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.

3 comments:

  1. Your right about too much noise from 'religious clubs'. I can't afford any more equipment in my life. And if I could I'd still pass on purchasing.
    I'm just going to rely on 'listening to my intuitive compass'. A number of years ago it led me to the Pullman Memorial Universalist Church in Albion New York ... and I found spirituality and comfort. In the last month the signal has been jammed from Albion ... and I'm calmly waiting to see if the signal comes back.
    Thanks for you words.
    Happy New Year.

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  2. Hi David,
    Many thanks for this-it has much truth. I quite agree with much of what you describe as the spiritual life. At the same time, I have very much come to believe in the importance of a religious life as well. Though I will never be able to believe that God can be encompassed by a particular religion, I do believe that the communal searching for the right frequency helps provide the discipline and insight that is so crucial to spirituality.
    I also agree that we have an intuitive compass but just as their are dangers in "religious clubs' so too with intuition. I have come to believe that the spiritual life is refined and molded by the necessity of forming right relationships as part of religious community (church)
    I say this as one who is blessed to be a part of a wonderful church with inspired ministerial and lay leadership. May it be so for all.
    Meanwhile, I didn't even mention AA and the 12 Steps which are also a vital part of my spiritual life...another day.
    Thanks again, and many blessings, BU

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