What is spirituality?
It’s a term used to mean many different things, as Ken Wilber has pointed out.
So what does it mean to me? How do I use it here?
To me, spirit = reality, and spirituality = exploring and aligning more consciously with reality.
In a Christian culture, this may seem a bit odd. Christianity came to create a dualistic worldview that sees spirit as mostly separate from this world. And that, in turn, meant that spirituality came to mean something impractical, mysterious, indefineable, and irrelevant to the daily lives of most of us. It became something we encountered briefly and occasionally in church and perhaps at Christmas, Easter, baptisms, weddings, and funerals.
For me, since spirit = reality, it means that spirituality is practical, relevant to daily life, and doesn’t have to be that mysterious. It’s something that can be understood and described in practical terms.
And what is reality? It’s our everyday reality, in addition to the aspects of reality we are not yet familiar with and haven’t explored or described yet (either individually or collectively). Our experience of life or reality is, obviously, very limited. And our interpretations and maps are tentative, only useful as pointers, and have no absolute or final truth in them.
There are many ways to explore reality. Everyday life and science are perhaps the most common ones in our culture. Spirituality is yet another way of exploring life and reality. And the tools of this particular approach happens to include prayer, meditation, body-mind practices, inquiry, energy work, transmissions, and more.
So science and spirituality are two ways to explore life and reality. They compliment each other. And they even use many of the same guidelines and methods. Scientific methods and guidelines very much apply to spiritual explorations.
And how do we use spirituality to consciously align more closely with reality? We do so through an honest exploration of what’s real. For instance, through inquiry I may see that thoughts or images I hold as real and true are not. They are created by my mind. Other thoughts and images about the same are equally or more valid. And none of them hold any final or absolute truth.
This is an ongoing process, and if I am honest with myself and have some basic skills, it will help my view and life gradually align more closely with life and reality.
How does that look? It looks very ordinary. It looks like normal clarity and sanity. It looks like living life as a more mature and sane human being, in a very ordinary sense.
- definition for me: explore / align w reality
- in our culture / Christian culture
- duality spirit/world, mind/body etc. – so the “spiritual” is seen as mysterious, different from our everyday world, also often very misunderstood, misguided
- important to bring it back to reality, to everyday life, the ordinary
- spirit/god = reality as it is (what we are familiar with + the rest)
- spirituality = exploring / aligning with reality
- also, reality is this ordinary life + whatever we are not yet (consciously) familiar with
In a Christian culture, this may seem a bit odd. Christianity
In a culture deeply influenced by what Christianity came to be, this may seem a bit odd.