Second, in the lives of every human being, there are many experiences which may well be attributed to actions by “the Holy Spirit” that lie beyond “religious experiences” in the usual usage. Among these I note four distinct types of experiences of “the Holy Spirit.”
Distinct experiences of the mind, and especially of the highest uses of reason and intuition: questioning, searching, longing for God or truth, the desire to gain wisdom, moments of sudden insight or clarity. In speaking with a genuine philosopher many years ago, I asked him, “What is the Holy Spirit?” His answer brought understanding: “What do you think is moving you to ask your questions?” Such insight is available to every human being, for all of us are “sharers in the Divine nature.”
In conscious perception of Beauty, a spiritually sensitive soul is aware of the divine Presence or Holy Spirit at work: In sudden moments when one does not just see a flower, for example, but glimpses the Beautiful in and through this particular flower; when one feels drawn to appreciate the mystery of Beauty in nature; when a soul is moved by the experience of awe or wonder or joy at Beauty beyond what words can convey. Such awareness is most often through sight or hearing. These experiences are indeed movements of “the Holy Spirit,” the divine Presence, in and through and with a human being.
In a sudden or renewed sense of energy, as one feels “empowered by the Spirit,” by a force from outside oneself flowing in, renewing, energizing, giving life.
And finally, in “the greatest of these” experiences, in love: when one delights in the beauty and goodness in another, and seeks the good of the other, rather than one’s fleeting desires or interests. In true love that defies death, the Spirit is at work.