How Do You Define Spirituality?
Spirituality means different things to people. Some define it as another dimension where beings exist in a causal plane. Others define it in the context of their religion. For many, transcendent matters seem less defined, like a fog of unknowns filled with veiled assumptions. It appears that any definition is workable because the incorporeal realm is invisible.
I find it interesting that the spiritual idea requires a tale of grandiose proportions. Its just not good enough to simply be human. The unseen story is so vital to the religious mind, that life without it appears hopeless and bleak. I wondered for years why this was so. Why does spirituality need a story? Why the need for a God or Goddess? Is not life in all its tangible glory enough?
The reason lies in our ancient past. In my opinion, evolution utilized myth to change our genetic structure to what it is today. The problem is, this function has done its job and humanity is now awakening from identification with the story in the psychic landscape. An excellent book on the topic is Matthew Alper’s The “God” Part of the Brain.
In regard to the more modern version, Consciousness is in. With Consciousness you are pretty safe from religious ridicule and bias. Spirituality, from this perspective, allows for more articulate explanations. Serve up a bowl of Quantum Physics and the Holographic Theory, throw in a dash of “What the Bleeb Do We Know” and you have a delicious buffet of paradigms.
Spirituality and OBE’s
Having personally experienced a lifetime of OBE’s (Out-Of-Body-Experience), I became rather familiar in this so-called “Spiritual Realm.” With the consistency of these nocturnal surprises, I had plenty of chances to tinker with the phenomenon. I began experimenting with my diet and made the connection between lucid dreaming and overeating. During my waking state, I took a second look at “day-dreaming” and made another connection. Childhood trauma was found to be the root of the night terrors, and all of this was pointing to the physical processes in the brain.
When I observed my thoughts during a conversation or while driving my car, I would catch myself fully engaged watching the video in my mind. I could clearly see the recent conversation with my friend in the coffee shop. The next second, I would be skipping down the street in my childhood neighborhood. These images were always streaming just like dreams during sleep. Over the years, lucid dreaming would become a tangible reality, flying over cities, interacting with friends, and awakening in my room while consciously asleep. The interesting discovery was that the room never completely mirrored the actual environment, only in parts. I would discover this phenomenon as a construct of the brain rather than an alternate universe. I came to the conclusion that other dimensions and stories, invisible landscapes and beings, was hard to distinguish from the creative imagination.
“The Invisible and the Non-Existent look the same”
Whether a spiritual version of oneself is true or not, I found that it is not necessary to have a deeply meaningful life. In fact, I found it quite human and physical to enjoy a rich internal environment where you can paint the world and evolve your genes. The story of spirituality is just not necessary. In fact, I would venture to say that the spiritual story hijacked the natural evolutionary process by implying authorship. This authorship in my view is the big problem.
I like to think we are life consciously evolving in the human experience. When I think of the millions of years of our evolution, and the natural, organic process that became human, I get excited. When I look at the intelligence and depth of feeling, the intuitive inner gut and peripheral sensitivity that some call psychic, I am in awe. Considering the fact, that it took life so very very long to develop this perennial wisdom. In my mind, evolution dwarfs spiritual stories and enhances the subjective experience.
How do I define Spirituality?
Simply put, spirituality is our subjective experience. The word “subjective” is described in the dictionary as “existing in the mind; belonging to the thinking subject rather than to the object of thought.” This distinction is so important I cannot stress it enough. Who a person actually is, based on their observable life, can appear completely different in another’s mind. Our memories, feelings and beliefs are the lens through which we see the world. If we believe our subjective perceptions without question, we become susceptible to delusions. Critical thinking is the key to integrating our subjective experience with the outer world.
Life is consciously evolving in the human experience through the interaction with the environment. All choices, thoughts and actions appear to be volitional, but in fact there is no one who can take credit. What we feel and experience as spiritual, is simply the wisdom of evolution expressing itself as the human imagination. Take a look at The Epigenetics Revolution by Nessa Carey.
When it comes to trauma, the inner world becomes a dark and frightening labyrinth of mirrors. We are no longer “being” the creative process but are trapped by it. We have crafted a self who is an object in the inner landscape, and the creative imagination has become a reflection we cannot change.
In future posts, I will expand on this topic but for now, let’s just say that the inner world can be our paint brush or our bullwhip depending on the depth of association. One of the main pointers in the teachings of Zen Buddhism is identification. It is here where I make the connection.
Our subjective experience is very personal, and not some god or spirit floating around our so-called auric field. Human responsibility naturally unfolds when this private world is understood in its proper perspective. Grounded in current scientific research, we can explore and celebrate our transcendent experiences, without falling into the abyss of identification.
Thanks for the read . . . Christopher Loren.
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