It used to mean many things to me, but looking back now I see that much of my vision of a spiritual life was a form of escape. An escape from the pressures, the ugliness, and the injustice of life on earth. A spiritual path that offers an alternative future of light and harmony is attractive if you are sensitive and feel oppressed by the heaviness of the earth plane. But such a vision does not last, it cannot. Because it’s a vision for children who are pretending. As you mature spiritually you realise that the materiality of the earth, and the cruelty of human beings is not the problem. This is a planet in transition. On earth, you can find the best and the worst of people. And you can find incredible ugliness and great beauty. The problem, if you want to call it that, is not with the earth. It’s with our way of seeing it and others.

As long as we exist in our own bubble, seeing everyone and everything as separate from us, we will struggle to live on this plane. We will be in the paradigm of our ancestors, which was a survival mode. We will always put our own interests first, as this is the most effective way to survive. We will live in our own world, separate from others.

All the great world religions and some of the religions of indigenous people present a different worldview, and offer an alternative to survival mode. The Christian religion emphasises forgiveness and mercy, courage in the face of persecution, and self-sacrifice in the name of friendship and brotherhood with others. The concept of past lives and karma in Eastern religions gives a different sense of overarching universal justice, as your good deeds and bad all contribute to the circumstances of your next life. None of these concepts fit into survival mode. It is difficult to really follow the pure teaching of any religion, with honesty and commitment, but if you try then at least you are questioning a purely ‘me first’ way of living.

Pure and true

Many people look for a spiritual path outside any religious tradition because they want something pure and true that is not weighed down and tainted by centuries of infighting and dogma. To find a new way to live that does not put ‘me first’ is challenging. In my own life, I have finally arrived at the realisation that kindness and brother/sisterhood are the only things on the material plane that cannot be corrupted. These are the only values that will truly help me grow as a human being and a soul.

Our lifetimes are designed to help us learn and experience new things. The way we develop on the spiral of growth is through leaving behind a survival mentality and understanding the power of fellowship with our brothers and sisters everywhere. Beyond the boundaries of nation, culture, gender, etc. This solidarity, this sense of being here on earth to help each other, rings true, because it sees through a purely self-centered way of living, to another possibility. The possibility of realising a common goal, the evolution of humanity from a self-centered perspective to one that embraces the whole. The whole of the planet and her people.


This point of view sees connection, an overarching unity with all forms of life. This is a very different perspective from seeing man as the top of a pyramid with all other forms of life below. This perspective sees humankind as part of the circle of life, helping to uphold the whole circle for future generations.

You may think my idea of a spiritual path that embraces brotherhood and connection with all life is idealistic and impractical. But what is our alternative? Where else do we have to go as a people and as a planet? Survival mode worked for us in the past, but it no longer works. Warring nation-states carved up their empires in the past as they fought for their national interests, but do we want this to continue?

New advances in industry, science, and technology marked our progress through the 19th and 20th centuries, but they have led us to the ecological catastrophe of a warming planet, and the possibility of nuclear annihilation.

Do you want a new kind of future for a different kind of humanity? I suggest that changes in evolution on a big scale always start with individuals on a small scale. If even one of you reading this article begins to think about a less self-centered way to live, then your spiritual path has begun. Welcome, you are part of the change taking place in human consciousness that can usher in a new future for humanity.


Caroline McCutcheon is a writer, healer and medium who lived for fifteen years in a small village in the Algarve.  Four years ago she moved with her husband to the Alto-Alentejo. To read more about her, and her work go to:

Caroline McCutcheon