Spirituality is seeing yourself in the other person, and the other person in you. Spirituality is based on the understanding that we are all connected to each other and everything; all of reality is a web of interconnectedness. Most religion is based on the illusion of separation. Separation leads to making judgments about everything, separating it all into good and bad, us and them, those who are in and those who are out. It’s an egocentric vision of reality, focused on the idea of I, reinforcing a separate sense of self, and building and maintaining the identity at all costs. Reality is a unity, and spirituality comes out of that framework. It’s much more fluid than religion, and it’s often about restraining the impulse to judge and separate and control our internal and external realities through being right (judgment, comparison). It’s about letting go in order to fully embrace. It’s about embracing reality as it is, not as we want or imagine it to be. Spirituality is much more experiential than dogmatic. It can be described, but it is as infinite as reality itself. It never contradicts science, because it is science; science and spirituality are really the same thing. There are mystics, or spiritual people, in all religions. They describe experiences of reality as a unified whole, a sense of losing the identity and feeling that connection that is the power to heal and integrate. But they usually get condemned or relegated to the outskirts of the faiths; they are too nonconformist and non-dogmatic. Religion usually blocks people out from spirituality and makes it hard to experience it. But it is there always inside of us and really in everything. It takes a kind of surrender and letting go that’s similar in flavor to faith but altogether different.

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