Monday, December 29, 2008
Morning meditation - Spirituality explained
Spirituality has to do with a person's relationship with his/her Higher Power whatever they conceive that Higher Power to be. Religion is joining a club, a club with certain rules, customs, traditions, history, practicies, and representatives. Increasingly, especially in first world countries, human beings on the planet earth are opting out of joining religious clubs, but state that they are interested in spirituality. One of the largest spiritual movements in the last 75 years has been AA, Alcoholic Anonymous and other 12 step programs.
The biggest obstacle to joining a religigous club for most people are the creeds they are expected to profess for membership and the obedience and submission expected to religious authority in the person of the clergy person representing the policies and procedures of the organization. My favorite bumper sticker says, "My God is too big for any one religion," and when one resonates with this idea one finds it difficult to submit oneself genuinely to the requirements of any particular religious organization.
Leading a spiritual life requires discipline and practice. It requires a person to reflect on his/her values and to live in accordance with what one decides matters. This is not easy to do and often one finds him/herself deficient in living up to one's own values and principles. And yet, the person recognizes the value in persistance, faithfulness, and commitment.
A good spiritual life is an ethical life in which one orders one's behavior for the benefit of oneself as well as others and the well being of the planet and the solar system.
Since a child, I have had a mantra which is "It's not a bad life if you know how to live it." It is in learning how to live life that spirituality is born. Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living" and a spiritual life is an examined life.
There is in each of us an intuitive compass which tells us whether we are on the right track or not. Learning how to listen to the intuitive compass and making adjustments when we get off track is the essence of a spiritual life. Sometime religious clubs help us listen to our intuitive compass and sometimes they lead us off track. When there is a conflict, to what should we pay attention? More likely than not it is the intuitive compass for if we are listening with humility, with reverence, with open hearted and open mindedness, we are empowered by the universe to fulfill our destiny.
It is this listening to the intuitive compass which is at the heart of spirituality and the authentic life. One Christmas I saw a church sign which had the following words, "You too can hear the angels song, if you tune in on the right frequency."
Too many religious clubs have become noise in the atmosphere. They jam the signal. We need to tune in to a different frequency and that may require other equipment.