What is “living from spirit”? What is “living from spirituality”? What is “Spirit”?
I’m going to answer this way. We have all chosen certain lifestyles. For the quote Spiritually-minded person unquote, a certain lifestyle is chosen.
Unfortunately, people start thinking that the lifestyle is what is Spirit in our lives.
Too many times, I’ve seen any number of us decorate our homes with the “right spiritually-minded” things. We go to the right “spiritually-minded” restaurants. We attend the right “Spiritually-minded” events. We have the right “spiritually-minded” clothing. We eat the right “spiritually-minded” foods. We vote “spiritually-minded” for the right candidates. We practice the right “spiritually-minded” exercise. Yet, it’s all window dressing, because it is external from our heart and consciousness. We’re going by what we think in our head or lifestyle that we consider “spiritually-based”. As one person said, “It’s vanity.”
Window dressers are decorating a manikin and manikins aren’t real people.
Being human, even when we wear the right clothing, and attend or teach the right classes, we can still blame others for our own issues and problems in our lives. We blame others in our relationship problems. We project our shortcomings and dislikes onto others. We can hold resentments, judgements, bitterness and all likes of other issues.
How many people do you know that blame Republicans for the problems in this nation – or blame Democrats – or blame men – or blame women – or blame this group or that group or this person or that, etc. etc. etc.
I know some car mechanics who know who they are more than some window dressing “spiritually-minded” people who do the right spiritually-minded things, and say the right spiritually minded words. Some of these who know themselves – even a car mechanic – lead quiet lives of service to others with no window dressing at all – wearing dirty overalls, with grease under their fingernails and worn out t-shirts. No one of any level of awareness knows that a Bodhisattva (your word, not mine) lives near by and the B. couldn’t care less about the label.
No amount of decorating with the right wall decorations or playing the right music or going to the right circle dances or eating the right foods or attending the right psychic faire, or anything outside ourselves will of itself be any answer to what we really seek.
We seek our self. But more often than not, we reject this as the answer to our problems. And the reason we reject this answer is because we reject our self. We think so little of our-self that we believe we couldn’t possibly be the answer to what we seek. We think “our self is so unworthy of being sought”. So, we add more window dressing and eat the right foods and say the right words, and attend the right events, and continue to think so little of ourselves.
And when we finally come to realize that we think so little of our own self, we blame others for this – our parents, our spouse, our children, the Republicans, the Democrats, the president, men, women, etc. etc. etc. (take your pick.) for our own attitudes about our self.
The journey within is just that. It is a journey to find out the truth about our self, and why we think so little of our self that we start to decorate our life to distract us from how little we think of our self. We can then start thinking the decoration is what “Spirit” is all about.
The answer is and will always be to seek our own self. To know oneself. Why do I feel this way about that person or group? How does condemning others, blaming others or criticizing others serve me? Why do I blame that political group or this religious group? Am I willing to be more honest with myself in my answers?
We are a cosmos unto ourselves – a true cosmos. The journey will one day start, and we will reach the deepest parts of our self in this journey. But, the journey won’t progress when we choose instead to window dress the manikins – the external – and ignore the internal.
So, the answer to the questions at the beginning? Every human on this planet, (every life form on this planet) in truth of fact, is on a very real spiritual path. Even the ones we blame for all the external window dressings that we don’t like. The cosmos that we seek isn’t “out there”. When we finally get it, we’ll realize “out there” is just window dressing manikins.
What may strike so many as a horrible statement is that the real issue here isn’t what happens with the Earth or our physical life, (it will one day pass away in a destruction like how it was born) the real issue to focus on is what happens within us – in our hearts and minds.
Where do we window dress compassion? Not on the walls. Where do we apply forgiveness and understanding, patience and mercy? Not starting in a set of exercises or the food we eat or the people we vote for. Rather, in our day to day activities, from the moment we wake up in the morning to the moment we go back to sleep, relating to our self and the others in our lives and to the aspects of our lives that we come face to face with every day – like road rage, and clerks at the grocery store, or politicians in the news.
Our spiritual practice does not have the Earth and it’s inhabitants as what we need to change first and foremost. Our own heart, mind and soul is what we change, first and foremost. This is the greatest of purposes of a spiritual practice – to change from resentment, dishonesty with ourselves, bitterness and more to practicing patience, understanding, and tolerance. From condemning another to recognizing that when we condemn one person, we are condemning our self. From shaming another person, or assigning guilt, to realizing that when we shame one person, or assign guilt, we are shaming all of life and assigning guilt to all life – including our self.
When we change that which is within our hearts towards others, we are, in truth of fact, changing the world we live in – because we just changed one of the world’s inhabitants – an inhabitant that helps to create the world, helped to create it before and will again. And that doesn’t necessarily need yoga pants to do.
Of course, if the dressing of manikins is your meditation practice, let it lead you within, to find out why you are who you are, and God bless you for it. Remember, even taking out the garbage that goes to the landfill can serve as a spiritual practice, especially if we bless the garbage as something useful for those life forms here in 10,000-50,000 years.
“All life forms in the Earth are Spirit in matter, exploring and learning about life and Spirit – even the Earth, itself.” (The Rainbow Cards, ©, 2017, Jodie Senkyrik)
Maybe ‘Fake it until you make it.” applies here? :-)