A great sage once defined enlightened spiritual beingness as sleeping when you are tired, eating when you are hungry, and relieving yourself when needed. Far away from the citadels of academia, out in the rural Mediterranean countryside, there stood the Great Teacher, a donkey braying loudly, announcing his ‘call to nature’ for all to hear. Nobody had to tell him that. He knew it already, as he looked compassionately at us foolish humans, always trying to ‘prove’ ourselves, especially in the conveniently nondescript area of ‘spirituality’.
When the Dalai Lama was asked the road to enlightenment, he answered with a twinkle in his eye, that he’ll tell once he finds out, first, what enlightenment is, and then how to get there.
As succinctly stated by Neal Walsh, we are not physical beings having a spiritual experience, but spiritual beings having a physical experience. It therefore follows that nobody can be any more or less ‘spiritual’ than anybody else.
Yet so many people define themselves as ‘spiritual’, not realizing that it is nothing but their ego based intellect which so defines them as opposed to ‘others’. Spirituality has nothing at all to do with what we think of ourselves, whether we believe in non conformist, ‘new age’ or eastern doctrines, chant, take on ‘interesting’ names, are ‘alternative people’, walk around in a turban doing tarot readings, are ‘sensitive’, do healing work, use crystals, etc…
Behind the mask of most self ordained ‘spiritual people’ is most often a depressed person struggling to cope with the physical world in which they live.
Thus ‘spirituality’ is a good cop out.
I once met an old peasant in rural Cyprus, ploughing his field with a cow, deliberately instead of using a tractor.
He was in awe of me with my degrees and teaching in S.Africa, U.K and USA.
It is true, I may have had a great deal of ‘knowledge’. But his connection with the earth, his open heart, and great wisdom, uncluttered by the contamination of (true today, false tomorrow,) ‘knowledge’ brought tears to my eyes (not bad for one who claims to have forgotten how to cry). He didn’t know about being spiritual. Or materialistic, for that matter. Or about ‘meditation’, as he with great awareness guided his plough. Yet he was the epitome of it all. Eating the last fig on his tree was a ‘holy communion’ for me. In a sense it was the last supper, for soon after, he was gone, and on the same field stood the vulgar tourist trappings of the new Ayianapa seaside resort.
Happiness is not something that can be pursued. Like a butterfly it flits away, until, when you are still and at peace, it sits on your shoulder.
Humility is also a concept unknown by one who is truly humble.
Love is a state of Beingness which enters, fills and radiates from one who stops trying to ‘love’ as if it is something that comes from him and thus something he can ‘do’. Love and Life creates and uses us, not vice versa.
The same applies to spirituality. It is not something that we can define or lay claim to. The moment we do that we cut off our awareness. Contrastly, by cultivating awareness, simply awareness, without the bells and whistles of any teaching, dogma or label, we become in touch with our intrinsic spiritual nature.
The old man did not need any meditation or ‘earthing’ techniques or theories about ‘being in the now’ to choose to walk barefoot ploughing behind his cow, as he focused on guiding the metal toe of his plough the correct depth, in a straight line, and firmly, as a slip could easily cut the tendon on the cows heel.
Maybe it is difficult, impossible, not of your choosing, or even not a good idea to try and get a piece of rural land and a cow. But in the here and now of where we are, we can earth ourselves and can focus on being in the present.
Starting off by forgetting about ‘being’ anything other than who we are, where we are, right now. However, unlike the wise peasant, we are so overwhelmed by foolish ‘knowledge’, our ‘education’ (meaning channeled into a pipe) and the poisons of the media assaulting us wherever we go, even in our own homes (tv, newspapers, magazines, internet, junk mail, etc) with messages of inadequacy and worshipping the idols of matter (advertisements) or fear (the ‘news’) and gossip (much of it in magazines) it no longer comes naturally.
So, the first step is to look at all the ‘information’ we are bombarded with and question whether it serves our wellbeing or not, consciously adopting what feels good in our body and what does not. Watching the ‘news’ on TV for instance may be an addiction, but, as with all addictions, does it make you feel better, stronger, more joyful? If not, switch it off. Awareness. The access to your own spirituality. Your own power. And then, with the help of a suitably trained ‘outsider’, look at other areas of unconsciousness, one by one.
Yes, there is a higher plane, a spiritual plane, a First Cause, the Creative Principle (which we can explore another time), but as we are manifest in this lower physical resonance we need to bring this awareness to our everyday physical life. In a practical way. If you choose to cloak it in some spiritual, religious or other dogma/doctrine, go ahead, but don’t use it as an excuse to deny your day to day living issues, or as something you do on Saturdays or Sundays for a couple of hours and then return to the ‘real world’ . Such ‘spiritual/material’ dualism is not spiritual, as a truly spiritual approach is in fact the most practical, effective approach to living, and the most effective way to conduct your material, day to day life is spiritually based. Especially don’t choose to use a ‘spiritual’, religious, ‘new age’ or other dogmatic practice/label to segregate you or your sect from ‘everyone else,’ who unlike you, ‘is doing it wrong’. This has the opposite of the desired effect, cutting you off precisely from what you seek, your own true spiritual nature, (and guaranteed to bring you great suffering) which is One with All that unites all humanity, indeed all of Life and all that Is.
It is virtually if not impossible to look through and shed enough mental garbage which has embedded itself deeply in our DNA, our blood, our every cell ourselves. We need another, ‘outside’ perspective. That is why we all need a mentor, someone who can look through our ‘stuff’ and see us in a way we can’t see ourselves. While in my work, I am a mentor to people throughout the world over the internet, I too have a mentor, as a teacher is only as good as he is also a student. It just so happens that this professional life mentor is also being mentored by me. This co-counselling by professionals is entirely possible at the level of life mentorship, but not possible at the level of ‘psychotherapy’, in which I was previously involved.
Select a mentor, one mentor, and start your exciting journey, to discover your unique place in the Wholeness of the Creation which in turn brings you the dynamic wholeness that you seek.
Apollo Pampallis is a Life Mentor and can be contacted on Apollo@discoveringthenow.com. He is establishing new web pages in an exciting new alliance. For ongoing information, upcoming webinars, consultations, ebooks and other news please contact him on the above email