Spirituality, a Definition in 2016 and Beyond.
Spirituality by Definition seems to be quite a vague subject, and rightly so.
Spirituality is not a tangible object that can be seen nor touched.
Neither is it the rituals or ceremonies that accompany the numerous spiritual beliefs or dogmas.
It’s simply an idea.
And idea that can be unique and diverse as each individual that perceives it.
Hence why there has been so much disagreement on the matter for thousands of years, and probably will be for some time to come.
Spirituality itself is bound by the beliefs and perspectives of the billions of people on the planet who have in some way a “spiritual value”.
This comes from the various forms of:
- Spiritual practices
- Belief systems
- Ideas about the world
Defining it therefore becomes a matter of seeing it through the eyes of each individual who has a belief about what the “Definition of Spirituality” is.
Since each of us has a different set of perceptions and beliefs about the world, getting a congruent answer on the matter becomes one fraught with arguments and conflicting ideas.
In fact if you asked 10 people what spirituality means to them, you’ll probably get 10 different answers.
Here in lies the challenge on the subject, since each of us wants to define it to others in a way that we see it.
Even myself writing this is a representation of that.
So we argue, doing our best to stick to what we believe is true, then wanting others to believe our way is the right way.
The question itself “what is spirituality” then becomes one that is diverse as the many faces of the world, of present, past and future.
This in itself is no definitive answer to your question, but the potential of what “spirituality” could be.
Now without wanting to leave you with just empty space to meditate on finding “your answer”…
I’m going to crystallise my answer into something simple that resonates with me.
“Spirituality; is having a feeling that there is more to life than what we can see, and that there is a possibility of a higher power beyond our senses.”
A spiritual journey then becomes a journey into finding out more about the possibility of such a thing, and finding your own truths.
A spiritual person than becomes someone who has put aside part of their awareness to be dedicated to the spiritual journey, which may evolve over time as we evolve.
So what’s the point of this whole “Spiritual” thing in the first place, and why do we care about it as people?
In short I believe is comes down to two simple things….
“We want to feel safe, and we want to feel good.”
The reason why we are always searching for “the truth” or “right way” is so we can protect ourselves from the “wrong way”.
Since if we choose the “wrong way” we would be unsafe, or in danger of some kind (burning in hell or whatever).
This is why there are so many arguments about “whose way is the right way”.
It’s simple self protection.
BOTH parties arguing that their spirituality or belief is the right way is really only a mechanism to protect their own self interest. If they are on the wrong team, then bammo, they are in for it.
So people stick head strong to their beliefs, since for them it is about protecting themselves from death or worse, so they fight tooth and nail to convince you.
Once we “feel safe” that we are onto something, we then want to “feel good”.
Feeling good can only come after we have some sense of “peace” that we are on the right track, or believe we are being looked after.
Feeling good, then becomes an exploration of what’s beyond the unseen and our relationship with it.
So what do I define as Spirituality in 2016 and beyond?
If you ever had read any of Bruce Lee’s books (yes the martial arts movie star, and yes he wrote books), you will notice he had a fundamental idea that was quite revolutionary in martial arts at the time.
That idea was that “there is no right way” to win a fight, and no “best” martial art to learn.
That one should learn many martial arts forms from many perspectives.
That you should be free enough in your skills to switch between martial arts to suit the situation – a master of your body and mind, not just of the theory of the art.
You then needed to practice in live sparring, to understand yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, to use what is useful to you, and to throw out what is not, to form an expression of your unique way.
The conclusion being “mastery over oneself” rather than relying on a particular martial art form to save you.
This was a revolutionary idea at the time between the martial arts schools ( one that wasn’t liked by the traditionalists) as they all bickered about “their way being the best or right way”.
Since then martial arts in itself has gone on to evolve in such a way where the martial arts are being blended, and tested in a live training environment, such in todays Mixed Martial Arts.
We now see that there is not one “best” martial art, but many martial arts that are useful (albeit some more practical than others in this context), and an understanding of many disciplines with a strong understanding of the individuals strengths and weaknesses is key.
It’s an individual journey that has a foundation and framework of many arts that came before it.
With the advent of the internet, we all have access to a world wide pool of knowledge about everything in life (not just spirituality) which is paving the way for the potential of a greater sense of awareness for everyone.
As we are exposed to new ideas outside of our own world, our awareness grows and has the potential to take on those ideas and to make them our own.
We can then apply those ideas to our own lives, and then spend time to explore whether those ideas make the world a better place or not.
- Whether they increase love, or increase fear.
- Whether they create divides (us versus them) or they bring people together.
- Whether they create equality, or inequality.
- Whether they inspire compassion, or separation.
- Whether they are born of love, or born of power over people.
- Whether they are about self preservation, or the preservation of all.
- Whether it brings you peace, or brings you fear.
As we have access to more knowledge, and become more aware of the power each of us have as individuals….
Spirituality in 2016 and beyond becomes a search for the human potential.
It becomes a search for your potential, to become the most loving, happy and fulfilled you possible.
Not one born through excesses of consumption, but the ideology of evolving into the best you that you are aware of, and taking a journey into that potential.
To live a simpler, more elegant life. One that generates more value than it consumes, that focuses on experience and empowerment over hoarding.
It becomes a search for self awareness. That the individual is responsible for his or her own enlightenment and saving of self.
- Is this a new idea? No. I can hear the Buddhists saying “Well Duurrr.”
- Is there a clear path? No. The path is as individual as you are.
- Is there a right path? Possibly, but you have to find that out yourself.
- How do you start? You’ve already started.
- How do you know when you’ve made it? How do you know there is a “made it”, and if there is an end- then what?
As 2016 starts its march into a new millennium, it’s important for us to put a part of ourselves ( however small) aside to find and to become curious about what our potential is and to explore those possibilities.
You have the power to create your own world, and more so than ever the power of an individual, a collective, or an idea that can resonate through humanity to make sweeping changes to affect the future.
It’s only with a growth in self awareness that each of us can hope to wield the power we have wisely.
But all in all, this is only my take on the matter and but a whisper in the wind past your ear.
It’s up to you to find out what feels right to you at this time in your journey.
What do you believe the Definition of Spirituality is in 2016 and beyond?