What is spirituality?
Spirituality is everyday life. it’s kindness is accepted. It’s practical and it’s enlightenment, as well as the opposite of all this.
Spirituality is a redundant word because, like love, it has been overused. If we are going to use it with any specificity, as I think we should, we need to pull together all of what I just said, along with the disparate definitions offered by others who care about the so-called higher worlds, and undertake a clear-house, so that we know what What are we talking about. If not, let’s think of a completely new word! –because the function of language is to communicate.
Today we have a Tower of Babel situation; just look around you at the wide variety of spiritual teachers, religious traditions, new and old spiritual philosophies that are sometimes confusing, vague or obtuse, but always confusing. If we want to truly communicate, I don’t think spirituality should be any different than cooking, medicine, or politics. Within these spheres of endeavor, if you are as confused as people seem to be in the spiritual realm, we would be spouting nonsense with devastating consequences.
So what is the definition we should use to inform ourselves?
Spirituality is the term that describes the higher functioning of human beings. Without a spiritual dimension, human beings devote themselves solely to animal concerns, such as group membership, mating and procreation, acquisition, and physical safety. In the middle stages of human development we are concerned with identity, socialization, compassion for others, and individual responsibility. Spiritual philosophies and methodologies are the ones that surround all this and come to assume a higher aspiration to human fulfillment, an intrinsic need, felt by many, that we are more than we seem and that the world of appearances is not all there . it is.
Like Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
Yes, like self-actualization and peak experiences in Maslow’s model. But also like the insights of the Upanishads, the Dhammapada, the Course in Miracles, Zen Buddhism, mystical Christianity, Sufism, and so on through transpersonal systems and spiritual maps too numerous to mention. But what they have in common is that human beings strive for ultimate understanding in the belief that something elusive beyond the world of appearances gives meaning and meaning to life.
Why is spirituality a concern of relatively few people?
Spirituality is universal. It is everyone’s concern to discover who they really are, through the physical, psychological, mental, soulful and spiritual levels of the human situation. We can’t judge how individual people engage with this, but arguably anything a person does (think, work, form relationships, vacation) is an attempt to balance, engage, and understand themselves and the world. It is an answer to the quiet and unspoken question of existence.
And that question is?
Who I am? No one is free from the consequences of this question. The only difference is in how we choose to answer it; in self-reference, self-definition or self-transcendence.
What about the etymological origin of the word? Spirit means breath, doesn’t it?
Spiritmeans breath and spirit it means the breath of God, which is the word from which we derive our term inspiration. So the spirit is about the breath, the divine breath prajna, the exchange with the universe that we experience when we inhale and exhale. When I inhale, the universe exhales or inspires me; when I exhale the universe inhales or I breathe it in. Which? From the spiritual point of view there is no difference, because the universe and I are the same.
So is spirituality about a relationship between soul, spirit and body?
Spirituality is also associated with searching in the form of a journey. It seems that we have to go on a spiritual journey, a quest or some kind of trial in which we are transformed in some way through suffering. The progressive narrative of that trial, the active pursuit of that undertaking has been key to notions of spirituality for centuries. Depending on where and when we were educated, it took the form of the Pilgrim’s Progress, the Ramayana, the legend of Siddhartha, Dante’s journey through the underworld, the Native American vision quest, etc. What each of these narratives have in common is the main theme of striving toward a spiritual goal through strenuous persistence, strong will, and determination.
Curiously, very few of these spiritual maps see beyond the effort. It is as if we are rewarded only when we try very hard. However, spiritual fulfillment itself is summed up in acceptance, receptivity, kindness and giving, all very soft attributes. Reading these stories, you would think that the only way to heaven is through hell.
And it is not like that?
Heaven and hell are points of view. You enter any of them at any time through your predisposition, which depends on your attachment to the ego, or separation from the rest of existence. As several examples, both Jacques Lusseyrian during his imprisonment in World War II and Saint John of the Cross in a Toledo jail in the 16th century experienced profound spiritual and divine epiphanies, despite enduring the most horrendous physical and mental abuse. . Another example is Laurens van de Post, who taught thousands of prisoners of war in Java to resist bitterness and forgive their captors so that they would survive the ordeal psychologically and emotionally intact by adopting a spiritual strategy.
