What is Spirituality?
A non-measurable feeling that enables a person to find an inner peace or calmness; this can be obtained through a variety of methods including meditation, prayer, or an experience. Much different from religion there is no external leader or group. Groups can be a motivator for spirituality, however frequently it is an introspective process that one searches for or may find unexpectedly. Spirituality is crucial in this author’s opinion for complete health, along with, medical and psychological well being.
Spirituality can come to us, however, we must do some proactive seeking out. There must be a want to investigate life, investigate why we walk this path called life, and what is our purpose? In order for this to occur there must be an openness and a trust in the process of life,(the journey.) One does not wake up one morning with spirituality.One does NOT pay for spirituality with any monetary value. One could slice semantics here by stating when one buys books, pays for retreats, and listens to Shamans is a payment. The payment, is through time, dedication, curiosity and a yearning to know. The essence of coning to terms with spirituality, the ingesting of a spiritual presence comes from a complete trusting of your life’s journey.
For myself I had to simplify in the simplest as well as the broadest terms. I needed to decrease my mental clutter, and beliefs of religion that cluttered my brain from early brain washings. This brain washing was done out of habit, and a generational belief to carry down what our parents learned to their children. This was normal, and to them healthy. It is what they had at their disposal. I studied Catholicism, Judaism, the Mormons, Evangelical and learned in depth about cults and the history of seeking a higher power. I also explored atheism, agnostics, deists, and other labels assigned to non-believers. I also simplified by decreasing credit cards, selling my personal belongings, and trying to get down to the bare necessaries. Of course the lap top, vehicle, and smartphone stay in my possessions, however, I had to reassess how the materialistic items were holding onto me.
Awareness of the media hook of television and radio, the defensive posture of others that come across our daily path, are all inhibitors of our quest for spirituality. Many who are not there, who are not in a place of either seeking enlightenment or having experienced it will mis-read your intent, your persona. This MUST be okay. Be aware, accept that path and those interactions.
How does one begin the journey of spirituality?
One begins the journey of spirituality, by beginning. Now, at this moment, as you are reading this sentence, you are now beginning. I began my journey by becoming injured. A life trauma,( being sexually abused.) Many I have realized seek out a spiritual existence after a life trauma. It may not be spirituality. It could be a religion. Never the less an alcoholic father, a life trauma, a divorce, or any event can spark the want to pursue. The key is not to stop, to not become complacent. I followed charlatans, I read books after books, and explored the underpinnings of religions. I read the Bible, skimmed the Koran and reviewed interpretations of the Torah. There is a faith without facts for God and religions and there must be a faith a purpose to not only finding but experiencing spirituality. I learned what was a scam and what would fit. I learned that I had the basic underpinnings of spirituality all along. As Dorothy had her ruby slippers I had the abilities to take me to my spiritual home all along. I just did not know how to use them. All the mistakes I made, all the church services I went to, all the self help groups, new age cults were important. They were part of the journey and had to occur in order to find the truth, the truth for me and the truth for my walk on earth. We all have a “bullshit” thermostat inside our psyche. Be aware of that thermostat. When it raises too high bail. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR PERSONAL PAIN TO DICTATE SEEKING SERENITY, this pain can go many times unguided, unchecked and you will land smack dab in the grips of an unhealthy practice or group. The streets of all inner cities are filled with youths looking for spirituality and “the way.” You will know when you find the path, when you find “awe.” When you find spirituality, you will have found enlightenment. Enlightenment, what is that? Sounds cool, “enlightenment.” You cannot obtain it at a convenient store, it is not in a book, it is an experience. An experience that must occur in order to find your spiritual path.
How do we find Spiritual Enlightenment?
Enlightenment is the moment when introspection, plus positive experience leads to growth/change and awareness. It is a process that only occurs when a set of circumstances occur at a given time, at the right moment for you. It could be meeting a person and at the time you have no idea why. It could be the timing of a sunset while you are contemplating your marriage. At that moment for no reason the different hues of the sunset combined with pondering your behavior may create an “aha” experience. You are NOT externalizing blame, you are not bitching about your spouse, but introspecting on what you bring to the table. Some may say, ” That is an idea.” “That is an introspective moment.” True, but enlightenment is more than that. It is the connectedness to the sun, the rays the closing of the day, your introspection in relation to the marriage of earth and sun and the marriage with your spouse.
Many wonder why they cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many complain they just cannot find spirituality no matter how hard they try. Many look right past it and it will only be ten feet away. When we see a sunset, what do we see? Brilliant colors of reds, burnt orange scattered amongst the shards of clouds buffering rays of light as as if a natural prism is at work before our eyes. Maybe one see’s the sunset as strictly the earth revolving around this brilliant star. Do some become sad as a day is closing and they feel they should of accomplished more. Some may feel excitement as a day is ending when they see the sunset, and the night promises a canopy of evening stars. Some see the insignificance of our presence in the setting of the sun setting beyond the horizon. Our perceptions are all different depending on how wee see an event, what is going on in our lives, and what we want to see in relation to us. Yes, a selfish group we are. The vast majority of responses and interactions are due to how we see life according to “I.” We find spiritual enlightenment by being aware of how we see life in relation to our feelings and begin looking at life in relation to life’s feelings. The tree, all other humans, I said ALL other humans, the connectedness of the soil to the grass, the weeds competing for moisture from other plants around it, the complete ecosystem and how that has an answer for us. Life daily has an answer but we MUST retrain how we see, how we hear, how we feel, how we taste, and how we love. Spiritual enlightenment is a life’s journey of re-training of what we thought to be true and learning what is true without measurement and statistics. Without quantum theory and physics. It is a faith of the soul a faith of existence a spiritualness of connectedness with all life.