The Eighth Fire is a term arising from the teachings of the Seven fires prophecy. The teaching suggests that if enough people—of all colors and faiths—turn from materialism and instead choose a path of respect, wisdom and spirituality, environmental and social catastrophe can be avoided, and an era of spiritual illumination will unfold. ~Seven fires prophecy, Wikipedia
Spiritual ethics can be a difficult topic to discuss. This is because it’s a topic that asks us to examine the world in an honest way in order to take responsibility for the way we live our lives, including the choices we are making. It forces us to face what we wish to sweep under the rug. It asks us to question whether the concepts we espouse truly match the way we choose to live our lives.
Forward versus Backward Integration
A form of spiritual alignment termed “forward integration” fosters spiritual ethics because our focus becomes one of integrating a lesser lifestyle into a fuller spiritual reality and experience. That is, we orientate ourselves so that our lifestyles change to reflect our understanding of the spiritual ideals we wish to live by. This helps us to walk our talk more effectively.
What may act as a block is our unconscious tendency to align in a way which favors backward integration. This form of integration occurs when we take our spiritual beliefs and attempt to package them to fit our lifestyles. So, in essence, when we are backward integrated our collective (and destructive) lifestyle patterns rarely change, regardless of our doing more yoga, meditation, etc. While our tendency to align in this direction deserves compassion—since we feel trapped when it comes to doing anything but conform to the status quo—it is this type of integration that is responsible for the incongruities that arise between the ideals we espouse and the way we live our lives (and what manifests from them).
For example, our reliance on certain technologies and consumer-driven lifestyles can threaten nature and the health of the whole. Though we may desire to focus upon love as a purpose, this kind of threat to life is far from “loving.” Nor does conforming to this type of lifestyle demonstrate we understand the ways in which we are “one” and connected. However, when backward integrated, we will attempt to focus mentally upon the ideals of “love, light, and oneness” while rationalizing at the same time that it is okay to compromise the whole for the sake of self-preservation. We cannot always see the incongruities that arise. This is because our lifestyles are “normal” to us, however unloving or dysfunctional they are.
In order to make up for the incongruities, some of us will resort to “magical thinking” as a way to compensate. While it again deserves compassion—since we only resort to this kind of thinking due to our feelings of helplessness and being stuck—we hope that our conscious thoughts and prayers will, on their own, counter the fruits that manifest from the collective work of our everyday choices and deeds. For, with backward integration, the mind and its thoughts are connected with what manifests into creation. Our deeds and lifestyles may be deemed more inconsequential to achieving a goal of peace, love, and unity; as if it is more important to focus on our thoughts than the deeds and lifestyles that may manifest from them.
Any lack of foresight concerning the long term consequences of our behaviors and lifestyles can end up being met with blame or excuses. We may rationalize that “It’s the governments fault,” “We have to survive,” “It’s meant to be,” etc. This helps us to compensate for our feeling of helplessness; that we have no other choice but to place the blame on externals around us while ignoring or denying our own contributions while keeping our lifestyles intact.
Replacing Greed with New Focus
Humanity’s problem with greed deserves compassion and understanding, since it comes from a place where we never feel good enough or complete enough. Unfortunately, greed blocks our capacity for love and replaces it with envy, labels, hierarchies, and continued efforts to maintain separation consciousness. A lifestyle that rewards our greed drives us to excel individually, to engage in excessive producing, buying, and selling of goods (at the expense of how it affects our environment), and to engage in other ego-centric behaviors.
The answer to this kind of dilemma lies with developing a mindset of spiritual ethics and forward integration. This mindset is one of achieving balance when it comes to overcoming the effects of our lifestyles (which we feel helpless to do anything but submit and serve them). While an all-or-nothing approach may not always be possible (or unnecessary) when it comes to overcoming the world in these types of ways, there is still action we can take toward developing spiritual ethics and becoming more forward integrated. One form of action involves cultivating a mindset that “less is more” when it comes to the effects of our consumer choices upon the environment and life as a “whole.” A second form of action involves learning to ask ourselves, “What are we truly looking for and why do we need it so much?” We can also come to realize it is our deep fear of letting go of our “me, me, mine” focus that blocks us from cultivating more of a world peace focus—a true oneness focus.
Learning to Care
Because spiritual ethics moves beyond our lifestyle fears, it moves us beyond our propensity, as humans, to want to take advantage for self-gain. It can consider the bigger picture and how we are connected to everything. It can ask “What in the world are we leaving behind for our children to inherit?” Our biggest block to developing spiritual ethics is that the majority of us haven’t been taught how to care. While many of us may have been taught how to think loving thoughts, we may not have been taught how to actualize them through understanding our affect upon the world around us and the greater whole (through all our choices including what we buy, sell, produce, waste, consciously or unconsciously support, adhere to, conform to, believe, and more). Many of us may feel stuck in not really knowing how to move out of this predicament into living a more aligned life to create the “new world” we are hoping to create for ourselves.
This said, we are not totally defeated or without hope. There are, after all, way-showers that are beginning to rise into the public eye. These way-showers are experimenting on their own with different concepts and lifestyles. They can then begin to teach the rest of us how we can more productively translate the thought level of love into the action/lifestyle level of love, through truly caring.
How Will We Know When We Have Spiritual Ethics?
We will know when a majority of us have spiritual ethics because environmental and world issues will slowly begin to resolve themselves rather than exacerbate. This change will not occur because the government steps in or an external savior comes to save us. Instead, when we have spiritual ethics (whether Christian, new-age, or other), our spiritual ethics will enable many of the issues of the world to resolve.
For example, spiritual ethics would not excuse Fukushima as something we are fated to experience as a threat to our world. It would instead see Fukushima as evidence of our collective failure to love in a way that was “thoughtful” toward our man-made creations (that we allow ourselves to become dependent upon) and their impact upon the whole. While many of us may talk the good talk about whether we will be ruled by fear or love, the truth is, if we truly believed in love, light, unity, strength, and other ideals (such as the conquering of fear), then our “energy/vibration” would likely desire to have nothing to do with aligning with what created Fukushima. We would have no desire or need to manifest into that world issue anymore with our buying, selling, use of grid based power, and more. One thing that is helping us move into new lifestyles that get us beyond our trapped predicament is that some of us are finding ourselves becoming intolerant to the polluting effects of lower-vibrational lifestyles such as EMF’s, ULF’s, chemicals, smog, radiation, preservatives, excess striving, stress, etc.
While we can’t always release our attachment to a “lower”-vibrational lifestyle overnight, we can become more thoughtful to the unconscious and conscious ways we support the use of nuclear power through our purchasing power, silence, or conformity to a culture that uses nuclear power for self-gain despite the threat it poses. We can also become more conscious concerning what this threat symbolizes regarding our collective level or understanding of spiritual ethics or lack there-of.
In the end, we will know when we have spiritual ethics because we will see the world change. Our energy will create a new demand and a new supply—based upon a Law of Supply and Demand—that reflects our loving intentions and desire to be life-affirming rather than careless or destructive to life. Our energy and vibration—this “high vibration” many of us talk about—will not “buy into,” support, or need some of the lower-vibrational condiments of life that create pollution or contribute to the self-sabotaging energy that is on the planet right now. In other words, when we know true spiritual ethics, the world and nature will mirror back to us that our consciousness is evolving in ways that show we truly understand what love, peace, light, and oneness are about.