What is the purpose of spirituality? What are the reasons for it? Why have we created it? Why do we seek spirit? Why is it important to some and irrelevant to others? What has it done for us lately?
Spirituality like anything, only holds power because of the value and meaning that we perceive in it.
This is the reason why real ability and skill is important. Without the ability to perceive and connect with spirit, spirituality is simply a set of blind beliefs. These beliefs remain blind until the ability to see is developed. As long as we are blind or partially blind to spirituality we will not understand the opportunities or benefits available to us. So in a very literal sense, the purpose and reasons for us seeking it will continue to elude us. We may hear stories of spiritual knowledge and power and think “Gee that sounds alright!”, but these will just be thoughts and words without actual experience.
Defining spirituality from experience is important because it separates and distills what holds meaning and value for us from what does not. We need to be clear on what it is that we are seeking and this requires blunt and direct honesty. If we rely on theory and concept over actual experience then we are compromising real understanding. Theories no matter how good are simply ideas. Real understanding comes from taking these ideas and integrating them into a course of action. For example we may have an idea that expressing our emotions is of some use. We may gather all the evidence to support this idea and in our mind it may seem like God’s have gifted us with their wisdom. However without putting this idea into action, without actually expressing our emotions, we will never know the truth of this wisdom.
Spirituality is a big word. It essentially means to connect with spirit, but this in itself holds many unknowns, one of which is “where is this spirit thing?” Interesting then that many aspects of spiritual society choose to hold onto the known and shy from the unknown. Spiritual logic or logic of any kind would suggest that if spirit has unknown qualities, that delving into the unknown would then be a valuable course of action. This is where faith comes into it once more. Faith is a concept and as a concept it becomes refined when it is tested. There are so many untouchable qualities about “spirituality.” Keep pushing and digging in our consciousness and we find a point that wants to cling to dogma, faith and concept. Dig a little deeper and we find fear. It is essentially the good old God fearing persona, the one that does not want to question or investigate its betters for fear of punishment. It is no wonder that with this type of fear that mastery, enlightenment and real power elude us. Again, these fears and beliefs are simply concepts that require testing.
The battlefield where all our beliefs, ideas and concepts are tested is within our own practice. It is through aligning our inner values into our actions. Things can get sticky at times. Sometimes our most cherished ideas get trampled on mercilessly by experiences that reject them. We may for instance have the idea that “spirituality is everywhere and in all things”. It is experience that will either reflect this – or not. Our findings here give us something tangible to work with. If this idea holds under the steady and rigorous criticism of actual experience, not just intellectual argument, then it contains true value. If it does not hold this does not necessarily mean that the idea is invalid, it may simply require that our abilities and skills require further development. Of course sometimes we need to admit that what once seemed like a novel idea just doesn’t cut it in the real world.
This is how we evolve our spiritual understanding and as our understanding evolves, so too does our understanding of where spirit exits. This is essentially what is happening – we are understanding connection, but connection can only be understood by experiencing where the object of connection exists. Spiritual connection or existence then is a process of looking and finding, as well as looking and not finding. The places where spirit exists then provide a connection – places with which to develop paths to our consciousness. The places which do not connect are not discarded, but rather we refine the method of connection within ourselves.
An interesting thing happens when we test our ideas, concepts and beliefs. The destruction of these makes the mind more fluid. Through this flexible flow, we regain the ability to connect where once we could not. Once again our understanding changes, as the places that we knew with+ certainty that spirit was not, open up and show us that it is in fact there. This opening does not occur through wishful thinking, holding onto ideas, concepts or beliefs. It occurs through practice, critical thinking, developing ability and understanding.