Integrity, as a concept, has been viewed through various lenses. One can discuss social integrity, aligning individual actions with societal norms and values. But, spiritual integrity aligns one’s beliefs, thoughts, and actions with truth and authenticity, enabling discernment between genuine facts and societal constructs or fallacies. Universal Principle’s primary focus lies firmly with spiritual integrity, even if that means, at times, diverging from the prevailing social norms.
The Interplay of Spiritual and Social Integrity
While spiritual integrity is linked with social integrity, the nuances separating them are essential. The customs, values, and beliefs lack depth and authenticity in a society steeped in low spiritual integrity. People virtue signaling values they never intend to uphold is plausibly the most significant factor in societal breakdown and poverty. It erodes trust, misallocates resources, obscures genuine opportunities, and breeds cynicism. It becomes a toxin.
Introduce a being of high spiritual integrity, we’ll call him Joe, into such a setting, and friction arises. Joe, anchored in truth, will discern the discrepancies and incongruities inherent in society’s values. This isn’t about being judgmental; it’s about recognizing that the prevailing societal ethics might not meet the rigorous standards set by spiritual integrity.
In the movie Idiocracy, a scenario occurs where a large firm convinces society to water plants with the electrolyte-containing beverage Brawndo because “it’s what plants crave!” Which causes the plants to die. The movie portrays low IQ as the culprit, but low integrity is the bigger problem.
Both society and Joe claim to care what plants crave. However, these problems are caused by society not legitimately caring about what they presuppose to claim, like what plants crave. Everyone chanting the slogan “It’s what plants crave” doesn’t care that they do not understand what plants crave, yet they enthusiastically claim to. Essentially, “I care about what plants crave” is a lie that they tell others that they may believe themselves. They lack integrity.
Joe now has a choice. Societal norms may demand certain behaviors that are out of line with his understanding of society’s needs, not Joe’s values. The identical projected value system generates two versions of the facts because one adheres to the system with integrity, and the other does not.
It’s here that Joe—and anyone practicing spiritual integrity—must strike a balance. Engaging in this self-work, one will see areas where societal or cultural norms diverge from genuine integrity. While it’s essential to adapt and coexist harmoniously within society, it’s equally crucial to maintain one’s core of truth. Bend, but don’t break.
When Joe faces the dilemma of confronting these misguided societal norms—which might bring repercussions—or allowing the plants (and society) to perish, he’s in a bind. Both paths carry significant consequences. Convenient access to spiritual truth is handy in those situations.
Navigating Reality with Spiritual Integrity
Spiritual integrity is the compass guiding you through the philosophical musing, “I think, therefore I am.” It’s the innate ability to discern truth from fallacy. Something is real in this universe because you’re observing this sentence with it. Actual observing is at the spiritual level; the body and brain are simply tools.
Consider the Romans in AD 180. They had fragments of mathematical wisdom—whole numbers, fractions, and even Pi. When the number line concept emerged, it wasn’t merely another mathematical idea. People almost universally recognized and accepted it because, at a deeper level, they were connecting with a spiritual truth. This wasn’t just about numbers—it was about the fundamental nature of existence mirrored in the pure logic of mathematics.
The spirit knows if the desires of body override clarity of mind. Our minds are susceptible to being swayed by societal constructs and biases; spiritual integrity serves as an anchor, cutting through the illusion. The trick is staying connected to it.
The Power of Self-Reflection
I regularly practice meditation and encourage others to embrace its benefits. Distancing oneself from societal judgment fosters deeper self-honesty. Within the sanctuary of meditation, reflecting on your day-to-day intentions becomes a clarifying and grounding exercise.
True spiritual integrity necessitates regular self-reflection. When we’re transparent with ourselves, we fortify our defenses against delusions, clarify what it means to reason and use critical thinking. We sharpen our sensitivity to the world’s inconsistencies by acknowledging our own occasional deviations from truth.
Daily dedication to deciphering your own self-illusions results in heightened intuition regarding mistruths others speak. An uncanny ability to know when someone is lying and what they are thinking can be obtained over time using this simple process. In many cases, an elevated clarity of the social context can indicate what may happen before it happens.
We’ve talked about how spiritual integrity differs from just following society’s rules, how it helps us see things clearly, and the deep understanding it brings when we look inside ourselves. This isn’t just a personal journey; we can all benefit from it. When we work on being true to ourselves, we make our own lives better and help others around us. Let’s commit to practicing spiritual integrity daily, challenging ourselves to be genuine, and inspiring others to do the same. Let’s make the world a more authentic place together.