Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What is Spirituality

What is spirituality?

For me, spirituality is living one's life from the realization that the body/mind/ego personality that we have been programmed to identify with is just the tip of the iceberg,  whereas our true body is the vast universe. It is understanding that our perceived world is mostly an illusion, a shared dream that we are all asleep in, and that the goal of life is to awake to our real Self which is multidimensional, and Divine—and is already  connected with all of creation, and waiting for us to connect to it.

As humans who are made in the image of God, we need and yearn for the ultimate connection, and  if we don't find it in this mystery we call God/dess, we are bound to create it by worshiping something in our exterior, material world, or ideology. Many of these beliefs teach that this DIVINE ENTITY needs to be definitive, nailed down, with all parameters set and explained. Some end up worshiping their way to God, rather than this mystery we call "God", and as a result, we tend to judge others by their way to God, thereby judging others as further from God than they. I once heard that we must leave "religion" to find God. Is this true?  We do have to let go of preconceived ideas about God to find God.

Spirituality is not religion and is not even necessarily affiliated with religion. While the definition of spirituality is different for everyone, here are some common ideas that are associated with spirituality:

·      That it is a process or journey of self-discovery and of learning not only who you are, but who you want to be.

·      That it is a tool to help challenge you to reach beyond your current limits. This can include keeping an open mind, questioning current beliefs, or trying to better understand others' beliefs.

·      A connectedness to yourself and to others. Spirituality is personal, but it is also rooted in being connected with others and with the world around you.

·      Spirituality, while it doesn't necessarily solve or reach conclusions, often embraces the concept of searching and moving forward in the direction of meaning, purpose, and direction for your life.

·      That there is a higher power, whether rooted in a religion, nature, or some kind of unknown energy.

The essence of spirituality is the search to know our true selves, to discover the real nature of consciousness. This quest has been the foundation of all the great spiritual teachings, and the goal of all the great mystics.  

When we discover this deeper sense of self, we become freed from many of the fears that plague us unnecessarily. We discover a greater inner peace, joy, contentment, an inner security that does not depend upon events or circumstances in the outer world around you. But, connects us to our Higher-God self and as a result we become less self-centered, less needy of the other's approval or recognition, less needy of collecting possessions and social status, and find our value from within, making us happier, healthier and more loving people. In many spiritual teachings this is called "self-liberation".

Most spiritual teachings also maintain that when one comes to know the true nature of consciousness, one also comes to know God. If God is the essence of the whole of creation, then God is the essence of every creature, and every person. This is why the search to discover the nature of one's own innermost essence is the search for God.

Spirituality can offer many benefits to your life, both emotionally and physically. Developing your spiritual life can give you a sense of purpose, help you figure out what you are most passionate about, whether in your professional, social, or personal life, connect you to your God-self.  In other words gives you the direction and real purpose for your existence. Positive beliefs can even comfort you and improve your health.

And finally let me leave you with this thought about the way you are looking at things: When you try to justify where you are by pointing out how bad things are, you are headed in the wrong direction. Stop, and reach for the thought that feels better, and allow the natural well-being that is you to return. Peace be with you!

Rev. Edwige