When I worked in corporate America, one of the areas where I had to work harder was in building my vocabulary. I didn’t grow up in a family for whom an expanded vocab was important and although my degrees in higher education expanded my knowledge of words considerably, it wasn’t enough for me to feel truly competent in my high-performing work environment.
One of the steps I took to increase my vocabulary was to sign up to receive a daily email with a new word to learn. Here’s a word that I’ve hung onto after all these years. It resonates with my spirit which longs to master potentiality.
entelechy (en-TEL-uh-kee) noun
1. Perfect realization as opposed to a potentiality.
2. In some philosophies, a vital force that propels one to self-fulfillment.
[From Late Latin entelechia, from Greek entelecheia, from enteles(complete), from telos (end, completion) + echein (to have).]
“It concerns our final end, our entelechy, the purpose of our existence, where we are going to go.” Gray Henry; The First Prophet; Parabola (New York); Spring 1996.
Britannica online further explains that “the concept of entelechy is intimately connected with Aristotle’s distinction between matter and form, or the potential and the actual. He analyzed each thing into the stuff or elements of which it is composed and the form which makes it what it is. The mere stuff or matter is not yet the real thing; it needs a certain form or essence or function to complete it. Matter and form, however, are never separated; they can only be distinguished.”
How does this relate to spiritual development? Think of it like this: we are born into this physical life bearing the spark of the divine within us. Call it spirit, call it soul, call it light or energy — whatever resonates for you — so long as you believe there is something more than just our physical body. Our potential contribution in this life experience depends on how well we integrate our internal light with our physical reality. Our spirit in partnership with our body.
How much of each day can you say you are being truly mindful? It is this mindfulness that connects us to the partnership that must exist for entelechy to exist. For our potentiality to become manifest as real.
Tips for achieving your perfect reality:
- Use a mindfulness bell. These clocks or timers play a bell or gong at set intervals to remind you to think about the present moment. Search Zen to find an option that works best for you. Or, a less expensive alternative is to download an app on your phone. I use Zazen Suite and have been very happy with it.
- Set aside time each day to step outside and observe nature. Connecting with mother earth is so powerful. Take deep breaths and, with closed eyes, imagine how the air fills your lungs. Visualize the blood rushing through and picking up oxygen to carry throughout your body. Sense every cell in your body rejoicing with renewed energy.
- Use daily routine as a mindfulness project. Brushing your teeth or sweeping the floor is a routine activity that can become a wonderful experience if you focus on the very act of movement. The up and down motion of your brush against your teeth, the feel of the paste in your mouth, the motion of spitting and rinsing. Holding the broom in your hands, the physical motion involved in each sweep across the floor, the collection of dust and dirt mindfully removed.
- Music and dance are beautiful ways to create mindfulness. I love to play Indian flute music and move my body slowly however the music takes it. The music stirs my soul, creating movement in my physical body. How it looks to anyone else is not important. What matters is how the music and movement feels to you. Focus on that feeling. Feel the exhilaration.
- A simple mantra can go a long way. Just choose a word or phrase that you repeat throughout the day, such as “relax,” “feel,” “slow-down,” “breath,” “feel the moment.” I love to use mantras to slow myself down and reground. When the word or phrase no longer resonates with you, it’s time to move to another one. With each word and phrase comes your own spiritual progress. Your very own entelechy.