ARE THE HUMAN OR MYSTIC EXPERIENCES ILLUSIONARY?

 

Some scientists say existence is a construct of the brain.

Others seem to assume the brain is just an inert fleshy mud that is activated to receive knowledge, or is made conscious of a reality of material existence, (matter).

Others suggest the brain receives and transmits consciousness of a “spiritual” reality.

However, the mystic receives knowledge of a completely independent existence separate from brain or matter. Nothing in the mystic experience suggests to the mystic that anything human, neither the brain, heart or stomach are involved in the transmission of that knowledge or is of any consequence to the mystic, any more than what makes a car go when the driver turns a key or presses a button or whether the car is using gas, natural gas, electricity or charcoal.

Some scientific thinking seems to suggest scientists are only mechanics at heart, the wheel still central to their thinking?

So the answer to the question, “ARE THE HUMAN OR MYSTIC EXPERIENCES ILLUSIONARY?” is – No, the things we call illusions, such as human (matter) or mystical (“spiritual”) experiences of existence, do exist. But despite all the assumptions and intuitions aboutning, including the one I feel good about that humans are evolving into pure spirit, like butterflies from a chrysalis, it seems no one can be empirically sure yet.

In the meantime, I take great comfort from the spoken lesson of my MERs (Mystical Experiences of Reality) that All Is Well. I take that to be meant as a comfort to me, that everything is as it should be and humans are not in charge.

Mysticexperiences.net

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“MANMUKH” vs. “MINDFULNESS”

 

The word mindfulness is “manmukh” and can be safely ignored as a spiritual distraction.

(My teacher used this – Sanscrit? Urdu? – word to describe anything human).

Anything human is a distraction from the spiritual way. The spiritual way is human destiny.

So my teacher abjured us to use “manmukh” as a navigational tool of discrimination and discernment, to enable us to keep humaness, “manmukh” at arms length.

However, our dwindling personal humanity was not to ignore the need to be mindful of our duties while here as sons, daughters, nephews and nieces, neighbours, friends, colleagues, patriots etc, though not to let any of these potential hindrances distract us from our spiritual way.

(Personally, I have now used “manmukh” to steer me through the Gordian knot of human experiences with a personal mantra to meet my human duties by being Legal, Decent, and Honest, but that’s all – no further attachments, just legal, decent and honest).

Detachment, discrimination is key. This is the truth of spiritual mindfulness, in my experiences of the mystical experiences of Reality.

Mysticexperiences.net

TEN SIGNS OF SPIRITUAL AWAKENING?

Reposted from The Guides with review comments in bold:

Here are 10 “unmistakable” signs of spiritual awakening:

1. A strong feeling that something major has changed inside you. You must have experienced something that forced your soul to wake up and show you the truth and this truth was so shocking to you that you could feel deep inside that you had been living in an illusion all this while. With time, you start feeling that you have changed as a person. You are transforming into someone you never imagined you could be. You become a better person and you can feel that.

Different words but somewhat similar to my experiences, except for the bit about becoming a “better person”. Becoming a better person is only a human ambition.

2. You start questioning the purpose of your life

 

Oh yes! Bewilderingly so… I feel stranded here.

Despite possessing everything that you need, you still feel incomplete and unaware. You desperately want to know the meaning of this world and the purpose of your life.You start questioning God, you start finding answers to afterlife, soul, spirituality and desire lasting happiness.

Yes, more or less. But there was no god in any of my experiences. I also prefer contentment to happiness, contentment is more profound and permanent than happiness.

 

3. You naturally start distancing yourself from people with whom your thoughts don’t match. These people can be the ones you were the closest to. After the awakening process has set in, your soul has already reached a higher vibrational frequency and therefore, cannot match up with the souls of lower frequency. People start telling you that you have changed, but you know that this is not a change but just your soul waking up! Slowly, your old relations break and new begin that help your soul to grow further.

Absolutely. At last count I have cut over 100 close friends and relatives from my life since my experiences. Their worldliness was oppressive. Cutting them out brought instant relief. The process continues to this day …

4. You become absolutely disinterested or at least less interested in materialistic aspects. Shopping, hanging out with friends, partying, wearing expensive clothes or decorating the house with expensive furniture etc, become alien to you. You want to indulge in soul-enriching activities like travelling, meditating, taking care of your physical, emotional and spiritual health like never before and the like. You don’t even feel like doing your regular job and look for doing things which have some purpose. This often makes you pursue your dreams because you realize how short life is and how much is to be learnt and done.

