What does spiritual independence mean anyway?

"Happy Spiritual Independence Day" (cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward)

“Happy Spiritual Independence Day” (cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward)

This has everything to do with what The Lasting Supper is about!

What does spiritual independence mean anyway? First of all, let’s ask what independence means. This is what I mean when I say it:

  • free from outside control
  • not dependent on another’s authority
  • self-governing
  • not dependent on another for subsistence
  • free-standing

I remember the backlash I received when I first introduced the concept of “spiritual independence”. People preferred that I had said “interdependence”. But in my mind they are mutually exclusive. I can be independent while interdependent with another.

I use the relationship Lisa and I have as an example. We’ve been married 34 years. We have a pretty healthy relationship. It’s taken tons of work though. It’s not easy, but the rewards make it worth it. What we’ve had to learn is how to be independent adults who choose to love each other. I have to be healthy as an individual. Lisa has to be healthy as an individual. When these two healthy individuals relate, then, it is functional rather than dysfunctional. We can be interdependent rather than codependent.

This is why I talk a lot about spiritual independence. I believe it is our right, our responsibility and our reward to be spiritually independent. Of course, those in authority are very uncomfortable with this because it suggests the relinquishing of control. But I feel it is absolutely necessary if we want to grow spiritually, even humanly.

The Lasting Supper was launched for this reason and this is its purpose: to help people become and remain spiritually independent. I warmly invite you to join us. You will love it. And, more importantly, you will grow from it.

Here’s our manifesto:

  1. I am free. I always have been. I always will be.
  2. I have the right to ask questions as a way to become wise.
  3. It is my right and responsibility to find and walk my own spiritual path.
  4. It is my duty to myself and others to remove the log from my own eye first.
  5. I take care of myself before I care about labels or what others call me.
  6. It is necessary for me to be true to myself before being true to a group.
  7. I recognize my roots but I will not allow them to prevent me from changing.
  8. I embrace my unique spirituality and will let my light shine for others.
  9. I take charge of my life and will live it wisely, compassionately and joyfully.
  10. I am spiritually independent!

From your friends at The Lasting Supper: Happy Spiritual Independence Day!

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4 Responses

  1. Cecilia Davidson says:

    Finding the independence and trying to live it is outright terrifying, especially when you’re first breaking away. So much resistance comes up that we want to stop, but if we want to live our truths, we have to keep trying.

  2. David says:

    Well said Cecilia!

  3. Lutek says:

    Words are such complex things, even the fairly simple-sounding ones. Independence seems like a proper goal for the submissive or oppressed, but there really is no such thing, either politically or spiritually.
    David, I don’t mean to disparage anything you wrote. The points you make are all exactly right. I’m probably just over-analyzing it, and playing the part of devil’s advocate, because that’s the way I am. 🙂
    From your context I think you meant to write that independence and interdependence are NOT mutually exclusive, and I agree. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that they’re inseparable.
    I was going to suggest that freedom might be a more appropriate word, but ultimately, there is no such thing as complete freedom, either.
    Both politically and spiritually, independence always depends on peaceful co-existence, and freedom is never freedom from responsibility.
    Just some thoughts for Canada Day and Independence Day.

  4. David says:

    I would agree.

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