We are all spiritual. This is the space of meaning-making, of purpose, of our deepest sense of self; who I am beyond all else. Spirituality is where and how we find meaning and purpose in our lives. It is intimately linked to our truest and deepest self; our inner chief. One could say that coming to grips with our spirituality is our ‘coming home’ to our truest self.
Too many people reject the notion of spirituality because they confuse it with religion. Religion is that system of rites and rituals, symbols and texts, beliefs and practices that certain groups have wrapped their collective efforts to engage their spirituality around. Religion only has value when it flows from spirituality. Religion without deep spiritual experience becomes hollow, meaningless, a ‘tick and flick’ and at worse cultish.
Our inner chief is that inner space of energy and being that feeds who we are and what we do ‘out there’. Spirituality is the nurturing of that inner chief.
Every great tradition has had its rites and rituals, its symbols and sacred stories, its seasons and its ways of ‘telling the inner story’! But every great tradition has also at various times and in different ways ‘lost’ the truth behind these same ways to engage the heart and the meaning search.
Spirituality is most keenly felt at those deeply human times of loss and joy, intimacy and birth, death and weakness, vulnerability and commitment. There are so many times ‘beyond words’ where we need to make sense of what is going on for us – or we are invited into a space of wonder / awe / pain and just need to ‘be there’ and allow it to happen. It is at the peak human times of experience – often linked to change – that our inner chief kicks in and helps us grow through these times and to find deeper meaning.
We live in a crazily busy world. It is strange but in many ways, we have never been more connected (through IT) but at the same time never more alone and isolated. We live in a world of noise. We live in a world of rush, of deadlines, of calendar pressure. In the midst of this world, it is often so hard to hear the inner voice, feel the deeper wisdom and name the deeper learning. In the midst of noise (external AND internal noise) we need to find times and ways to listen and to listen more and more deeply; that is the role that spirituality plays.
The inner chief voice – the meaning whisper does not need a name. Whatever name you give to this energy; love, life, awe, God, Jesus, Spirit, mystery, the Universe ….is not ultimately important. It will be important to you. But the inner chief invites us to focus on the energy within and around the name; that is what is important. In some ways, the inner chief calls us to be a ‘monk’ in everyday life. When part of our holistic Universal Man is the ‘monk’ then we are more complete – we all have the monk within us.
Our spirit needs to be nourished. The rush and complexity of this world can drain our inner world dry. When we are being pushed this way and that by competing demands, competing value systems, compromise, ego clashes, successes, failures, struggles, pain and loss we can lose our way. The spiritual space and practice is that which calms the stirred up water, allows us to slow down to truly and deeply listen and nourishes us – feeds us – allows us to drink from a deeper world of wisdom and peace. We come from this space more whole and complete, more able to engage with power and positive energy in the complexities of life. The other will sense in you that deeper energy and space – there is something – an aura – about the person who is in touch with their inner chief – their spirit.
One of the key aspects of spirituality is awareness. Awareness is THE best weapon in the fight against having your life being run by the ego. Self-awareness leads you to quickly recognise the ego reaction, the ego response and to quietly and calmly respond from a deeper more whole space. You respond – you do not react.
Finally – you will know you are more in touch with your inner chief, have found the spiritual balance within your life when you are feeling more and more free; free to forgive, free to let go, free of materialism, free of being driven by needs, free even to understand and make sense of everything. Like all journeys, the spiritual journey is taken one step at a time. The true ‘monk’ is not dualistic and our growing awareness will lead us to one of the greatest gifts; not to see the world as black / white, as in / out, as accepted / not accepted – but to see and value each moment and each person before us as a gift.
On your own or with a few mates, answer the following:
Grego & Pricey