Why spirituality? Because we are seeking something deeper, something more than what we can see, feel, hear, touch, and taste. We feel a need for a deeper quest, there is a piece missing in the puzzle of life, and by identifying and acquiring the spiritual dimension, we are seeking a deeper satisfaction and firmer control through a higher sense of harmony, wellbeing, and self-actualization.
We live in a subject-object world, where we as the subject see the world as objects separate from us. As a subject, we perceive the object world through our heart (emotions), head (thoughts), and intellect (higher logic), and may often feel that we are not in touch with the spirit — some call this the spirit, the soul, or the inner life source. When we are not in touch with our spirit, there is a disconnect, a feeling of loss of control. Spirituality is a journey to discover our spirit, whereby we can gain more control over our sense of wellbeing in all aspects of our life.
Before launching on the path to self-actualization, it helps to gain some foundational knowledge about oneself. Ask yourself, “When I make decisions in my life, when I react to communication from others, and when I react to joy or sorrow, where do I act from – my head, heart, intellect, or spirit?” If you are more based in your head more than in your head, the sources of spiritual instruction you choose may be different from if you are primarily based in your heart or in your spirit. We come to crossroads constantly in life where we are making decisions as to which path to choose. If you are based in your heart, when presented a choice — for a simple example, whether to listen to an intellectual discourse or to listen to a song seeped in devotion, you may be more inspired to practice your spirituality by listening to the song because it appeals to your heart. Choosing the right tools of practice help us to better align our spiritual practices with our nature. There are many spiritual tracks, and the more aligned one’s spiritual routine is to one’s nature, the greater power we have to move our journey forward, ultimately making it more enjoyable and successful.
Spiritual journey is a journey to the unseen world. We are seeking the world of the spirit that is our inner life source. Because we are seeking that which cannot be seen, and there is no way to quantify spirituality, people around us may influence us with their perspectives on the path, and even advise us to pursue or not to pursue spirituality. There are as many opinions on spiritualty as there are people. Observing that we are choosing to explore the realm of the spirit, people react in a wide variety of ways. Some ridicule us and some praise us; both are equally a distraction from the path, because our pursuit is not to please others but to sharpen our connection with our own spirit. Many may even deny the existence of an inner life source apart from what they perceive with their senses and strongly warn us against our journey. Allowing others to lead us towards or away from our choice, may steal from us the opportunity to spend time traveling using our own guiding posts.
When we are clear on where we want to spend our time, what our priorities are, and how we want to sculpt our life, we can remain open to learning from all sources, taking in what is right to progress our path in the direction we want it to go. When facing challenges in life, spiritual practices weigh in to support us by keeping us grounded, helping make balanced decision, and thriving us through steady action. This tells us that we parked ourselves in the right space. Once we feel confirmed that our spiritual journey is bringing us greater stability, it becomes easier to progress on this journey with passion and vigor. Staying cognizant that our spiritual path is highly personal will help us to avoid imposing it on others, at the same time, protecting us from the influence of those who may try to impose their path upon us.
When we get established in spirituality, from sharper focus, intuition, and greater balance we access higher realms of efficiency, intellectual acumen, and emotional intelligence, sometimes leading to capabilities such as ability to heal or ability to look into future, having spiritual visions, and more. Buddha has warned his disciples to not get engaged piecemeal in sparks of ability, and to push forward to gain the full spectrum of spiritual light, that allows us to live the full grandeur of our spirit. Allowing ourselves to remain entrenched in pieces of magic that we gather along the path is like an architect who has fallen in love with a column and forgot to construct the tower.
What is this grandeur of a fully awakened spirit, a light not as a spark but in its full spectrum? “Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you,” Rumi. The experience is one of experiencing the entire universe as you, it is a grandeur to be experienced to the point that it is not fleeting but remains constant in you.
In the following video on the Body, Mind, and Intellect (BMI) chart, Swami Chinmayananda explains the process of going from the Body, Mind, and Intellect to higher dimensions, represented in the chart as the Om symbol that he refers to as the Brahman.
In this video, From Spiritual Aspiration to Realization, Sadguru explains some of the pitfalls of the spiritual journey
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