What is spirituality? It’s not what a lot of people think it is. It’s not about rituals, beliefs, or even meditation. It’s not about books.
You can know spirituality without necessarily identifying it as such. You might even be an atheist or a fierce denyer of what people call spirituality.
I’d say if you knew what spirituality really was, you wouldn’t deny it, but some spiritual people might not identify as spiritual. It’s so rare to find an example of real spirituality among the pretenders that it’s common for what I call spiritual people to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Spirituality isn’t about being all “love, light, and peace”. To some extent those things are a matter of aestetics, and at worst they can be a façade. While a spiritual person might be more about love and light and peace than a non-spiritual person, the opposite might be true at times. They might seem unloving because they resist the negativity in their environment. They might be unpeaceful because they are drawn to action or to “shaking people awake”. And they might be into darkness… because, well, the night is beautiful too. It’s pretty hard to peg spirituality down with any one definition. Let me say this at least – it’s not about appearences.
I’ve been seen by fake “spiritual” people as being unspiritual because I didn’t fit the mould. On the other hand, I think deep down all of the chaos and unsightliness in my life was caused by a core of intense spirituality. What would you choose, peace with a poisonous world, or movement and volitality in search of a better way? I’d say the latter is more like spirituality than the former.
Spirituality has something to do with meditation, as well as beliefs and skills related to life after death and divine guidence. Psychic abilities are often identified as “spiritual”, and you’d imagine they would be, as they often involve communicating with spirits. Makes sense, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.
So what is spirituality? In a nutshell, spirituality is being in tune with, and becoming more in tune with, the spirit or essence of who you are.
Think about the word “spirit” a moment. What does that term conjure up for you? Besides the idea of a spirit as a ghost or similar, think about the use of the word in the term “methylated spirits”. The “spirit” in “methylated spirits” refers to the alcohol it contains. When they purified this alcohol they were getting rid of all of the stuff which wasn’t alcohol. They were getting down to the spirit of the liquid.
For me spirituality is something very similar. It’s getting down to the spirit of who you are. It’s distilling you, clearing out all impurities; concentrating you; making you more effective at being you.
There’s such a deep meaning to that I can’t even explain in a single post.
When you’re not the spirit of who you are, what are you? All sorts of impurities, wasted energy, wasted consciousness which is doing stuff which isn’t in line with you. When you do things that aren’t in line with you, in short, you suffer.
Why? Cause… your spirit demands things which are aligned with it. Your spirit is who you are, and it’s what defines the meaning of life. Thereby, it’s what defines what will give you pleasure and pain, and what will give you joy and suffering.
But if you’re not connected with your spirit you probably won’t have any idea what the meaning of life is, let alone be able to achieve it. You’ll probably feel a deep sense of existential angst or emptiness, longing for you to connect deep enough for you to sense what the meaning of your life is.
Some people try to answer this question with the thinking mind. It’s a good start, because at the very least you’ve stopped fooling yourself that the question is not important. However, you’re only ever going to find a real answer if you get into your spirit and really feel, and really BE that which knows already what is meaningful to it.
Spirituality is often defined as the search for happiness. I’d definitely say there’s something to that definition.
The desire for happiness comes from the spirit. The definition of the meaning of life, and the things that cause unhappiness and happiness, as I mentioned also come from the spirit.
Finally, the ability to be happy, especially the ability to be unconditionally happy but also the ability to foster the conditions which create happiness, come from spirituality.
Getting connected with your spirit, your essence, is the only way in the entire world to find true, lasting, substantial happiness.
Part of the essence of happiness or the meaning of life involves expressing your true self.
Spirituality involves connecting with your deepest essence. From there, it also means living from that place, living as an expression of that place.
Meditation is all well and good but for the other 23 hours in the day spirituality is all about living and breathing who you are.
That’s something you grow into. The more you connect with yourself, the more you distill your spirits, the more you’re going to express that.
Spirituality is about changing your life, and changing others lives, potentially, too.
Finally, it should be mentioned that spirituality is about helping others.
Why? Cause that’s what you’ll find when you distill your personal spirits.
You’ll find that what we’re made of, is love.
But not smoochy soft love like the fake spiritual people are into. It means real powerful love, an uncompromising understanding of your identity as a part of all that is.
Your essence is a part of the larger essence of all that is.
Let that sink in for a moment.
That’s the single largest, most powerful secret you’ll find in your spirit, and the one that will change your life most radically.
The deepest meaning of life, and the deepest joy that springs forth from a satisfied spirit, comes from honouring your place as a part of all that is.
That means helping. Creating something that will help. Healing (especially in these times of need) or nourishing the greater body of humanity.
So spirituality means getting in tune with your spirit or essence. It means living in tune with that essence and changing your life to grow ever closer to an expression of it. By extension, it means coming to term with your place as a part of all that is, and loving.
That’s the simplest I can put it.
What do you think?
My recommended book on spirituality:
Read my review of Eckhart Tolle: Spiritual Teacher Eckhart Tolle