Absolutely, except for “pursuing dreams”. That sounds worldly. I have no earthly ambitions except to be self reliant. Otherwise all the world gets from me is legality, decency and honesty. I avoid all other attachments and human expectations.

5. You realize your earlier mistakes and negative habits

The mistakes that you made in the past haunt you to make you feel guilty. Your old negative habits like judging people, mocking people, back-biting, being selfish, talking rude etc. stand like humongous walls in front of you which you sense you need to break in order to see the good in you. These keep haunting you until you forgive yourself for what you did and try being a better person.

True, except for the trying to be a better person bit… though I do think it is axiomatic, automatic that you become increasingly detached from lust, anger, greed, attachments and ego in all their human personifications.

6. You are constantly sad/depressed about the what’s happening in the world.

Even if it’s just a TV news channel showing a murder or a newspaper mentioning the deteriorating climatic conditions, you feel utterly depressed, you feel like doing something to help people around you, to make this world a better place to live. You want to alleviate the world’s suffering by doing something, anything that you possibly can. This can even overwhelm you to such an extent that you start crying and feel as if all this is happening to you.

True, except for the crying bit. Thankfully the world is not as primitive as it used to be and more humans, still in a primitive state of development, have nevertheless never had it so good, despite passing appearances and hysterical reactions. All is well.

7. You become a healer. Every spiritually awakened person has the potential to become a spiritual healer. A spiritual healer is someone who has the power to spiritually and emotionally heal people. By this I mean, you feel like motivating and inspiring people, in fact, you might even develop the power of pulling away emotional blockage from people.

No, I am not aware of any personal healing properties. I know what people have to do to be content but have come to the conclusion only one in a million could benefit from any advice about it in their present state of unawareness of Reality. In any case Reality is in charge. Interference in Reality’s process by religions, isms, politics and ideologies is what currently ails the human race. These sociological human traits always fail. Reality is all there is. It is inexorable. It never fails. (And it only works with individuals). All is well.

8. You develop a very strong 6th sense. Your intuition suddenly gets alert.The universe, through your intuition will try to send you messages in the form of synchronicity (11.11, 22.22. and other number symbols) on clocks, roads, street signs, lift floor numbers, number on bills etc. that might click something in you to tell you that this has some meaning to it that you must pay attention to, these messages can also be in the form of prophetic dreams for not just yourself but also for the people that you know, meeting like minded people and people who are experiencing spiritual awakening etc. All this helps you in moving ahead in your journey of spiritual awakening.

In comparison with others I notice I have this ability somewhat, so instinctively avoid noisy “spiritual sleepwalkers” and threatening or unpleasant situations. I used it to develop the ability to disguise myself with small talk in my forties, with gratifying results when forced to deal with humans. Some wisdom schools call this particular use of the sixth sense “the cloak of invisibility”.

9. You get strongly connected to nature. You feel like being close to nature. You might feel like moving out of cities to live in the suburbs, or travel to places that are close to nature. You develop strong love for animals, you want to pet them or help them in some way.

Long, solo overnight sailing cruises have given me the most spiritually profound, satisfying days of my life – land based life not so much.

10. You experience physical changes. Spiritual awakening is like a nuclear bomb of energy as a result of which you may experience many physical changes like you may experience extreme weight gain or loss, tingling sensation at the top of your head, your sleeping pattern may get badly disrupted. You may feel excessively sleepy or not sleepy at all or feel like sleeping and waking up at odd hours of the day. Your appetite might also decrease, you might have frequent pain on the back of your neck and shoulder(s) and tingling sensation in your fingers.

Can’t say any of this applies to me.

10. You develop a creative personality. Suddenly, out of nowhere, you start getting a rush of creativity which could come out in the form painting, writing, poetry, pottery, tarot reading, travelling, playing any musical instrument, singing etc. You become gutsy and get the strength to dream again and dream big and not only that, you get the courage to fulfill them as well. The latter part comes in the later stages of awakening. In the very beginning you might feel the exact opposite, you might feel utterly hopeless or even suicidal, but as you progress in your journey all this pain subsides and you get the courage to fulfill your dreams.

