Our lives often feel disconnected, fragmented between the outer world of activity and the inner world of our souls. We find ourselves going through the outward motions and actions that circumstances demand of us, while inwardly we feel a sense of misalignment, as if we are living incongruently with our deepest values and spiritual center. Over time, this disconnect enables a slow redefinition of our inner selves to conform with our repetitive outer behaviors, no matter how superficial or misguided those behaviors may be. We lose touch with our true nature.

As spiritual beings, we cannot accept this artificial separation between the sacred and the secular realms that our culture perpetuates. The spiritual and the practical must be integrated and flow together unimpeded in our lives. Any dichotomy that forces us to split our allegiance between an inner life of piety and an outer life of practicality is a harmful delusion that breeds disharmony.

We see two tempting but flawed attitudes that prevent this integration. The first is a tendency toward complete inner withdrawal and spiritual isolation from the demands of the outer world. While periodicperiods of soulful retreat are healthy, if taken to an extreme, this attitude breeds arrogance and a dissociation from the dignity of our shared human experience.

The opposing problematic attitude is being utterly consumed by busyness, actions and the superficial dealings of the material world while starving our inner spiritual lives. This path also cultivates an arrogant pride and contempt for the thoughtful life of reflection and vision disconnected from pragmatic concerns.

Our path must involve a dynamic alternation between inner reflection and outer engagement, a continuous ebb and flow. Withdrawing inwardly renews our spirits and allows us to drink from the wellsprings of deeper purpose. In the temporal oasis of stillness, our vision becomes clarified and our goals are recentered on what is truly meaningful and eternal. We make contact with the profound dignity and divinity within ourselves and all people.

Then, emboldened with this spiritual sustenance, we go forth to renovate the outer world and recreate our daily activities in alignment with this deepened perspective. Our outward words and deeds become infused with the authenticity of our inward meditation. We build our lives according to the revelations of the eternal blueprint disclosed in our soul encounters.

This is the integrative path that allows us to be whole, where the outer and inner unite and are equally acceptable and sacred before the Divine. Our actions harmonize with our heart’s truths. Our meditations permeate our outward expressions. We become living sacraments of the unity we seek.


There is an essential interconnection between the outer world of actions and expressions, and the inner world of thoughts, meditation, and our spiritual center. Too often, we live externally focused, engaging in expedient actions disconnected from our inner core values and consent. Over time, these repetitive outer behaviors can redefine and reshape our inner sense of self, contrary to our true nature. This points to an artificial and harmful dichotomy our culture tends to make between the sacred, spiritual realm and the secular, practical realm. The spiritual and the practical should instead flow together seamlessly.

Two problematic attitudes that prevent this integration are: completely withdrawing from outer engagement into exclusively inner spiritual pursuits, and being consumed entirely by frenzied outer busyness while neglecting the inner life of reflection. The ideal is to maintain a balanced alternation between periodic inner withdrawal and active outer engagement. Withdrawal allows one to restore the spirit, clarify purpose, connect with deeper human dignity, and access an “eternal blueprint” for living. This renewal then enables constructive, guided engagement with the outer world. The aim is for the words and expressions of our outer life to be unified with the authentic meditations of our inner heart and spirit – to be a whole person whose outer and inner realms are in harmony and acceptable before God.

Key Points

1. There is an interconnection between the outer world (actions, expressions) and the inner world (thoughts, meditation, spiritual center). The outer and inner should be unified and in harmony.

2. We often live externally focused on expedient actions that are disconnected from our inner core values and consent. Over time, our repetitive outer behaviors can redefine our inner sense of self.

3. There is a tendency to dichotomize the sacred/spiritual realm from the secular/practical realm, but this split is artificial and harmful. The spiritual and practical should flow together seamlessly.

4. Two problematic attitudes are: 1) completely withdrawing from the outer world into the inner spiritual realm, and 2) being consumed entirely by outer busyness while neglecting the inner life. Balance and alternation between inner reflection and outer engagement is needed.

5. Periodic withdrawal and inner reflection allows one to restore the spirit, clarify purpose, and connect with deeper human dignity. This renewal enables constructive outer engagement guided by an “eternal blueprint.”

6. The ideal is for the words (outer expressions) and meditations of the heart (inner life) to be unified and acceptable before God, leading to personal wholeness.