I’d like to dedicate this section to discussing some of the spiritual principles that seem true to me.
(1) Humans are both physical and spiritual, a body and a soul. As such, humans need to work with objects as well as concepts, using symbolism as a way to distill complex meta-communicative structures. This is the value of ritual (narrative).
(2) There is no inherent purpose to life beyond survival. We determine higher meanings according to our conditioning and experience. We are, more or less, the reflection of the sum of our life experiences. By extension, the only way we can understand good and evil is subjective and personal. Good is what we want; evil is what we don’t want.
(3) The universe is neither benevolent nor malevolent; it is indifferent; though personal cause and effect—i.e. getting what one asks for—does seem to function.
(4) Our perception of merit is what determines our criteria for the judgement of ourselves and others. As we judge, we must be prepared to be judged. Since we cannot avoid passing some degree of judgment on aspects of our experience, it is only fair to accept that others will be doing the same from their own unique vantage points. Spiritual maturity amounts to being okay with this. In the end, we have no other choice but to live and let live.
(5) All religion and philosophy is about people, namely us. We seek meaning through narratives (rituals) of science, technology, the arts, religion, mysticism, philosophy, history, magic, and myth in order to understand what it is to be human. As such, these things are about witnessing (human) experience on personal, transpersonal, and extrasensory levels. Ultimately, such levels, planes, or states of consciousness (and their inhabitants) expand (grow more meaningful and nuanced in our minds) through these acts of witnessing. Because we are part of the process—because we really are the process–we also grow as individual beings.
(6) We are here for each other, which is to say, we are here for ourselves. Human society, human values, human personalities—human nature is what really matters to us. When we find ourselves looking outward at some other person (or person-like thing / idea), we’re really on the path of looking for an image of ourselves (the meaning of who we are). But no matter where we look, we’re led back to ourselves, to the experience that constitutes our sense of reality. When someone says something “true,” we might respond, “I can relate to that” or “That makes sense.” What we’re really saying is, “I find that meaning / value in me, too!” In other words, however outward-looking a path may seem at first, it’s really an inner exploration. Everything begins and ends with us attempting, on some level, to realize the truth of what it means to live in the world.
(7) The self exists as a particularization (individual consciousness) and as an expression of the universal field (the god consciousness). Each of us exists on these two levels simultaneously—as a unique and separate entity and as a hologram / microcosm of The All (god). Some philosophical systems focus on particularization / individuality; others focus on oneness / unity. All systems are correct insofar as they are willing to admit that both levels exist and are equally valid ways of knowing / witnessing the human condition.
(8) No spiritual system has a monopoly on the truth. Rather, as the Golden Dawn said, “Hold all religions in reverence, for there is none but contain a ray of the Divine Light which you seek.” I believe this is true even in the case of fraudulent, recent, experimental, and obviously “man-made” systems. All contain that ray of divinity because all human beings do. Or, as is written in The Emerald Tablet of Hermes: “As below, so above; and as above so below. With this knowledge alone you may work miracles. And since all things exist in and emanate from the ONE Who is the ultimate Cause, so all things are born after their kind from this ONE.” All things. So mote it be.
(9) Justice, like any human ideal, can never be fully realized on the material plane. Therefore, if we seek just outcomes in life, we must admit that justice is neither perfect nor kind, much like humans themselves. Yet, human society must consistently and conscientiously try to do its best. This is the responsibility of every individual, not just of legal and financial institutions.