Some creativeness was one of the lifesaving attributes I was graced with to endure being marooned here. As for having human dreams/ambitions, being graced with spirituality excluded such irrelevant personal attachments.

11. You accept yourself for who you are and don’t stop yourself from being your actual self. You feel free!

No matter for how long you have been willingly trying to be what others wanted you to, once your soul is awakened, you can no longer contain yourself from loving your actual identity. You stop caring of what people have to say about you and do only what gives you happiness. Despite going through myriad of sudden physical, emotional changes you have a strange feeling of being free, as if you have been set free. You start realizing that there’s only one true asset in life and that is eternal happiness.

Freedom is a human word with no relevance in the limitlessness of the mystical experience of Reality (MER) if my MER experiences are anything to go by.

Mysticalexperiences.net 2018

UNFOLDMENT

“At some point in the unfoldment process the individual chooses to embrace an integrity that transcends opinion, belief, religion, culture, language, and everything that we’ve ever been taught.”

From Inspirience: Meditation Unbound: The Unconditioned Path to Spiritual Awakening by Richard L. Haight.

Publisher’s note: In my annual experiences of MER there was no question of any choice in embracing what was happening to me spontaneously, then or since.

Mysticexperiences.net

LIFE’S TRUE PURPOSE?

“It is the spiritual life which gives true purpose to our human lives. It is spiritual life which continues after this brief stay on Earth.

“It is the spirit in each of us which unites us with the spirit in All: all people, all sentient beings, all seemingly inanimate objects, and the divine.” –  R.D. Krumpos

From, “The Greatest Achievement in Life” by R. D. Krumpos. This short, comprehensive account of living mysticism today can be found at suprarational.org. The book is a comprehensive account of mysticism experienced today.

Mysticexperiences.net

ARE SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES BECOMING MORE COMMON?

A Review of an article in Psychology Today by Dr. Steve Taylor, author of the Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

MER’s review comments are in bold type:

What are spiritual experiences? I don’t think of them in religious terms. I see them as moments in which our awareness becomes more intense and more expansive than normal, so that the world around us becomes more real and alive, and we feel a strong sense of connection to nature and other human beings.

These attachments were not true of my experiences.

We might feel a sense of joy or inner stillness, and feel that somehow the world around us is “in harmony” or has a meaning that we find difficult to express.

Yes, but not just “the world”, everything.

If a person from a religious background has such an experience, they may well interpret it in religious terms. They might see it as a gift from God, and believe that the aliveness and harmony they perceive is a glimpse of the divine, or of heaven.

But if you’re not religious, there’s no reason to think in these terms. The experience is just a psychological one. It suggests that our normal vision of the world is limited and in some ways even aberrational.

In awakening experiences, there is a strong sense of ‘seeing more,’ of expanding beyond limits and perceiving a more authentic reality.

Yes! Very much so.

My research shows that awakening experiences are connected to certain activities and situations. They are associated with contact with nature, spiritual practices such as meditation or prayer, sporting activities (such as running and swimming), and sex. They are also strongly associated with states of intense psychological turmoil. That is, paradoxically, they often occur in the midst of stress and depression, or in relation to traumatic life events such as illness, divorce or bereavement.

None of my experiences of the mystical experience of Reality were associated with any of the activities and situations suggested here.

However, one of the most interesting things about these experiences is that they are apparently becoming more common.

In a 1962 Gallup poll, just 22 percent of Americans reported that they had “ever had a religious or mystical experience.” In 1994, 33 percent of people answered yes to the same question, while by 2009, the figure had risen to 49 percent.

Research by the Pew Research Center in the U.S. has shown a similar trend. In 2007, 52 percent of Americans reported that they regularly felt a “deep sense of spiritual peace and well-being.” In 2014, the figure stood at 59 percent. In 2007, 39 percent of Americans said that the regularly felt a “deep sense of wonder about the universe”—a figure which had increased to 46 percent in 2014.

Perhaps significantly, these increases coincided closely with a decrease in interest in organized religion.

In the U.K., the surveys of the Spiritual Experience Research Centre have had similar findings. In a 1969 survey, the question “Have you ever experienced a presence or power, whether you call it God or not, which is different from your everyday self?” was answered affirmatively by 29 percent of people.

