ENTHEOS, PART II. . .

See out that particular mental attitude which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive. – William James

Greenleaf continues:

I see entheos as the essence that makes a constructive life possible; it is the sustaining force that holds one together under stress; it is the support for venturesome risk-taking action; it is the means whereby whatever religious beliefs one has are kept in contact with one’s attitudes and actions in the world of practical affairs; it lifts people above the prosaic and gives them a sense of timelessness; it is the prod of conscience that keeps one open to knowledge, so that one can be both aware and sensitive, when the urge to be comfortable would keep the door closed…

 Entheos does not come in response to external incentives.  In fact, it may persist when incentives operate to destroy it.  The individual cannot will it; it comes when it will and sometimes it goes when most needed.  But it does grow.

 All that can be willed is the search.

 There is no one pattern that I know of.  Each must find his own pattern.  One of the great challenges of emerging maturity: find one’s own growth pattern in the search for entheos.

 I can suggest some tests.  If one has a few tests in mind, these might help to plot the individual search.  We are reaching for entheos, the power actuating one who is inspired.  First some misleading indicators – some achievements that might throw one off.

Status or material success: …in the process of achieving one may be destroying much that is really important…

 Doing all that is expected of one: …what should I be expecting of myself?

 Family success: …it can be an egocentric, narrowing development.

 Relative peace and quiet: This may simply mean that the doors of perception are closed.

 Finally, busyness – compulsive busyness: …the drive to avoid the implications of growth.

 I have suggested six indicators…these can all be positive and worthwhile; but they don’t necessarily add up to growth of entheos.

 What are some valid tests, some indicators that there may be real growth of entheos?

 Nosce te ipsum: Know Thyself. –The Oracle

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