Fully Human, Fully Spiritual with Rev. Richard Burdick

By Rev. Richard Burdick

Consider for a moment that the often-heard phrase “we are spiritual beings having a human experience” has inadvertently created an unhealthy divide. Many, who play in the realm of metaphysics, run the risk of developing an undercurrent of subconscious belief that there is something more sacred or holy about one part of our being than another. It seems at times that our relative existence and human ego are too easily discarded as insignificant. This consciousness creates an unrealistic desire for perpetual positivity that manifests as ungrounded and superficial affirmations.

Now consider that we are not in human form by accident, but rather that our human emotions, experiences, thoughts, and relationships are an integral and inextricable part of a magnificent whole. Could it be that this earthly existence is an essential component of an integrated system so vital that it informs our spirituality even as our spirituality informs our humanity? What if being fully human and fully Divine at the same time was not only possible but necessary? Not only necessary but unavoidable?

Certainly, there is evidence that each day contains moments that serve as a portal through which we touch the face of God and our own Divinity. Through the five-sensory world, we experience the giving and receiving of kindness, compassion, and tenderness that is then processed through a non-physical dimension of being. By doing so, something stirs at the spiritual level that then inspires more of the same actions. One is imperative to the other or the flow of good simply stagnates. There is reciprocal movement of energy that indicates an essential integration of emotion, spirit, and behavior. Does this theory stand true when viewing the more painful and difficult aspects of our earthly existence?

As I reflect upon my life, the most challenging human conditions I have encountered were among the most potent in the development of my spiritual practice. Without these moments, I’m not sure I would be the man, minister, or spiritual seeker that I am today. They have influenced decisions, meditations, prayers, and actions that have alleviated a great deal of further human suffering—mine and that of others. It’s all interconnected. Remaining fully present during times of human distress allows us access to undiscovered spiritual powers that then afford us the strength to navigate the waters of this earth school with greater ease and grace.

No longer will we run to Spiritual dimensions to fix or dismiss our humanness. Rather, we experience each day, emotion, thought, and challenge as the pathway to the awareness that not only are we spiritual beings having a human experience, we are human beings having a beautiful and sacred experience of our humanity!

Rev. Richard Burdick is the Senior Minister at Unity North Atlanta. As a minister, teacher, and musician he is passionate about community building, interfaith cooperation, and trans-denominational spirituality. More info about Richard and Unity North at www.unitynorth.org