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What is Spirituality?

by Rana Pipiens

What is spirituality? If I put it in a birdcage or a fish tank, it leaks out and runs away. Sticking it under the microscope and magnifying it won't do it any good, either.

It's like Zen -- (some people may well justifiably say it is Zen) -- it can be best approached through subtle indirection. Easiest to say what it is not --

Spirituality is not constant. It ebbs and flows at its own rhythms, given a little direction from the seeker. It is not found in constant search; nor is it found in complacency. It is highly mutable. It is not found in the yakking about it, but is likely to be found in the conjunction of the interface of both sides of the brain. Spirituality is not quantifiable. If your spirituality depends on its contrast to someone else's spirituality, you may rest assured that it just left by the nearest window, out for a well-deserved hike.

Spirituality implies self-responsibility. Don't expect other people (or divinities or channeled entities!) to take responsibility instead of you for watching the things you do or say. It's not their job. It's yours.

There is nothing spirituality shies away from faster than situations where people expect others to live by standards they themselves refuse to follow.

Nor is there a clergy responsible for channelling spirituality to others. Spirituality is a direct link. Clergy may be there for advice and guidance, but the actual realization of spirituality is not an "out there and in someone else" sort of realization. It's in your hands. My hands. His hands. Her hands.

Oh, yes, some Indian fakirs and medieval European monks were probably pretty spiritual, shying there away from the world. But shying away from the world around us guarantees us nothing these days -- the problems in this world still exist, waiting for you to DO something about them.

There is no sure-fire recipe for spirituality. Poetry, art, and other forms of creativity may partake of it, or result in some expression of it. But it is not creativity in itself that matters -- not all of us are artists. Spirituality does not need tangible (that recognized by the rest of the world) creativity to exist.

Hmmm. In closing, let me say that writing this essay, while it helped to clarify and jell things in words, as well as beat on a bit of a frustration; the writing itself of this essay had nothing to do with spirituality. It is the living and the being and the touching that gives meaning to the spiritual life.

So, I am going to go close and LIVE.



Illustration, "Dance of the Creator"  Copyright 1991 by Don Murray.

Copyright 1991, 1999 by Dawnblaze. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Jan 2002 06:13:26 -0500

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