In all times, spirituality has been about how people consciously deal with their own non-conscious mind. Has the endeavor been worthwhile and may it lead to a new dawn?
Spirit = internal: the way of using one’s mind without immediate crystallizations of ‘thinking’ into ‘thoughts’ – thus: what happens in the mind before conceptualization. Scientifically, we know now that this is immensely much.
Spirit = external: looking at the world with a spiritual mind. As such, one sees more than the purely conceptual. Thus: many associations at the same time, and in this also ‘deeper patterns’ which cannot be seen when looking serially at detail after detail. I call this: ‘parallel thinking.’ It makes one prone to a poetic stance, which is also related to ‘depth’. I’ve put a personal result in a number of ‘Poems from a Parallel World.’
Thus: meditation IS spirituality
At least to me, there is no difference.
This is quite personal: meditation is not about counting breaths or reciting ancient text. It is about what happens behind anything conceptual, even without the need for that conceptual layer – as in pure meditation or ‘samadhi’.
Spirituality ╬ conceptuality
meaning that one can be lower or higher regardless of the other, within the same person. More difficult to grasp perhaps: it can also be so within one person at the same time. As a matter of fact, both being high brings a huge advantage in degree of inspiration / problem-solving of probably any kind within a person’s knowledge sphere.
To many Westerners, spirituality still has a strong association with organized religion
including a notion of God, stories from ‘the book’ etc. This is historically based. In essence, spirituality can live very well outside of any ‘book-religion’. Noteworthy, it has actually done so in the West over all times. In this vein, it has been drawn into for instance Catholicism by forces within Catholicism itself as if it belonged there by nature.
As a matter of fact, this ties people to organized religion.
If the child is in the bathwater, not clearly discernible through much foam, one needs the bathwater. That is not a good situation because it makes people unduly dependent. Additionally, when the bathwater gets thrown away, something very dire indeed might happen…
Which to many people in the West, has been happening. This is bad.
Spirituality and its advantages are certainly not confined to the domain of religion. It can be part of science – even for instance including mathematics – or art or even everyday life. One can continue doing what one has always done and become very spiritual.
This doesn’t necessarily make life easier.
Who said it would? Who says it’s supposed to? We almost think that comfort is a sacred right and that end value has to be measured through some ‘quality of life’ test which is mainly a comfort (or lack of discomfort) scale. Well…
This may be what people generally are eager to pay for, but spirituality doesn’t readily fit in it. So, Western culture gets frowned upon by other, more spiritually inclined cultures. Rightly so, but then again wrongly so according to how the other culture deals with spirituality of course.
We need a new dawn for Western spirituality.
One sees this in many efforts nowadays. Still I think there’s a long way to go. Mainly, the West should remain proud of its own ‘enlightenment’ which is mainly rational / conceptual. We shouldn’t throw that away or even dilute it.
We should make a synthesis, into a kind of Western enlightened spirituality.
The thought of it already makes me happy.