In 1978, the figure had risen to 36 percent, and then to 48 percent in 1987. In 2000, there was a further steep rise to 75 percent—a 27 percent increase in 13 years (which was, coincidentally or not, exactly the same figure by which church attendance declined over the same period). (1)

A Collective Movement?

Why should spiritual experiences be more common now than they were a few decades ago? It could simply be that people are simply getting better at recognizing them, or are more open about discussing them.

A lot of historically known mystics had no choice but to keep quiet about their experiences or take the consequences from the brutal conventional religions of their day.

Now that there is more general awareness of spirituality in our culture, and concepts such as “spiritual peace and well-being” are a more common part of discourse, it could simply be that more people are describing their experiences in this way, when they might have described them in other terms in earlier decades.

Or perhaps it’s right to take the research at its face value. Perhaps spiritual experiences actually are becoming more common. This is the approach I take in my new book The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.

It is hard to tell if the good doctor is actually talking about mystics and the mystical experience of Reality that defines mystics as mystics.

I suggest that spiritual experiences are glimpses of a new state of being that is slowly becoming more normal to human beings. This is a higher-functioning state that I call “wakefulness,” in which a person feels an enhanced sense of well-being, clarity, and connection.

This is certainly a partial view of the traditional mystic experience.

They have a more intense awareness of the world around them, a greater sense of appreciation of nature, a broad global outlook, and an all-embracing sense of empathy with the whole human race. In many ways, it is a permanent, ongoing variant of the ‘awakening experience.’

Empathy with the human race is certainly not where my experiences have lead me. Humanity as a collective is at a very primitive state of Realisation (or cosmic consciousnesses).

I have found many examples of people who shift into this higher-functioning state in the midst of intense psychological turmoil – for example, bereavement, serious illness, or alcoholism—I describe some of these examples in The Leap.

If true, such descriptions would make their “experiences” suspect, very anthropological, not mystical experiences of Reality at all.

This shift is quite common, and can be seen as a variation of “post-traumatic growth”—I sometimes refer to it as “post-traumatic transformation.”

There are also hundreds of millions of people around the world who are gradually cultivating wakefulness by following spiritual practices such as meditation and service, or spiritual paths such as Buddhism, Yoga, or the Kabbalah.

The mystical experience of Reality cannot be evangelised or experienced from books or religions. The ancient and modern records of the phenomena of MER suggests the experience is caught, not taught. That’s certainly my experience.

A constantly increasing interest in self-development, spiritual practices, and traditions is one of the most significant cultural trends of our time.

Beware of such cultural “trends”. Reality is not interested in human “culture” if my experiences are anything to go by.

It seems to me that there is a collective moment towards awakening, which is manifesting itself in a variety of ways—one of which may be the increasing frequency of spiritual experiences.

(1) I am grateful to my fellow author Jules Evans for bringing my attention to this research.

Steve Taylor PhD is a senior lecturer in psychology at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He is the author of The Leap: The Psychology of Spiritual Awakening.
Source: Psychology Today

THE TREND FROM RELIGIONS TO ‘INDIVIDUAL SPIRITUALITY’*

Is this seemingly spontaneous trend leaping out of the religious frying pan into the ‘human-spirit’ fire …?

Is it missing the phenomena of the mystic experience of Reality (MER) that drives human evolution?

Perhaps mysticism being hidden behind the secret password of ‘direct experience’ makes such oversight inevitable …

So perhaps the only solace in this current trend is its emphasis on the individual. Perhaps it’s the inevitable human flight from failed collectivism which is the antithesis of ultimately real human evolution.

Aren’t Ananias and Sapphira of the bible and today’s massively failed national attempts at collectivism a warning wreckage?

Individualism is the essence of my mystical experiences of Ultimate Reality.

So perhaps the current trend away from religions to individuality is significant enough, for now – a step along the way.

*See ‘Spiritual but not religious’ on Wikipedia for a comprehensive study of the trend.

Mysticexperiences.net

“CLEVER” MER IS NOT A SCIENCE

 

The mystical experience of Reality is not a human science. It isn’t reproducible, as science demands. It does reproduce, but not by human will or experimentation.

