Often ‘religion’ and ‘spirituality’ have been mistaken for the same thing. Religion is the “extreme truth of life” which is apparent in the physical world, but Spirituality is what upholds the principles of the human society. ‘Religion’ is a perspective, whereas ‘Spirituality’ is universal.
“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness, just because they are not on your road does not mean they are lost” — Dalai Lama
A society can survive without the presence of any religion, but in the absence of Spirituality the physical manifested world would not be able to preserve itself. Contrary to ‘religion’, ‘spirituality’ is all about the existing spirit in the human body. It unfurls the truth of every form of life that predominates on the surface of the Earth.
Spirituality is an expansive concept with a place for many frames of reference. It is the science that teaches us the art of connecting ourselves with something bigger than us, and it generally is in the search for a meaning of one’s life.
Common questions like “Where do I find the meaning of Spirituality?”, “Where do I feel connected?”, “How do I live?” have often come up in the minds of people across every corner of the globe. As said, ‘it is not ignorance that derides wisdom it is the semblance of being all knowledgeable that derides it’. With proper knowledge comes proper comprehension, and with proper comprehension comes proper self-actualisation.
Spirituality – is it an Art or a Science?
The answer is “it’s both”. It tells you to seek truth about yourself, affirming the fact that truth is available only to those who have the courage to question whatever they have been taught. Truth has never denied the seeker; it has always been vice-versa. To quote Lord Buddha, “All that we were is the result of all that we have thought”; a wise man once said “if you can’t just laugh thrice at the same joke, then why do you keep crying for the same thing forever?”
For many decades, spiritual “Gurus” have emphasized on the fact that Spirituality is an element which is needed everywhere. Spiritual research has laid down these following facts which are now as significant as the Gospel.
- Essentials of Spirituality:
a. Love: To rekindle oneself to the soul is not a process that requires intellect; it is a state of ‘subsistence’ and ‘action’. The heart knows the truth, and it is through that knowledge that we feel the Spirit. Love is one of the best virtues; with love flowing back and forth the Soul is awakened to its glory. If there is no loving in what one does, then the worth of one’s existence dwindles down because “self-love is the best love”.
b. To Find One’s True Self: When we start opening up to spirituality, the Divine within us will start to drive forward the falseness within our consciousness. When it is learnt about the “true self” the false image flies away.
c. We Already Are What We Seek: It has been a misconception since time immemorial that to be in the Soul one has to leave for his/her heavenly abode. No, it is not so as we are already there. We have just segregated ourselves from our cognizance through a mere knowledge of the mind, body, emotions and every kind of material & worldly pleasure. The very thing that we seek is already there in ourselves.
d. The Intention: Let us not mix up God and religion. It is a religious perspective that has revealed so many forms of the Almighty. God is Universal, and then why not make our intention God consciousness. Let us clear out our intentions and gain knowledge of the realm that we would go into someday. This knowledge would make us wise enough to choose our actions because at Karma’s doorstep we do not get what we want, we get what we deserve.
e. Transcendence of the Soul: Our Soul is truly what we are. It has more impact in our lives than our mind, body and emotions. It is the highest aspect of oneself. The expedition of our Soul is to return to a perception of oneself and to expose ourselves to the Universal energy which manifests in oneness with God. Once this is established we shall not be influenced by any negative energy at the lower levels.
- Spirituality and Health & Well-being: Almost all of life starts and finishes in the mind. This might sound harsh, but the creative mind which has been spiritually awakened is capable of creating a sinuous wave over our mental and emotional spheres. A spiritual mind is an inquiring mind, and an inquiring mind is a healthy mind.
Yoga is an invaluable form of taking oneself to spiritual consciousness and at the same time it is a physical workout that detoxifies the body, increases lung capacity and talking from the spiritual perspective it gives us the courage to experience the biggest thing in our lives, “ourselves”.
- Education, Science & Spirituality: The process of civilisation has undergone a recurrent movement of physical, abstract and intangible discoveries. These discoveries have repeated over and over again and gradually mapped and infused as mental knowledge in the form of logic, in other words as ‘science’.
The process of scientific discovery is learning new relationships between unknown facts. The primary pillars that have supported the enhancement of science limit are growth, power of discovery guided by recognition of oneself.
Spiritual vision reveals the fundamental reality and the process of creation is the same in all fields of existence. In the end, the laws of physical and spiritual evolution are the same, only the forms of manifestation may vary.
- Spiritual Psychology & Contemporary Spirituality: Spiritual Psychology sees us more than a collective form of physical, mental, emotional and psychological attributes. It is the concept which says that there is the presence of an energy beyond our perceptions. A very prominent aspect of spiritual psychology is that it helps to respect oneself in their life paths and life choices.
Contemporary Spirituality describes a man as “the self in a palace”, it helps the new generation to get more involved with their successive generations and that they are confronted by endless possibilities and choices in each facet of their lives.
