The Essence of Spirituality
To be spiritual is to be related to the visible, invisible and the infinite aspects of life simultaneously. True spirituality never provides any escapes for fear-obsessed people. We may find other escapes in the world, but they are not the essence of spirituality. Please realize this very clearly.
It's an adventure to be truly religious, to be a totally spiritual person. When we are committed to the totality of life and not to any walls created by man in the name of nationality, denominations, creeds, and dogmas, then we do not belong to a particular race, to a color, but to the whole global family.
In spirituality none of us escape the challenges. They will pursue us wherever we go. We carry within us the inheritance of the human race; the knowledge, the experience, the conditionings of the total human race are contained in each of our minds.
Please see that spiritual inquiry is not withdrawing from life and living, but bringing a qualitatively new approach to the act of living. It is not escape and it is not an ego-centered activity of collecting occult and transcendental experiences. We often talk about religious inquiry, spiritual inquiry, meditation in a very petty sense.
If we want to achieve something personal in spiritual inquiry, we are transferring ambitions from the physical and psychological to the religious field. Spiritual inquiry is not a self-centered, ego-centered activity. It is responding to the challenge confronted by the human race.
We can have fascinating experiences in the realm of the occult; this kind of spirituality is a good commercial proposition. People trade in it, make money by offering to stimulate certain psychic powers in others.
But religion and spirituality are precious, scared things, not things for trading, or for establishing sects and gathering disciples.
If we play games in the name of spirituality, we are trying to protect the ego from the flame of revolution, the piercing force of truth. We are free to defend ourselves if we like, but it's no use pretending we are undertaking an inner revolution when we try to collect psychic experiences, play with the occult. The spiritual journey is to set ourselves free of the prisonhouse of the ego; it is not to make the prisonhouse more interesting by the addition of psychic experiences, occult practices.
Many of us work very hard to give a spiritual appearance to our lives, to delve into the mysteries of the invisible, occult, to take up healing practices, to become emeshed in extra-sensory experiences, but unless that being is set free of the tyranny of conditionings, there is no spiritual inquiry worth the name.
The desperate need of the human race is not the cultivation of psychic powers and extra-sensory experiences; the urgent requirement is for mature, whole human beings who are free of ego attachments, emotional imbalances and who are aware, attentive, sensitive, creative and fully alive.
Seed questions for reflection: What is the essence of spirituality for you? How do you set yourself free of the tyranny of conditionings? Can you share a personal story that illustrates the essence of spirituality?
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