For some as yet unknown reason the phenomena is guarded by a ‘key’ made only available to some humans throughout human history who seem not to have any discernible qualification to experience this increasingly scientifically studied phenomena. (Eg., over six thousand case histories were archived by Oxford University and are now archived under a Templeton grant at Wales University). This ‘key’ is: The Mystical Experience of Reality (MER), the EXPERIENCE being the ‘key’

The Experience seems to be fully guarded by the absolute necessity to experience It. Clever.

Everything else but this personal experience is a distraction, a contaminant, I.e.: Conjecture, experiment, logic, reason, books, courses, lectures, studies, practices, religions, foolishness, mythomania, charlatanry and dogma, even being sincere though sincerely wrong.

There is much confusion between understanding the difference between the human spirit and the Ultimate Spirit of Reality. Each are entirely different in my mystical experiences. In many ways the human spirit spins the veils between the two.

Some think that on the growing evidence, the human condition is getting more spiritually evolved as intended. So will science eventually join the exterminated by then anyway?

Mysticexperiences.net

SCIENCE ON THE WAY OUT?

The thought occurred to me that science will eventually devolve into mere technology, possibly with fringe philosophical affiliations.

It will feel at home there where only matter can be experimented with, not spirit.

Spirit is exclusively represented by the mystical experience of Reality, MER, which is probably not even exclusive to humans, and anyway only accessible by experience not experiment.

Probably this is not a new revelation, though it’s not yet as mainstream as it will become.

Mysticalexperiences.net

ULTIMATE REALITY – male or female?

 

In my 15 years of experiencing the mystical experience of Reality, (MER), several times a year I never came across anything masculine or feminine in the experiences – there were no names in this simple perfection – everything just was and I was that.

There was nothing hermaphrodite in my experiences either, though that too, like gender, is a real material condition here on earth.

So my impression is that neither gender, sex nor even being human have anything to do with the Mystical Experience of Reality as I experienced It, not even with the human adulterated word, “spirituality” in all its forms.

Mysticexperiences.net

SUFI “WILD UTTERANCES”

“We give out strange phrases to ordinary people because our experiences cannot be put in their ordinary phrases. I have known that which cannot be described, through and through, and that which is in it overwhelms all ordinary definition.” – Ibn Atta, Sufi.

From The Way of the Sufi by Idries Shah. Iries Shah is the late thinker, writer, and teacher in the Sufi mystical tradition. He wrote over three dozen books on topics ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies. The Idries Shah Foundation (ISF) is an independent educational and cultural charity, set up by his family to ensure his spiritual works live on.

SPIRITUALITY VS RELIGION: THE FUTURE OF TRUTH AND MEANING

 

This is a Reblog of a post by Giovanni Dienstmann (See the original post here)

This Reblog is a precise but comprehensive assessment, a clear recognition of the essence of humanity’s evolution.

 

As a child and teenager, I never had any interest in religion—yet later on I discovered that I had in me the inclination to become a deeply spiritual man. That inclination was not being triggered by the religious dogmas and practices that I was exposed to, so I felt it simply wasn’t for me. At that time I was not aware of the distinctions of spirituality vs religion.

I grew up in a regular, mildly religious middle-class family. My parents identified themselves as Christians, but they didn’t really go to church. My dad wanted me to go through catechism classes, but he never forced me to—I just attended one, because he insisted, but felt no pull to continue. For me, religion was something boring and lifeless, something that old people did.

On the other hand, once I discovered spirituality, it fired me up in life. It gave me meaning, direction and purpose. It helped me to grow as a person. It gave me tools to overcome the worst in myself, to develop myself, and to explore the transcendental aspects of our existence.

The fire for spirituality—for deeper meaning, direction and truth—is inherent in all people. For some of us, it is drowned by cynicism, skepticism, and scientific materialism; for others, it is expressed in limiting ways through a blind religious faith. Happy are those who recognize and own this drive, keeping it pure and letting it guide their lives in a constructive way.

There can be spirituality without religion, religion without spirituality, and religion and spirituality together—it depends on what you want, and how you approach it.

In this article I will compare and contrast religion and spirituality, exploring the differences and similarities between them. The goal is not to put anyone down, but to bring clarity as to the differences, so you can follow your spirituality in the most empowering way possible for you—linked to a specific religion or not.

Spirituality vs Religion

Spirituality vs Religion: The Future of Truth and MeaningWhat is religion, and what is spirituality? They have a common subject-matter, but their approaches are very different.

