Many keys unlock the gate to spirituality and many roads lead to this gate. Different cultures, traditions and religions offer their maps and clues to get there, to explore and manifest this unique experience of the spirit. Everyone has a spiritual side of one’s own. It differs from person to person and it differs within the person as one travels through the journey of life by asking and learning something new and meaningful, by connecting to other people, having new experiences, by witnessing the passage of time etc. What is of use for one may not work for the other, what is of use today may not work tomorrow.
But let’s start from the beginning: what is spirituality and what is it not? Well, we could spend quite some time analyzing definitions from sound dictionaries, famous quotations written by bright and explicit minds etc. OR we can dive into spirituality simply by searching inside and around us. For the sake of simplicity, let’s use our everyday language.
Imagine spirituality to be an ocean – deep and vast, powerful, full of waves and surprises. There are countless ways to engage with it: one may swim on the surface or dive into the depths, one may play with the waves surfing or lay down somewhere on the beach observing… There is no right or wrong way, there is no just one way, there is no one destination or goal. In fact, this ultimately intimate experience mainly (if not fully) depends on one’s will and imagination.
Have you recently asked yourself: Who am I? How did I come into existence? Why? What it takes to become a human-being?
Is there any greater meaning and purpose to that? What is universe? How does it work and evolve? What is our place and part in it? How we all are connected to everything? If you are interested in answering such questions (and many more!), if these are buzzing around your brain and vein, you may be sure you’re on the spiritual path already. Very simply put, the spiritual journey begins by searching: for something greater than one self, for connection with truth, for personal enlightenment.
The quest for answers launched at the dawn of human thought and all challenging questions were meant to be further explored. Numerous insights, interpretations or hints have arisen in the form of extraordinary myths, powerful stories, legends or tales. Diverse religions sprung up across the earth to offer a ‘life-jacket’ in this sometimes turbulent waves of Spiritual Ocean. However, certain rituals, practices and rules, imposed symbols and attributes seem to have covered the very core of spirituality with the mystery veil of complexity suggesting spirituality to be an advantage or a property of exceptional, gifted, even blessed or specially trained ones. This leads to deeply embedded assumption that religion equals (=) spirituality. However, as human thought evolves, one might re-think the connection between established religions and personal spirituality. They do have common touch points, they are often intermingled but spirituality has a much broader meaning and it does not fit within the narrow frames of organized religions. Religion could be honored as a way to engage with spiritual side but never should be mistaken for spirituality itself.
The Greek word aλήθεια [alithia] means the truth. Etymologically α + λήθη (privative prefix + oblivion) it stands for something that cannot be forgotten, a principle that is impossible to doubt or otherwise challenge – the unforgettable, permanently valid, universal state of truth. It is vital to be truthful to oneself as through the inner truth one connects with the personal ocean of one’s higher knowing and power. A sincere ongoing conversation with oneself gives enormous strength and support, enlightens the path of life and encourages calmness and peace. One may call this process self-identification or self-revelation, even the architecture of esoteric human dimension or development of spiritual identity. Regardless of how one names it, the essence of spiritual journey remains the same – it is a continuous personal and unmeasurable experience of connecting with one’s own core and to the whole, developing self-understanding and awareness, encouraging the beauty and the joy of life.