By Bill Harley
We hear a lot about DNA in the news these days, especially with the development of mail-in kits to discover one’s ancestry. As a refresher, DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid, a molecule that contains the biological instructions an organism needs to develop, live and reproduce.
It’s unique in each of us, which has revolutionized the solving of crimes; but it is similar within family lines, which allows us to trace the identity, characteristics and geographical movements of our ancestors.
Many people are finding meaning in learning more about their ancestry: understanding for the first time where they got their cleft chin, or why they have an aversion to some foods, or the exact mix of nations their ancestors came from. For many, this lends to the feeling “Now, I really understand who I am.”
It is wonderful to learn more about ourselves, but I have to ask, “This is only your material DNA; what about your spiritual DNA?”
If we are really spiritual beings having a material experience during our brief lives on earth as all of the world’s Holy Books confirm, then shouldn’t we be even more interested in the attributes of our spiritual beings than those of our physical beings, which turn to dust after our material bodies die?
Our spiritual DNA is also unique to each of us; and it contains the instructions that our true self, or higher nature, needs to guide our lower or material nature and to expand, progress, and serve others in this world and the next. The spiritual DNA databank is composed of the Scriptures of the world’s major religions—humanity’s common faith heritage—and it is available to each of us at no charge.
Some of the things we know about our spiritual DNA from these sources are:
All of us belong to one human family spiritually;
All of us have been schooled by the succession of Divine Messengers who have come down through the ages; and all the religions they have revealed are chapters of a single book;
These Messengers and their teachings are the true drivers of the social and spiritual advancement of human beings both individually and collectively;
Our true selves, our souls, are endowed with latent spiritual attributes (such as patience, love, humility and a sense of justice) that we are supposed to be developing while we are on earth;
If we don’t develop these spiritual capacities during our lives on earth, we will be handicapped when we transition into the spiritual existence that follows;
Our capacities vary soul to soul, but the goal for each of us is to develop and manifest our full capacity;
Just like food is nutrition that assures the growth and health of the body, prayer and Scriptural reading assure the growth and health of the soul or higher nature;
Service to the world and our fellow human beings also enhances the soul’s development;
Our spiritual nature resonates to the three major purposes of life during our time on earth;
One of the most important ways that our spirits and minds progress in this world is through navigating tests and difficulties and discovering the guidance concealed in them.
All of these characteristics (and many more—see “Your Higher & Lower Nature”) of our spiritual DNA have been implanted in our souls by a loving Creator. Maybe it’s time for all of us to learn more about our spiritual DNA. When you think about it, it’s much more relevant to our long-term future than our material DNA. And it will enable each of us to say, “Now I truly understand who I am!”
To better understand your spiritual DNA and how to advance your spiritual development in the context of the true purposes of life, read Jean’s and my first book, Now That I’m Here, What Should I Be Doing?
To increase your skills in making life decisions and solving problems while keeping both spiritual and material considerations in mind, read our second book, TRANSFORMED: How to Make the Decisions That Change Your Life