Both religion and spirituality teach that there is more to the universe than what meets the eye, and more to our life than the physical body. Both agree that there are non-physical elements to the universe, and to our existence, and that unless we consciously connect with them, we will never be truly fulfilled in life.

The core difference between religion and spirituality is that religion presents you a set of beliefs, dogmas and “holy men” as intermediaries between you and Spirit (however you may name it); while spirituality promotes your individual autonomy in defining and connecting to Spirit as it fits your heart and mind.

As I mentioned above, religion and spirituality can be together. Many people find spirituality inside their religion, and for them these differences may not be so relevant or true, since the two things are mixed. But for those interested in pure spirituality, regardless of religious affiliation, let me expand on the difference between religion and spirituality in a quote:

Religion asks you to believe. Spirituality asks you to look.

Religion has dogmas. Spirituality has wisdom teachings.

Religion wants obedience. Spirituality wants experimentation.

Religion speaks of sin and hell. Spirituality speaks of karma.

Religion wants to comfort you. Spirituality wants to liberate you.

Religion is external. Spirituality is internal.

Religion is the form. Spirituality is the essence.

Religion wants to convert you. Spirituality wants to inspire you.

Religion is an institution. Spirituality is a journey.

Religion promotes shame and guilt. Spirituality promotes self-honesty and awareness.

Religion asks you to sacrifice your present attachments for a promised future. Spirituality asks you to let go of your present attachments for a better present.

Spirituality is the true essence, and the true origin, of every religious movement. So how is it that eventually spirituality gets the back seat, and what we are mostly left with are dogmas and empty rituals?

Buddha was not Buddhist; Jesus was not Christian. They were highly realized spiritual men; they were spiritual but not religious! They had a group of disciples who were also, in great part, moved by a spiritual search. But as centuries pass, as the groups start increasing and social acceptance grows, people who are not really burning with that spiritual drive start joining in and redefining the movement.

They join because it feels noble to do so, or because their parents expect, or because they were born poor and at least in the church/monastery there are meals every day. Or maybe they just needed the consolation and comfort that religion can give, to find shelter from the suffering of life, and a respectable position in society.

This is not a criticism nor a judgment of character, but just a description of how, by becoming more popular and accepted by society, the spiritual element of each religious movement gets watered down or distorted, and what is left is a social institution. Teachings become dogmas, principles become moral rules, spiritual practice becomes ritual, experiences become stories—in short, spirituality becomes religion. What was once private and intimate becomes a social institution.

The difference between religion and spirituality is not so much about what you believe—but about how you live, and what is your attitude. In any of the spiritual/religious traditions on Earth, you will find a majority of people who follow it as a religion, and a minority who follows it as a spiritual path.

Both religion and spirituality have their function in the world; but they are usually different things for different people. Understanding their differences helps to define what you are practicing, and if it is serving you well.

Spirituality in the Age of Science

Since the time of the European Enlightenment in the 17th century, the role and dominion of religion seem to be steadily diminishing (at least in the western world). Since we entered the so-called “age of reason”, with the ability of science to explain and transform reality around us constantly increasing, and the general level of education also rising for everyone, people feel less drawn to seek organized religion as a tool for explaining the world and creating well-being.

And yet we humans have this inherent thirst for meaning in life, for a higher purpose, and for strong principles to lead our living—whether individually or socially. Here is the role of spirituality in the third millennium.

We live in an age of overindulgence, of instant gratification. We have more physical comforts, entertainment and knowledge than ever before in history. This is certainly a result of the advances in science and technology in the past century.

But why then…

  • are mental health problems on the rise as never before?
  • do many of us feel an emptiness inside, a lack of real fulfillment and contentment, even if we have financial security, stable income, a good family, plenty of comfort and an established career?
  • no matter how much we acquire in our material life, and how much we understand about the physical universe around us, there is still a deeper itch that is never scratched?

Here is the role of spirituality in the third millennium. Spirituality fills the gaps left behind both by organized religion and by scientific materialism.

Nowadays we cannot believe the dogmas of religion anymore—not like before. But when living life from the point of view that science is the only valid way of determining truth, we find ourselves in a cold, mechanistic, and indifferent universe. This leads to nihilism, cynicism, and lack of meaning in life.

