An Introduction to Spirituality
Spirituality, my favourite subject; but, how I approach this vast topic greatly depends on my audience’s openness and willingness to understand and embrace some of my ideas (note I didn’t use the word accept).
When I speak of or discuss spirituality with a person who deems themselves ‘not spiritual’ or ‘not religious’, even without going into too much detail, I notice an uncomfortable shift in the atmosphere and usually end up laughing the topic away and changing the subject (fear of coming across as ‘loony’). So I stop taking about it. And this is why discovering, uncovering and exploring your spirituality can be a very lonely, confusing and isolating journey.
For those who are spiritually inclined or have broached the subject sceptically in the past, answer this: How does one explain the coincidences? The signs? The visions? The dreams or the symbols? Maybe for you, spirituality is none of that. Spirituality can also be a deep, divine and earthly intuition submerged in trust, acceptance and surrender of the Universal energy we are puppets to.
An adaptation of the Mahatma Gandhi quote below is relevant to the subject –
“to find yourself you must lose yourself”
One must shed all the educational, environmental and experiential layers in order to unveil and access the Real You. The True You (often referred to as the Soul, Spirit or Atman). The beautiful layer of Consciousness nestled beneath the multiple koshas and the shielding sheaths. The sparkling, eternal and lifelong Truth which will welcomingly greet you at the peak of the ever flowing chakras.
A constancy which is always within you. A permanence that is unaffected by the ongoing, never ending and often magnitudinal changes happening around you. A part of you which one can always return to as and when needed. Nischala Devi (2007:152) explains this constancy well –
“Even though the body size is smaller and your wants and needs may differ, isn’t there something deep inside of you that feels the same? Can you detect a similar awareness weaving through your entire life? There is an interior sameness, which never changes, a presence watching, guiding us; it is our Intuitive Wisdom”
Although the subject of Spirituality and Religion is an entirely independent topic, it is worth noting that within every religion, the ultimate aim is to unite with a higher source of energy, one that unites all creation. This is spirituality.
It is the act of identifying nature, animals and people beyond their names, labels and boxes and identifying each creature for their Real Self. More importantly, it is the process of looking beyond your own physical body and attributes, unpeeling the layers created by your mind and recognising, understanding and accepting who and what you are.
This ties in nicely with the concept of ‘Dharma’ (duty) because once we begin to ‘detach’ ourselves from our likes, dislikes, wants and needs, once we recognise who we really are and truly accept why we exist, then we can begin the process of accepting our birth and existence as a spiritual blessing which can lead to greater fulfilment within our lives.
Cherishing this perspective can help one face upto many of life’s tribulations as our circumstances tend to be beyond our control. Nevertheless, if we become conscious about the way we live our life and live it with integrity for our Real Self, we can become better decisions makers and potentially, have ‘more control’ over our life path. And if not, we can certainly learn to become less affected by things.
This short but sweet article is merely a glimpse into the realm of Spirituality. I could have traced the history of spirituality or wrote about Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism and explored Aboriginal or Native American practises. I could have explained how spirituality can be accessed via meditation, tarot cards and different mediums but that is not the point. You do not need any of those things to be spiritual. You do not even need to practise anything, sacrifice anything or follow anything to be spiritual.
Spirituality is a fire in YOUR heart. It’s that gut feeling which turns out to be true. It’s having faith when things are challenging. It’s acknowledging and appreciating the cycle of life. It’s respect for Mother Nature. It’s acceptance but it’s also letting go. It’s living without fear.
So today my message is, the more we talk about Spirituality, the more open we can be about the love, tolerance and inclusive qualities it offers. The more we talk about Spirituality, the more in tune we can become with our healing selves and work to help others. The more we practise Spirituality, the more love and serenity can be shared in this increasingly volatile world.