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”
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
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