“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.” — Albert Einstein

I believe that spirituality—in its myriad expressions—is the best means to give meaning to human life. It is also the strongest basis for human goodness and ethical conduct in society. Without spirituality, often all the morality we are left with is the law, and there is really no reason why one should not “do anything one can get away with.”

[I’m not alone in this point of view at all. Professor Jordan Petersen eloquently defends the point of view that religious values are what keeps our morality and social order together. Also, historians Will Durant and Ariel Durant, analyzing the patterns throughout 10,000 years of human history, conclude that no real morality is possible without the “supernatural basis of spirituality”.]

  • Religion says that truth is what the scriptures say, and you must believe it.
  • Science says that truth is only the facts that can be experimentally proven through measuring devices, equations, and reason.
  • Spirituality says that reason is not the only means of knowing, but that this doesn’t mean one needs to have blind faith in religious doctrines either. We accept how little we know about the universe and about ourselves, and explore a deeper meaning in life through tools such as meditation, contemplation, self-exploration—and also reason, scriptures, altered states of consciousness, and anything we can get hold of.

Therefore, the final difference between religion and spirituality is that spirituality can dialogue with science, while religion can’t. Indeed, the whole meditation and mindfulness movement in the past couple of decades is a result of this dialogue—science investigating spiritual practices.

This is just the beginning of a new era, when science and spirituality work together.

Look at the consciousness as a function of matter and you have science; look at matter as the product of consciousness and you have spirituality. — Nisargadatta Maharaj

Science and spirituality each have their own domains of knowledge, their own unique methods and purposes. They both are good at different things, and they both need each other.

  • Spirituality is concerned with finding subjective truths, meaning, connection and fulfillment. Its subject matter is human growth, happiness, and transcendence.
  • Science is concerned with finding objective truths about the external world. Its subject matter is knowledge, information, invention.

Much of the knowledge that science has, at any given time, may be proved wrong—or at least flawed and incomplete—a hundred years later; but it’s what we have to work with. Likewise, the meanings created by spirituality may evolve, but we must work with what we have at this moment, so long that it is functional. (I digress)

This seems to be the direction we are moving towards: a spirituality informed by science, and a science informed by spirituality. Science will clean up spirituality of superstitions; and spirituality will elevate science, making it review some of its materialistic assumptions. The eastern concepts of meditation, karma, reincarnation, and enlightenment will play an important role in this development—a trend that we have seen since the early days of the New Age movement.

As for the institutionalized religions, if they still want a place in the next chapters of human history, they better become more like spirituality, and less like dogma.

So that is why I consider myself, as cliché as it may sound, spiritual but not religious.


Giovanni Dienstmann is the creator and the writer of liveanddare.com. He has be been actively seeking personal growth and a deeper meaning in life since he was a teenager.

THE EARTH: Genesis—A Spiritual Revolution by Diana Butler Bass

This essay is a thoughtful expression of a long time Seeker’s arrival at a crossroads in her development.

Its particularly interesting because its by someone with a background in the academic study of religion, who has long time personal experience of church going, with an interest in the statistical evidence of the decline of religion on the one hand and growing statistical evidence of the growth of personal spirituality instead.

The writer also expresses a growing personal aversion to the hymns, formulas and affirmations of the churches she attends, though she attends them less and less now, despite being asked to give sermons at them …

I see her essay as further anecdotal and statistical evidence of the spiritual revolution that the mystic experience suggests is guiding human development.

Enjoy!

Mysticexperiences.net

“WHY DOES SPIRITUAL AWAKENING REQUIRE A SHIFT IN OUR SPIRITUAL PRIORITIES?” – RAM DASS

 

It doesn’t. Humans have no say in the matter in my experience.

Humans don’t have any choice. Reality doles out individual  spiritual awakening, not humans.

Nor does Reality pay attention to human “spiritual priorities”. From my perspective, the notion of uncalled humans having “spiritual priorities” is an oxymoronic egoism.

Until Reality awakens individuals to the possibility of spirituality, humans aren’t aware of real spirituality. They become aware only when they’re made to …

If you’re having persistently recurring urgings to know who and what you are and what it’s all about, take comfort. That which you seek seeks you with such promptings.

Even after awakening, humans still have no spiritual choices, nor would that notion even occur to those awakened.

Reality has its own ways. Its ways are not human ways.

There is a lot to come, from before history to long after …

All is well.

Mysticexperiences.net