What does ‘spirituality’ mean now?

I’ve been thinking about what does ‘spirituality’ mean now?

This is relevant to today’s news as we hear about more kids running away to defend

an idea (Islam in this case, but it could just as easily be something else).

As I have another teacher training that I am running and the next weekend is all

about Dharma, it is always a challenge to find ways to engage without it turning too

religious, ethereal or pious for the average yogi atheists.

But for these kids there is no question what their dharma is. They have absolute faith

in the correctness of their actions, however misguided we may see them.

A lot of acts of war and of kindness have been done under the quest for spiritual

gain, doing what is required by spiritual leaders and various groups.

I am reminded of a saying that goes something like this; “Today I say I am Christian.

Tomorrow I say I am a Jew, the next I say I am Muslim, etc. What is the thing that

changes? The ideology changes. What is that which does not change? The “I am”

never changes.”

Labels alone do not define spirituality or our purpose in life. I think each system of

logical belief patterns is seeded with the perspectives of what true spirituality is,

that these concepts can only be shared by experiencing them in actions, and that

the major downfall of almost all, is the contradiction between the ideology and the


“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his

soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings

with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and

wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are

not prepared to receive them: for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere

except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity and love.”

– Thomas Merton (1915 – 1968)

All of the billions of years of evolution to get to a place where we can argue over the

importance of labels on the tin and yet not get that what truly matters is what is in

the “TIN!”

It seems to me that almost all spirituality is based on creating better people by giving

them a moral code that understands the need for co-operation and something to

pacify the egos need for there to be more to this.

However, it is up to each individual to act upon any moral code, and for this to

happen there must be a strong grounding truth; one also needs to maintain a

questioning mind. Not all that we hear and see is true. I am reminded of this quote

about our freedom of self-determination and I think it applies outside of the states


“Never let yourself be persuaded that any one Great Man, any one leader, is

necessary to the salvation of America. When America consists of one leader and 158

million followers, it will no longer be America.”

– Dwight D. Eisenhower

Spirituality is a complex issue that only the individual can act upon. There is no

magical mantra that suddenly initiates you into the depths of spirituality. No magical

handshake or gesture that makes the blessings of god or gods rain down on you.

To me the truest of spiritualities is true compassion, taking care of the poor, the

injured and those in distress. Everything else seems to be something that is created

to satiate our ego.

“Stupid religion makes stupid beliefs, stupid leaders make stupid rules, stupid

environment makes stupid health, stupid companions makes stupid behaviour,

stupid movies makes stupid acts, stupid food makes stupid skin, stupid bed makes

stupid sleep, stupid ideas makes stupid decisions, and stupid clothes makes stupid

appearance. Let’s get rid of stupidity from our stupid short lives.”

– Michael Bassey Johnson

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