to believe in God or the interconnectedness of everything in the universe.
What I can tell you is that there are significant benefits to holding some spiritual belief, whether it involves God, life hereafter, or simply the interconnectedness of everything. Having such a belief, which is at the heart of most spiritual philosophies, offers a fundamental release from life’s uncertainty. This facilitates calmness and, thus, resilience.
Dr. Stephen Sideroff is an internationally recognized expert in resilience, optimal performance, addiction, neurofeedback and alternative approaches to stress and mental health. He is Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA’s School of Medicine, as well as the Director of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Ethics. www.drstephensideroff.com