What Is A Spiritual Journey

In March, I finished Yuval Harari's Homo Deus, and one section in particular remained with me: his thoughts on spirituality and why religions are anything but spiritual. Religion is defined by Harari as follows:

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Any all-encompassing myth that bestows superhuman validity on human laws, conventions, and values is referred to be religion. It establishes the legitimacy of human social systems by claiming that they are based on superhuman laws.

Religion claims that we humans are bound by a set of moral principles that we did not create and that we are powerless to change. This is the system of moral laws created by God and revealed in the Bible, according to a believing Jew. Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, according to Hindu belief, devised the laws that were revealed to us humans in the Vedas. Other religions, ranging from Buddhism and Daoism to communism, Nazism, and liberalism, contend that the so-called superhuman rules are natural laws rather than the work of some god. Of course, from Buddha and Laozi to Marx and Hitler, each believes in a separate set of natural principles discovered and revealed by different seers and prophets.

The claim that religion is a mechanism for maintaining social order and organizing large-scale collaboration may irritate people who see religion as primarily a spiritual path. However, just as the divide between religion and science is shorter than most people believe, the divide between religion and spirituality is far greater. Spirituality is a journey, whereas religion is a transaction.

Religion offers us a well-defined contract with specified aims, as well as a thorough picture of the world. ‘God is real. He instructed us to act in certain ways. You will be allowed to paradise if you obey God. You will burn in hell if you disobey Him.' Because of the deal's clarity, society can create universal rules and ideals that govern human behavior.

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Spiritual journeys aren't like that at all. They generally lead individuals on intriguing journeys to unknown locations. Usually, the quest begins with a big question, such as “Who am I?” What exactly is the purpose of life? What exactly is good? Spiritual searchers, on the other hand, are not easily satisfied with the ready-made answers offered by the powers that be. They are adamant about following the big question wherever it leads, not only to places they are familiar with or would like to see. Academic studies, for the most part, are a transaction rather than a spiritual journey, because they lead us to a preset destination that has been sanctioned by our elders, governments, and banks. ‘I'll study for three years, pass the tests, earn my BA, and find a well-paying career.' Academic study may be transformed into a spiritual trip if the major questions you discover along the road lead you to unforeseen places you couldn't have imagined at first. A student might start studying economics in order to get a job on Wall Street, for example. However, we may label what she learns a spiritual journey if it leads her to a Hindu ashram or to assisting HIV patients in Zimbabwe.

Why would you call such a journey “spiritual”? This is a holdover from ancient dualist faiths, which held that there were two gods, one good and the other wicked. According to dualism, the benevolent deity created pure and eternal souls who lived in a spiritual paradise. However, the malevolent god – also referred to as Satan – created a material universe. Because Satan didn't know how to make his creation last, everything rots and disintegrates in the world of matter. Satan enticed souls from the pristine world of spirit and imprisoned them inside material bodies in order to breathe life into his faulty creation. A human being is a good spiritual soul trapped inside an evil physical body. Since the soul's prison, the body, decays and inevitably dies, Satan tempts the soul with corporeal pleasures, particularly food, sex, and power. When the body disintegrates and the soul has the opportunity to return to the spiritual world, the soul's desire for bodily pleasures tempts it back into a new physical body. As a result, the spirit wanders from body to body, squandering its days in the chase of food, sex, and power.

Dualism teaches people to free themselves from material enslavement and return to the spiritual world, which is foreign to us but is our true home. We must resist all material temptations and deals during this pursuit. Because of this dualist tradition, any journey on which we question the conventions and deals of the mundane world and embark on an unknown adventure is referred to as a “spiritual” voyage.

How many of us are actually on a spiritual path, according to this definition of spirituality? Few people, I believe, can honestly state they reject all material temptations and deals in favor of aggressively pursuing big questions.

If anything, it reminds me of all the religions I follow and how little I question their tenets–liberalism, which believes in the equality of all people; capitalism, which believes in trade and markets; animalism, which believes that all animals are sentient beings; and a variety of others that I'm sure have labels I'm unaware of.

If I were to classify anything I do as “spiritual,” it could be moments like this when I can take a step back for an hour and ask myself why I believe what I believe, how I came to those ideas, and if it makes sense for me to continue believing what I believe. It's feasible that I'll become tired or bored soon and return to my numerous distractions and commitments, but it's also possible that a particular line of thinking will drive me to change my mind, seek a new belief, or slightly tweak an existing perspective. This practice–reflecting and thinking about a few important questions on a regular basis–is a strong defense against having ossified views that make it difficult for me to accept a different worldview. And I can't ignore the value of reading and how books can help us achieve these meditative states.

