What is a High Spirit?

Thomas Edison was hardly a saint, but his tireless efforts have helped millions of people even after his death, so he is portrayed as a High Spirit in “The Laws of Eternity”, a book and movie by Happy Science.

In the new Japanese religion Kofuku-no-Kagaku (Science of Happiness, also translated Happy Science) there is an interesting concept called “High Spirits”. Not in the English sense of someone being in high spirits, though I suppose there may be a connection by accident of language.

Let me explain in my own words, since I have never seen it defined.

In this life, a High Spirit is someone who wants to help many, and is also able to do it.

A High Spirit continues to inspire people even after leaving this world.

In the distant past, people may have worshiped such High Spirits as gods. Later they were venerated as saints (in Christianity) or Bodhisattvas (in Buddhism).  The many avatars in Hinduism may also have been the same type of person.  Outside religion, they may appear as scientists and philosophers.

Obviously not just any philosophy has the ability to help many people. Some may even do the opposite, as do many branches of religion.  Even a honest wish to save or help people is not enough, you also need to be qualified to do it. This is not something you can just shrug into like a coat.  It must be your being – who you really are.

I think this is an interesting concept because it is non-sectarian.  Normally a Christian would only acknowledge Christian saints and try to downplay all other people who have done good in the world, but is this really something Jesus, known as The Truth, would agree with?  There are obviously things that you cannot do across religions, but there are also things you can. Even a Muslim benefits from Newton’s discoveries, even though Newton was certainly not a Muslim to the best of his knowledge. And so on.

In any case, even though I am not a member of Kofuku-no-Kagaku, I have adopted this concept as a useful tool in my toolbox of thought.  I can’t say that I am such a High Spirit myself. But (here in Norway at least) we have a true saying:  “You will become like those you are together with.”  So I suppose it might still happen, if I live my 120 years… Well, perhaps a “Slightly Elevated Spirit”?

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