I would like to share some ideas, as an introduction to a discussion, around this subject that unites us: “Being born of the Spirit and Spiritual Maturity.” It is about this human experience, so personal and singular, between every person and God.
Birth indicates the starting point of existence. To be born is to have an impulse, a life force, which inaugurates our coming into the world. And it continues and is expressed in biological and cultural life, through the succession of days, until the point of arrival – death.
As far as maturity is concerned, it shows the completion of a process of growth and satisfactory evolution, whether it be physical, intellectual, moral, or spiritual. Analogously, it is also the state of fruits, when they are ripe, after having reached their full development.
This small conceptual reminder allows us to better approach our theme, which relates two facts, which are birth and maturity, in relation to Spirit. We can say that the Spirit is the opposite of matter, that is, that which is placed within us, beyond̀ material or physical reality, but also its source, God, our Perfect Creator and our Finality.
Thus, to be born in the Spirit and have maturity, means to have originated in God, and seek to produce the fruits of the spirit; to exist in God, and to flourish in him.
This problem appears to be fundamental, even crucial, for every human being gifted́ with conscience and will, who does not minimize his existence in the satisfaction of his animal and cultural needs, annoyingly forgetting the Origin of it all, the Divine Creator.
This question encompasses those who aspire to God, to know him, to be born in him, and who wish to reach a high level of his expression, as well as those who are born of Spirit, who have experienced his presence, and who set themselves the goal of manifesting spiritual maturity in the supremacy of existence.
This problem, which puts man and God on the stage, is maintained, regardless of its degree of relevance or effectiveness, by human religions. Indeed, man is a social being, and, as such, he finds in society one or several religions, as a framework of expression of the link, between man and God. Religions have sensitized for a long time, to some extent, on the relationship, I would say sacrosanct, between the human creature and the divine Creator.
Religions have pushed the wheel of birth and spiritual maturity, by continuously insisting on two major facts:
1. The clear affirmation of God the Creator and his effective presence in man “closer to him than to his jugular vein,” according to the Koranic text. The testimony of Jesus insists without reservation that man and God are in unity. The Presence-Proximity of God is founded in Moses in the conviction that he created man “in his image and likeness.”
2. A set of beliefs, affirmations and cults, which allow, according to different religions, to make this closeness greater, in order to obtain rewards in the hereafter.
But the history of religions, as well as that of the evolution of humanity, amply prove that people have privileged more and more the cults, which become cultures, not to say socialized cultures, to the detriment of the clear affirmation of the Prophets, who put forward the Primordial Reality of God, without which, moreover, the cults would not know how to prosper, at the superior and spiritual level.
Nowadays, it is easy to see and understand that the material and cultural aspect has taken precedence over the spiritual and fraternal aspect that the Divine Reality induces. This is the case in all societies, with the complicity of evil beings and the Evil One.
Moreover, my personal spiritual experience makes me believe without any hindsight that one cannot be born of the Spirit without a firm will of the human being. It is necessary to have this desire, to feel this lack, and to nourish this ambition to know our Creator as the Source of the Reality, in order to undertake with him, as long as this relation is primordial. It is of an ontic order.
While the human biological birth is done without our will, the Spirit’s birth is always done with our will, with our consent. This is why being born and existing humanly does not require any prior condition, but the spiritual birth imperatively supposes the will of the individual and a minimum of conditions relating to it, so that the new birth springs up between the two partners: man and God.