just some days ago, I shared in my post about the Food Project “Konojel”, that in my wonderful second home; San Marcos La Laguna, Solola, in Guatemala; we are living in a wild mix of world people. The San Marcos population is made up of original Mayan people from the tribe of the Kaqckikel, and a colorful mix of foreigners from all countries of the world. Many of this people consider themselves part of the New Age Scene, a tribal movement or travel the world as alternative healer. Life styles and philosophies of all kinds are practiced in our little town, bringing the positive and the negative side of a spiritual life to the surface. So when I ran into this article raising the question, how much spirituality is truly translated in divine actions in the many new awakening movements, I felt like this is truly worth questioning!!! Let me know what you think, and what type of feelings this article has created in you! I hope you enjoy the read!!
Miraculous Self-Discoveries and Blessings ;-)!
This is an expect from the article “sei-spirituale-o-pieno-di-te-stesso”, written & translated by Giulio Pietro Benati
We hear it all the time: “I am spiritual, but not religious.” Recent human history has probably seen more conversions to spirituality than any other era. However, what does it mean, “being spiritual”? I grew up an atheist, with the certainty that religion was the opiate of the masses. The Catholic Church, in particular, looked evil to me: opulent, false, opportunist. It burned witches, molested children, and fought holy wars against imaginary enemies.
However, I felt an inner calling to look for something more than sheer matter. That’s why I started to seek. I found a yoga school in Thailand that taught me several techniques meant for the attainment of the infinite without the need for any divinity (or, at least, that’s what I thought). At that school, I observed that for many people spirituality means practicing yoga, reading books about self-development, and speaking about being spiritual. Even at that time, I felt that something was wrong with this idea of spirituality (which I considered really shallow) compared to the lives of the saints and mystics who followed many genuine ascetic traditions.
Today, when I take a look around, I can only confirm what I saw seven years ago.“Being spiritual,” according to the latest New Age trends, often includes everything that I said above, plus some other ingredients like dressing up as a “spiritual person” and sharing a “spiritual look” on Facebook or becoming vegan/vegetarian and pointing the finger at anyone who is not.
Appearance overcomes essence, facade overcomes truth, and falsehood pervades everything.
I don’t want to say that doing yoga is something bad. It is totally appropriate to follow yogic principles if you follow them with honesty and compassion, just as you are perfectly entitled to have faith in Jesus Christ, Buddha, or Muhammad if you live with the open heart that a true seeker should have.
The bad thing is if, on the other hand, you hide behind yoga or religion in order to justify all the shit you spread around. I’m strongly convinced that an aggressive attitude against non-vegan people masks the same tendencies that brought about the Inquisition and the burning of witches in the name of God!
Substituting One Dogma for Another
Many seekers leave their parents’ religions just to substitute one dogma for another. Instead of considering pre-marital sex a sin, they consider eating sugar, not recycling, or using a car instead of a bike sinful. As in the past, the fundamental tenets of a genuine spiritual path (truthfulness, freedom, and unconditional love) are lost along the way. In other words, the everlasting happiness independent of the external world is overlooked.
And sometimes, that spark of the Infinite that you tasted makes you feel special, favored. Suddenly, you are right and the rest of the world is wrong. You are the special child of God, your path is the unique, authentic one and anyone who doesn’t follow it is making a mistake (and, even if they are following it, you are doing it better!). Chanting Sanskrit mantras, not cursing, always being kind (even if it’s a false kindness), having symbolic tattoos, and becoming vegan are not true signs of spirituality.
However, this is exactly what the vast majority of “spiritual people” do nowadays, thinking that this is enough to be elevated, special, and dear in God’s eyes. They think these actions make them better than the rest of the world. Obviously, I don’t think that every single person who walks the spiritual path today is doing it so blindly. There are undoubtedly people who are sincerely seeking the Absolute in their lives. However, from what I have observed in my (short) experience, an overwhelming majority of those who define themselves as spiritual have a very distorted conception of themselves and of the path they are walking.The Spiritual Path Is the Path of the Common Man
If you are REALLY spiritual, allow yourself to simply be you. This “spiritual you” should be kind, compassionate, and gentle (although it is said that many mystical people have tremendous personalities 😉 !). Take care not to fall into the trap of dogma; you don’t have to fight to be like that. You don’t have to force yourself to be spiritual. Even more, you don’t have to strive to appear spiritual. You are already spiritual! These virtues are already in you!
What you have to do is simply decondition yourself and recognize the truth deeply embedded in yourself. This is what the spiritual path should be—simply the search for your true nature. Spirituality simply means to be authentic with yourself and others. Pay attention, though. It is not easy to be authentic! In my whole life, I have met very few people who are truly authentic. Being authentic means being open, not being afraid of the judgment of others, trusting in the universe. It means to believe.
Source: Hridaya Yoga
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