I'll leave you with this final quote from Harari on the cycle that transforms spiritual journeys that seek to examine, if not destroy, current belief systems into their own:

The spiritual journey is always tragic from a historical perspective, because it is a lonely route appropriate only for individuals rather than entire societies. Human cooperation necessitates more than simply questions, and people who rail against stultified religious structures frequently end up creating new ones to replace them. It happened to the dualists, whose spiritual quests turned into religious institutions. It happened to Martin Luther, who found himself drafting new law books, founding new institutions, and designing new ceremonies after opposing the Catholic Church's laws, institutions, and rituals. It happened to Buddha and Jesus as well. They violated traditional Hinduism and Judaism's laws, rituals, and systems in their relentless search for the truth. However, more laws, ceremonies, and structures were eventually erected in their honor than in the honor of any other figure in history.

How do you start a spiritual journey?

The spiritual journey—and the resulting “spiritual awakening” we seek—always appears to take place in some exotic location or following a spectacular incident.

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Perhaps you believe you need to travel to Peru to drink ayahuasca or leave your spouse to get the spiritual awakening you seek?

From the comfort of your own home, you may connect with your spirituality and awaken to the lessons that are meant for you over and over again throughout your life.

What happens when you go on a spiritual journey?

A spiritual trip is an introspective study that a person does to learn more about themselves and their lives.

Spiritual journeys are undertaken for a variety of reasons, including personal growth, seeking inner calm, and learning more about oneself.

A spiritual journey might be a personal spiritual awakening or a quest for answers to life's most pressing concerns.

It frequently concludes with the realization that the seeker has gained a greater understanding of themselves and that they are not alone in this world.

A spiritual journey can also lead to spiritual awakening / enlightenment, in which the seeker recognizes that they are one with all of life and that everything in existence is interconnected.

How do I awaken my spiritual power?

When trying to put all eight aspects of wellness together, the spiritual aspect of wellness can be the most individualized piece of the puzzle. People, on the whole, like to live lives that have meaning and purpose. When these objectives are attained, it brings peace into one's life and the lives of those around them.

So, what are some things you may do to increase your spiritual well-being? It's best to experiment with several ways to see what works best for you. Spiritual wellbeing can be reached in a variety of ways, both physically and intellectually, because it involves one's values, beliefs, and purpose.

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1. Examine your spiritual foundation. You are merely asking yourself questions about who you are and what you mean when you explore your spiritual essence. Consider the following question: “Who am I?” What is the point of my existence? What am I most passionate about? These questions will lead you down a path where you will think more deeply about yourself and recognize aspects of yourself that will assist you in achieving fulfillment.

2. Search for hidden meanings. Looking for deeper meanings and examining patterns in your life will help you realize that you have power over your future. Knowing this can help you live a happier and healthier life.

3. Get it off your chest. It will be easier to retain a concentrated mind if you express what is on your mind. You may feel befuddled and unable to make sense of your feelings after a long day or an important event. You may be able to think more clearly and move forward if you write down your thoughts.

4. Give yoga a shot. Yoga is a physical discipline that can help you achieve spiritual wellness by eliminating mental and physical stress. Yoga is taught at all levels and can help relieve anxiety, sadness, weariness, and sleeplessness as well as reducing stress, strengthen the immune system, and lower blood pressure.

5. Take a trip. Yes, it is correct! Taking time for yourself to travel to a familiar location or to a new location can do wonders for your mental health. You will have a greater connection with yourself when your mind is able to block out distractions and assist you in reflecting and resting. This allows you to eliminate stressors and retrain your mind to focus on total wellness. Exercising, visiting with a counselor or advisor, meditation, or taking a temporary vow of silence are all activities that can be done while on a trip.

6. Keep an optimistic attitude. You will find yourself thinking differently and shifting your mind to a happy, healthy place once you begin to view things in your life in a good light. You'll discover that you're more comfortable when you eliminate negativity and re-frame how you think about specific things and situations.

7. Set aside some time to meditate. While managing your time and everyday tasks can be difficult, it is critical to make time for yourself. Take five to ten minutes each day to meditate, whether it's first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or right before bedtime. By incorporating meditation and relaxation into your daily routine, you will be able to clear your mind and strengthen your connection to your spiritual well-being.

Source: http://student-affairs.illinoisstate.edu/health-promotion-and-wellness/7-ways-improve-spiritual-wellness/

How do you recognize a spiritual person?

The first evidence of a spiritual person is their lack of fear. When you have a fear or a chronic worry, that fear takes over your life and you are unable to be in the present moment. Fear of public speaking, fear of heights, and fear of bugs are the three most common fears among Americans. Many people, however, are terrified of death, rejection, loneliness, failure, illness, or making poor judgments. Spiritual people understand how to yield to forces beyond their control. In this way, they are similar to children in that they know how to ignore their minds and live fearlessly.

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What comes after spiritual awakening?

After a spiritual awakening, the good life is to remember to turn inward for answers and, more importantly, the pure substance that makes life worth living. It is not how much we do in the world after a spiritual awakening that matters, but how much love can do within us. We are called to be a loving anchor.