The quadrune mind model has several basic points of view of spirituality and how the spiritual life is lived by a Human being.
It is secular. The model does not divide reality into sacred and secular parts. Because the quadrune mind is a secular model of spirituality, it sees everything that exists as sacred. There is only one world, one reality. People do not have the luxury to mentally divide up their lives into a sacred part, where what they do counts for their spiritual deliverance, and a secular life, where they can pursue their self-interest with no moral cost. The model is secular because it uses worldly evidence to support its spiritual conclusions, such as how the brain works or wisdom literature throughout recorded history. In fact, almost any source can be used if it helps us to better understand spirituality, including how it is seen through the quadrune mind model (e.g., see the “Resources” section of the Study Guide). Secularism is usually a rejection of religion. The quadrune mind does not reject religion as such. What it does say is that a spiritual life is lived in a specific way, no matter what a person’s religious or cultural beliefs might be.
It takes no position on metaphysics. Because the model uses only empirical and observable sources for its spiritual conclusions, it does not, and cannot, make any statements for, or against, anyone’s metaphysical beliefs. It does say, however, that whatever those metaphysical beliefs are, in order to be spiritually valid they must result in a certain way of life. Belief in God, heaven, hell, Satan, life everlasting, etc. does not justify treating other people, the earth, the environment, life in general, or oneself, hurtfully. Someone who follows the quadrune mind model of spirituality would never murder other people because of a difference of opinion regarding metaphysical beliefs. The quadrune mind model does not recognize any authoritative supernatural source of knowledge. Neither does it dismiss that possibility. Exist or not, the model evaluates the spiritual validity of any reported revelations by how the person’s epiphany leads him or her to behave in the world.
There is no special class of spiritual teachers. There is no hierarchy of spiritual leadership in the quadrune mind model. Arguments for or against the model’s positions on spirituality are to be supported by evidence that is available to everyone. There is no such thing as a heretic.
Spiritual standing is not based on rituals, creeds, or oaths. Rituals can be life-saving resources for people in the midst of otherwise overwhelming tragedy. Rituals can keep people going through daily behaviors that would otherwise be impossible to face emotionally. Shared rituals also provide a strong unifying identity for people who would otherwise feel isolated within their own emotional pain. Beyond that, for the seeker, there is no ritual, creed, or oath performed that would guarantee the successful pursuit of a spiritually fulfilling consciousness. Rituals keep us going through tragedy because they activate the pre-Human, reptilian mind, a mind dedicated to our instinctual survival. However, that is the same reason that tying our spiritual life to ritualistic behavior will prevent us from having a spirituality based on universal love. This is the type of spirituality available to the Human mind, which the model would see as the only true spiritual life.
The model is relativistic regarding the path to spiritual consciousness. For people who have achieved full Human consciousness, there is little in their way of life to indicate which path they took to reach spiritual mindfulness. They do not necessarily use signs or symbols of any particular faith, religion, or even spiritual tradition in their daily behavior, as being tied to such signs and symbols is, again, a trait of the reptilian mind. If they recommend certain practices to help the seeker in a spiritual quest, those recommendations are not considered to be absolute requirements for success.
The model is unequivocal regarding the spiritual life. The model recognizes only one way to live as a fully conscious, spiritually mature Human being. The quadrune mind model describes a way of life that reveals, but does not flaunt, a spiritually-oriented Human consciousness. Some behaviors are clearly not those of a Human being, such as refusing to provide aid to someone because of his or her sexual orientation while claiming that it’s what God would want. Other behaviors may, or may not, be spiritually based, such as refusing to fight in a war, which one could do for spiritual reasons—an unwillingness to kill other living beings—or selfish reasons—protecting one’s own life and wealth. People who take spirituality seriously must become skillful in honest self-reflection regarding their behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. The ability for people to live a spiritually-oriented life requires sustained focused effort, learning, and practice. The model provides guidance on how to recognize the authentic Human way of life, which is innately spiritual.
The quadrune mind is a relational model of spirituality. Spiritual development requires humanizing relationships between people. It is only by personal contact with other people who treat us with love, respect, skill, and compassion, and who allow us to learn to treat them in the same way, that spiritual consciousness can be developed. There are no self-identified rugged individualists who are spiritually aware. By the same measure, in this model, we cannot reach true spiritual consciousness solely through sitting alone in silent meditation or prayer. This is not a hermit’s model of spirituality—this is spirituality that willingly engages every day with the real world, as it is.
The spiritual life of a Human being is the only expression of Human nature. When all of the behaviors we have in common with our evolutionary relations (reptiles, old mammals, and new mammals) are subtracted, what is left is how a human being is uniquely meant to live. The things people do that are usually described negatively, by such statements as, “Well, what do you expect, I’m only human,” do not represent our Human nature at all. Everyone is responsible to strive toward the Human life of charity, forgiveness, and the other virtues typically described by most religious traditions. None of us is excused from such an effort because that kind of life could only be lived by saints and priests and monks. None of us is excused from that effort because we are unredeemable sinners. The quadrune mind model says that learning how to reduce suffering and increase healing in this world is the lifelong purpose of all of us. The Human being would not live any other way.