21
May

What Is the Point of Spirituality?



the word spirituality has a capacity to divide people like few others for some it's an innately beautiful touchstone the designator of a special kind of experience that's so valuable it's best left reverentially unexplored and pure lest one disturb its ethereal mysteries with a cold hand of reason for others spiritual is just nonsensical Buncombe have appeal only to adolescent dreamers the underemployed and the weak-minded but precisely because spiritual experiences are so often either worshipped or derided it pays to try to submit them to dispassionate and sober examination not in order a priori to crush them or honor them but so as to make them more intelligible to friend and foe alike whatever our suspicions spiritual moments are capable of being pinned down split into their constituent elements and assessed with due regard one should and can get respectfully rational about spirituality spiritual moments belong to a mood that most of us will only ever irregularly and perhaps haphazardly access a mood in which practical concerns are for a time kept entirely at bay and we accede to a slightly unnerving yet also thrillingly oblique perspective on existence during these moments the ordinary world and it's pressures are kept at a distance from us perhaps it's very early in the morning or late at night we might be driving down a deserted motorway or looking down at the earth from a plane tracing its way across Greenland it might be high summer or a deep winter evening we don't have to be anywhere or do anything there are no immediate threats or passions and we're liberated to consider the world from a new and unfamiliar angle the essential element is that we're able to look beyond the ego our customary state is more than we're generally even aware to be heavily invested in ourselves we aggressively defend our interests we strive for esteem we obsess about our pleasures it's exhausting and pretty much all consuming but in a spiritual moment may be helped along by the sound of flowing water or the call of a distant owl the habitual struggle ceases we're freed from our customary egoistic vigilance and we can do a properly extraordinary thing look at life as if we would not ourselves as if we were a roaming eye that could inhabit the perspective of anyone or anything else a foreigner or a child a crab on a seashore or a cloud on the hazy horizon in our spiritual state the eye the vessel that we're usually supremely and exhaustively loyal to ceases to be our primary responsibility we can take our leave and become a roaming vagabond promiscuous thing a visitor of other mentalities and modalities as concerned with all that is not us as we are normally obsessed by what is as a result a range of emotions that we would typically feel only in relation to us can be experienced around other elements too we might feel the pain of someone we hardly know or be gratified by the success of a stranger we could take pride in a beauty or intelligence to which we're wholly unconnected we can be imaginative participants in the entire cosmic drama there might in all this be a particular emphasis on love that could sound odd because we're used to thinking of love in a very particular context that of the circumscribed affection that one person might have for a very accomplished and desirable other but understood spiritually love involves a care and concern for anything at all we might find ourselves loving that is appreciating and delighting understanding and sympathizing with with a family of dung beetles or a moss covered Tundra someone else's child or the birth of a faraway star an intensity of enthusiasm that we usually restrict to only one other nearby ego is now distributed more erratically and generously across the entire universe and all its life forms spiritually minded people might at this point say that they can feel the presence of God inside them this can be a particularly enraging remark for atheists but it is more explicable than it sounds what they may be trying to say is that in certain states they're able to experience some of the generosity nobility of feeling and selflessness traditionally associated with the divine it isn't that they promptly imagine themselves as bearded men on the clouds it means that the objectivity and tenderness we might ascribe to a divine force now seems momentarily to be within their grasp spiritual moods can usher in especially anxiety free states no longer so closely wedded to ourselves we can cease to worry overly about what might happen to our puny and vulnerable selves in the always uncertain future we may be ready to give up on some of our ego driven jealously guarded and pedantically held goals we may never quite get to where we want to go but we're ready at a bob on the eddies of life content to let events Buffett us as they may we make our peace with the laws of entropy we may never be properly loved or appropriately appreciated will die and that will all be just fine and yet at the same time a particular gaiety might descend on us for a huge amount of our energy is normally directed towards nursing our egos wounds and coping with what we deep down suspect is the utter indifference of other people but that no longer seems like such a specter we have to ward off and we can start to raise our eyes and notice life in a way we never otherwise do our invisibility and meaninglessness is a given we can now joyfully accept rather than angrily or fearfully rage against we don't quake in fear that we might not be as somebody we delight and embrace in a full knowledge of our eternal nullity and delight that right now that blossom looks truly enchanting in the field opposite we cannot persist at a spiritually elevated plane at all times there will inevitably be bills to be paid and children to be picked up but the claims of the ordinary world don't invalidate or mock our occasional access to a more elevated and disinterested sown spirituality has perhaps for too long been abandoned to its more overzealous defenders who have done it a disservice it deserves to be explored most particularly by those who are by instinct most suspicious of it a spiritual experience is neither ineffable nor absurd the term refers rather to a deeply sustaining interval of relief from the burdens and blindness of being us our online shop has a range of books and gifts that address the most important and often neglected areas of life such as finding a good enough partner and mastering the art of confidence click now to learn more

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

48 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *