What is Spiritual?
Before we begin to examine spiritual, we must address a common mental resistance to the term. Some people have a negative reaction to words such as spiritual, God, religion, etcetera.
In truth, it is never the word that elicits emotional or egoistic reactions. It is the way the listener defines the word. Often these “negative” definitions elicit a reaction that closes the mind to all further hearing. First, thoughts preemptively decide what words (like spiritual) mean, followed immediately by a self-determined attitude that may or may not come with observable behaviours. None the less, the mind is already made up based on a person’s own definition of a word, and without the least effort or thought given to understand what the word might mean to the other person using the word.
Spiritual is living in a state of consciousness that is free from stress. What causes stress? Being enmeshed and living in a collective group of meanings which become themes in a person’s life story. A person often does not realize that these themes are all made up in their own head. Themes are based on how that person has been conditioned to think about what happens and can happen in (their) life. This, in turn, becomes the habitual way they recreate meaning for themselves. They do this by telling themselves stories based on those habits of meaning. Telling oneself stories about life that are all personal (to the me) become the basis of self-interpreted narratives.
Spiritual is freedom from the behaviourally conditioned habit of creating personalized (“personal to me”) stories and the automatic thinking and behaviours that follow. It is freedom from a life of stress and dissatisfaction. Spiritual is living a life full of meaningfulness, and meaningfulness is the fully engaged preoccupation with activities of happiness.
In a world where so many people are looking for meaning in their lives, what they do not realize is that their stories are their ways of experiencing meanings. The overall tone of these stories or meanings become out of habit the predominant themes a person tells and resells themselves. These “tellings” collectively become that person’s dominant meanings. These stories, for the most part, are not a consciously created form of developing meaning. Sometimes people do not know that the overall tone of the stories they tell themselves and act out with others, IS their meaning. So, when life seems negative (or positive for that matter), this perception is coloured by an already established subconscious meaning and is not attributable to a set of events happening in the external world.
When a person frees themselves from personal stories (meanings), it is not that challenging situations disappear. Rather, there is a baseline of at-easement and clear perception of what is functionally happening. Because of one’s stability in inner peace, clear mindedness and perception of surrounding details are much clearer. Integrative processing of sensory data and thinking works at a much faster rate and is much more proficient without emotionally distracting stories and personal agendas. Contentment, satisfaction, and happiness are sure to follow.
To walk a sacred path, a sense of Great Sacredness replaces senses of personalized meaning. This is not a loss. It is a stretching into greater meaning that is more creative, with less of the limitations of a sense of self that is described by mirroring off of what is external. Instead of living from stress and self-limiting ways, this new sense of self is filled with boundless affinity for life. To walk a sacred path is to live from a sense of Great Sacredness until Sacredness almost automatically lives through you – until there is no longer any remnants of a personal limiting self. What will be there instead is a Self that is independent of limitations. A Self that is interconnected with all life and life energy.
Putting this into Practise:
Seek to understand other(s). Not just the definition behind their words, but the viewpoint that is in their use of words. The more you seek to understand others, the less your ego driven stories/meanings that create stress, will drive your life.