Does spirituality imply the disidentification of the body?
Rather you relate spiritually to your body, as well as to everything else. What this means is that you focus on the essence that is common to all that arises in consciousness and feel the source of all that arises.
Does everything that arises at some point also end?
But what has no end is the essence of spirituality. The spiritual quest is to discover and become one with the source of consciousness, the root of attention. Spirituality is found between what we call mysticism and transcendence; it is not an end in itself, our intention should not be merely to practice spirituality, but to deepen as far as it leads. So our understanding of mysticism, or the self-directed mystical path (as opposed to a religious path), takes us on a spiritual journey towards self-transcendence and encounter with the Divine.
For some this is God, for others the Buddha Nature, the infinite, the Absolute or Brahman. But all these terms are intellectual constructions; they are mere ideas. There is only one appropriate response to an encounter with the Divine: an inspiring, mystical, breathing silence, because in that great stillness one finally meets his true self, which is beyond the mind’s ideas, interpretation and description. .
Does spirituality lead to an encounter with the Divine?
Or an encounter with yourself; is the same. To know yourself, to find out who you really are, you must employ spiritual methods, remain constant in a spiritual practice, but then you must drop that practice, leave it completely to get to the place it has been taking you. This is one of the difficulties of the Modern Age, as well as of Antiquity. People hate to destroy; They prefer to build. Today we call it materialism. Chögyam Trungpaeven coined the term ‘spiritual materialism’ to describe how spiritual practitioners become attached to their achievements and their practice.
Spirituality deals mainly with the internal aspects of the human being. It is true that a spiritual being displays certain traits, such as love, gentleness, compassion, and forgiveness. But none of these are worth anything unless they are genuine, truly experienced from the heart center of the person displaying them. To engage with the heart center, one of the insights we must experience is that we are not lacking… anything! Nothing at all is missing from the human experience when fully felt, seen, touched and experienced. When this understanding has been fully understood, one has this experience of inner emptiness; it is deeply receptive and resonant and allows you to authentically engage with the rest of the world. It is the state of beingness within you, without activity, restlessness of any kind, without disturbance, internal or external, it is solid, unshakeable; you wouldn’t even call it spiritual, it would be more accurate to actually call it one’s natural state.
Is this ‘natural state’ available to everyone?
OUI well south. But you have to want it, and you have to want it very much. You must also possess inner integrity, a deep honesty about it, and you must accept no substitutes! Because the spiritual path is riddled with such distractions, difficulties, seductions and pretensions, ego drives to drop everything and settle for some quasi-spiritual state that would be exalted from the point of view of the novice, the person who aspires. to the spiritual rewards of the path.
What can you do in this quasi-spiritual state?
Configure yourself as a spiritual master! Play superior, tell people what to do, goad others into acting like followers or disciples, write a book about your ‘spiritual’ experiences, your enlightenment, while all the while you are simply grooming your ego. It’s not unusual in this dark time; the period that the Hindus predicted we would be in now – the Kali Yuga.
But the interest in spirituality, meditation and yoga is surely growing.
Well, interest is not necessarily enough. The spiritual world is full of dilettantes and seekers of pleasure and self-aggrandizement. This is not to disparage the sincere practitioners, the conscientious ones, but even there you will find that you can find yourself in an ego trap, because some people’s ego is kept alive by lures like ‘I will never succeed’, ‘I am no good’ . enough’, is simply the antithesis of ‘Look how great I am’, ‘I’ve been successful because I’m better than the rest’. Spiritually there is no difference between these two points of view; both serve the grooming of the ego state.
So what should we do? I begin to see what you mean about the spiritual path being riddled with seductions.
Do not be seduced, apply yourself diligently, do not stop until you reach the end of your spiritual journey, choose a teaching and a teacher that makes sense and do not take anything at face value, rather question everything and do not do it. don’t think for a minute that you can do it on your own.
Does everyone need a guru?
Everyone needs the guidance of someone who functions as a teacher in their life and on their spiritual path, to preside over their spiritual endeavor and to correct and encourage and question and cajole and provide a model of an authentic human being in the world. In this way we keep faith, we know that it is possible to succeed and we cultivate the commitment and courage to move forward.