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What is Realistic Living?

Let Reality with a capital “R” represent what we are finally up against in our lives and in the overall flow of history. Such Reality is not boring, not unlivable, not against the best case scenario for our living. Let us call that best case “Realistic Living.”

“Wonder” is another word for awe and the numinous. Wonder lights up thought with new vigor. Wonder cleans feelings of their exaggerated sentiment. Wonder interrupts compulsive behaviors and restores us to the paths of freedom, effectiveness, and persistence. Wonder is a hard experience to talk about, but that has not prevented every era of humans from trying. Wonder marks the presence of the Eternal. Realistic Living means experiencing this Land of Wonder.


The advent of Realistic Living in our historical lives is a reasonably good interpretation for what Jesus called “The coming of the Kingdom of God.”

The word “Kingdom” translated into contemporary speech means “a communal reign.” Unlike the time of Jesus, major sociological manifestations are not called “kingdoms” any more. And the word “God,” is a word that means devotion, loyalty, commitment to whatever gives final meaning to our lives. The meaning-giving Ultimacy to which the word “God” is applied in the Christian Bible is what we can point to today with the word ”Reality” with a capital “R.” So “the Kingdom of God” can be appropriately interpreted as “the Reign of Reality.” Jesus claimed that this communal reign of Realism was breaking into the overarching temporal state of human affairs, a state of affairs which was characterized by the reign of another ruler – Satan, the king of lies, illusions, meanness, and slavery to our foul desires for a substitute for the Reign of Reality. We all still live in this reign of substitute “realities.’ A true contemporary understanding of the Christian essence entails grasping what it means to live in the Reign of Reality.

This Realistic Living of the Reign of Reality is not a surrender to the established conditions. Reality means what is possible as well as what we have on our hands to start with. Along with the overall Mystery of Realty, we humans are co-creators of the future. We are Freedom to make a difference. Freedom from ego, moralism, and victim images is part of the meaning of Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit is also an overcoming of our malice toward Reality with a deep love for Reality. Holy Spirit is a replacement of our experience of despair over Reality with a trust or friendship with Reality. Holy Spirit is a blowing into our estranged lives of the courage to live our Real lives, our profound humanness.




“Holy Spirit” can also be described as the many states of Awe-filled living.

On the left side of the following diagram is poetry for three states of Trust. In the center column is poetry for the three states of Love. And on the right side is poetry for the three states of Freedom.




An elaboration of this diagram is spelled out in Chapter 12 and Chapter 14 of our recent book: The Enigma of Consciousness

Click here for an Audio Introduction to book: The Enigma of Consciousness

And Click here for a Video on Gene’s talk about The Enigma of Consciousness