Since the old year, in fact, the old decade, is ending, and a new year often means new starts, I thought it might be a good time to get back to basics and ask the question, what actually is spirituality?
If you ask Mr. Google, the knower of all things, he’ll say that spirituality means being concerned with the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. He’ll also tell you that the spirit is the nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character.
Can’t get much more basic than that, am I right?
So after we define spirituality, maybe a more important thing to ask is, why should we care what it is? Many people don’t care about emotions or things they feel they can’t control anyway. They are content to eat, sleep and work, and maybe outsource their spirituality to organized religion.
And that’s okay. Some people didn’t sign on to work through any emotional or spiritual issues this life time. They have enough to do living a “normal” life.
But a lot of us did plan to focus on our spirituality in this incarnation, hence the world-wide interest in all things spiritual, from seeking help with fear, anger and guilt issues to consulting psychic mediums for assistance in dealing with past life issues and problems brought on by unresolved emotions with transitioned love ones.
Which gives me a chance to use my favorite quote, or meme for you youngsters out there, ” we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
We plan our lives while on the other side to give us the learning experiences we desire when we’re incarnated here, and one of the four big categories we choose from is spirituality. The other three are relationships, career/money, and physical health, but we’ll save those for another time.
Back to spirituality. I don’t think spirituality is one monolithic entity. I think it exists on a spectrum, and at any given time in our lives, we can fall anywhere on the continuum.
At the one extreme is organized religion. This is the home of people who feel the need for rules, regulations, requirements, and rituals. And a certain amount of the outsourcing I mentioned before.
It’s adherents are told what to believe, and those beliefs are reinforced weekly by rote prayers, creeds, and hymns. Very little independent thought is necessary. In fact, it’s discouraged with threats of punishment from a higher being.
And if this place is where you feel comfortable in your spirituality, it’s perfectly okay to be there.
At the other end of the spectrum is what might be called unorganized religion.
In the 1970’s, we had a saying that went, “if it feels good, do it.” That is a loose description of unorganized religion. There are none of the rules or regulations of organized religion, and the rituals might be drum circles, meditation, or dancing naked under a full moon at summer solstice. Pretty much anything goes if the individual feels it brings them closer to their personal interpretation of what god might be.
And if this place is where you feel comfortable in your spirituality, its perfectly okay to be there.
Personally, I think there is a middle ground between the two ends of the spectrum, a place I like to call Everyday Spirituality.
This is the spot I have come to feel comfortable occupying, and I think many others feel that way, too.
It’s a place where you can form your own beliefs and even rituals if you want, based on what you learn from those with similar beliefs, and most importantly, from getting in direct contact with your higher self, or spirit guide.
The rest of you, the part that stays on the other side while you incarnate is connected to the universe at large, and has all the answers you could ever need to nearly everyone’s age old questions about why we’re here, and what our purpose is.
Is it like work to have to read, learn and think about what you believe to be true? It isn’t “like” work, it is work. Some of the hardest work you’ll ever have to do will be weeding out the things that aren’t relevant in your life anymore, and replacing them with new and better thoughts and beliefs.
The amazing teacher Abraham Hicks says,” a belief is just a thought you keep thinking.” So changing your belief system can be as easy is changing your thoughts about what you believe. Don’t let the fear of change stand in your way!
My new brand for the new decade is going to be Everyday Spirituality, and through this blog, my podcast and my YouTube channel, and of course, my books, (available on my website, Balboa Press, and Amazon.com), I’m going to be focusing on “the basics” to help you all find your sweet spot on the spectrum.
Want to learn more about my spiritual journey with Jasper? Go to my blog page at www.thecollegeofspiritualknowledge.com
As always, I wish you love and light.