- Spirituality and Human Excellence:
a. Spirituality in Daily-life: Being spiritual gives us the ability to look at the most ordinary objects like a table, chair or a pen as the most extra-ordinary objects. It would help us to look at a pile of crumpled clothes, as a big soft ball. Our spiritual energy and nature is what gives us the meaning of our lives. It is a unique force for action in every dimension of our life.
b. Personality Transformation: Spirituality helps us to tap into an unbounded fountainhead of enthusiasm, passion, compassion, wisdom, creativity, peace-of-mind, happiness and love. It gives us the vigour to persevere, to motivate and inspire ourselves and our surroundings, while providing us with a direction to focus on our lives.
c. Family & Wealth Management: Change in life is inevitable. Our body’s archaic reverberation has not been able to keep pace with this change or we are living an inundated life as daily companion to oneself. “Financial separation” has been very prevalent in modern families. The husband, the wife and neither the child/children consult anyone before burning a hole in their pockets. This is because of the liberation across all genders, generations and above all across all societies.
In the institution of marriage, the husband and the wife are co-managers. An institution needs to have one single budget ruled by a set of mutual decisions; but unfortunately, that is not what we see these days. This is a result of the lack of spiritual knowledge. This knowledge tells us that a family is a representation of trust where pieces of green notes are meant for only for one’s survival and not for making one’s identity.
Spirituality teaches a family to deal with the “dilemma of diversity”, that every change throws us into a position of dealing with entirely new surroundings. Acceptance is to be learnt across all stratums of the family. It can help the family to make necessary adjustments in lives as well their finances and get along faster towards building that ultimate epitome of trust.
- Spirituality at Workplace, Business & Management: Now one might think that how would business be in any sort of connection with spirituality. Yes! Every realm of life has the element of spirituality in it. Spirituality tells us that there is one gem in the treasure chest that has to be dug out, polished and worn proudly— the gem is our intuition. Now that being said, there is a line of difference between being a business junkie and a truth seeker.
Spirituality preaches us that every workplace can have an effective functioning with the right intuition and it has to be trusted as the spiritual energy resides in us and that seeks truth. Now something that seeks truth will never mislead. The business intuition would then help to build one’s self-esteem. Self-understanding and acceptance of oneself, the coalition that we make with ourselves and our surroundings, is in many ways the most crucial provocation that we face.
- Spirituality and Leadership, Politics & Growth of a Nation: All life emerges from the single source, (God, Spirit,. Whatever it is known as). When the physical form dons upon us we develop a distinct individuality. The purpose of this tangible incarnation is to experience that disunion from the source which can only be experienced through interaction with other incarnate existences.
The mechanics of evolution have shown the benefits of a mutual growth and understanding. An effective working atmosphere requires a set of effective rules, and these rules need to be enforced by a superior entity, i.e., the need of leadership (government). Governments have contributed to immeasurable extents for the betterment of the human race by providing infrastructures that promote enterprise and creativity; but there are negative sides to it as well.
Many wars have been executed because of wrong government policies and decisions. Such a behavior is the result of “spiritual immaturity”. Does it end there? No! It does not. Governments are built on the pillars of the world’s oldest trade – Politics. The continuity of wild differences in political opinion has dissolved many governments and built governments as well.
Elections are a barometer to gauge a State’s current spiritual progress. During elections, our spiritual duty is to get ourselves engaged but with the utmost amount of integrity and loyalty to ourselves and to the State. In the final reckoning, it is Spirituality that leads leaders and their citizens to abide by their inner instincts.
- Spirituality and Environment & Sustainable Development: How would one integrate the tangible attributes of science with the intangible attributes of “feeling, sensing or knowing”? The ecological revolution is not only a turmoil against the loss of habitats, but also against the dull and impersonal modes of living. Development which was once accepted as an elixir for most problems of mankind is now facing serious obstacles.
Despite years of heavy investments, poverty, inequality, hunger and malnutrition still prevails. Side by side we also terrors like wars and other kinds of miseries. Economic development is not sustainable development; it should include socio-cultural dimensions as well.
Development also has an ethical and spiritual dimension to it. It is human values backed by social synergy that determine coherence. A sustainable community is characterized by its sense of unanimity, ensuring that each person has a place with dignity and self-respect. Spirituality injects values into the corporate dimensions of the society.
- Spiritual Research: Spiritual research deals with the systematic study of about spiritual realm with the support of facts and evidences along with some help from the advanced sixth sense, also known as the Extrasensory Perception (ESP).
The factor to be considered and always remembered while conducting this research is that this form of research can never be accomplished with the help of conventional measurement and reasoning tools. This form of research delves mainly into one’s previous life to find out the events or courses of action which has now resulted to the positive and negative events in his/her life.
The goal of this research is to enlighten humanity on the spiritual dimension and how it alters our lives. The factor to be considered and always remembered while conducting this research is that this form of research can never be accomplished with the help of conventional measurement and reasoning tools.
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About the Author: Chandan Agarwal This article has been authored on behalf of Pragyan International University. Website: http://www.pragyanuniversity.edu.in
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