Volume 6 / Issue 1 SPRING 2020

1 4 S p i r i t ua l i t y S t u d i e s 6 - 1 S p r i n g 2 0 2 0 10 Conclusion In conclusion and to summarise, our secular, global society has arguably, for many decades, through what may be characterised as spiritual immaturity, been in error; troubled, facing a wide range of significant inter-related challenges and problems. We do well, therefore to seek intelligent explanations and healthy solutions to these. As befits a lecture given at the launch of a spiritual library, themes have included the meanings of key words from the lecture title, the value of specified books, and the benefits of silence, using these themes to explore the notion of life as a pilgrimage journey in six stages towards spiritual maturity and wisdom. Progress on the path involves healing the unavoidable split between the false everyday Ego and the true spiritual Self , by re-awakening transformative awareness of the seamless and indestructible connection between our personal soul and an overarching, universal spirit . To this end, engaging regularly with one or more wisdom exercises; especially through periods of meditation or silent prayer, and through the careful study of wisdom literature; is highly recommended. Those who undertake such an enlightened regimen will benefit; learn - ing to balance conformity with independence of mind and spirit, living in the moment, taking increasing responsibility for their thoughts, words and actions, and growing towards the virtuous embodiment of spiritual values, included among them kindness, honesty, humility, forgiveness, gratitude, peace, joy and love. Great benefit will inevitably, then, also be enjoyed by those with whom such disciplined practitioners come into contact and influence; so this becomes a reliable and certain way of contributing meaningfully and powerfully to the gradual, unstoppable evolution of theworld-mind or psyche. I believe Thomas Merton was inspired when, in 1968, he said this: “ We are already one... But we imagine that we are not... And what we have to recover is our original unity... What we have to be is what we are. ” (Merton 1973, 308). I leave you to ponder those words. The lecture was brought to a close with a final prayer, taken from the second verse of the well-known hymn, quoted earlier (Byrne and Hull 1986, 553): Be thou my wisdom, be thou my true word, Be thou ever with me, and I with thee, Lord, Be thou my great father, and I thy true son, Be thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one... Amen.