It is tempting to believe spirituality is some kind of conceptual structure that has concepts and belief systems, ideas about what is right, wrong, true, and false. And indeed many conceptual structures call themselves spiritual. Some might say that even the idea that there is an absolute truth is a conceptual structure, but that is not the basis of our experience. Our quest is based on experience, the experience of truth. Not an idea of truth or a belief of truth, but an experience of truth. We seek that which is revealed when we leave behind the concepts, ideas, and beliefs.
When we become conscious of our constant distracting ourselves, occupying our minds and awareness with thoughts and ideas, we see that this is a form of dissociation. When we live in the rarified atmosphere of our thoughts, there is no end to our seeking what is right or true, for it can never be found. The very process is blocking our awareness and view of the truth.
It is not that we shouldn’t question our thoughts, ideas and beliefs, for the use of our minds is part of life, of living in the world. So to question our assumptions has real value. But we cannot find the truth in our mind as long as we may seek.
We live in two worlds it seems: the physical, earthly, and the world of consciousness and awareness. Consciousness and awareness are what set us apart from the physical world. We are conscious that we are; we are aware we are more than just an animal existing and surviving. We know this. We have been aware of it forever.
Our awareness of our difference has caused us to believe in duality. We thought our awareness made us better, higher, which meant that others must be worse or lower. A simple truth is that our human form and expression gives us the ability to recognize our non-physical source. We have used this capacity for self-awareness to create an image of ourselves based on experience, thoughts, ideas, and beliefs; we have come to believe that the image is real. It is nothing but the product of our imagination; it has no reality and exists nowhere. But our attachment to it is fierce because we believe it is who we are and that we will be nobody if we don’t have it.
So the ability to be aware of ourselves – self-consciousness – has been turned to an instrument of delusion. Perhaps we remember how easy it is to become lost in a daydream, completely oblivious to what is happening around us. This is the effect of our attachment to the image of ourselves: we have become oblivious to reality – not the reality of the physical world but the reality of unity, of one consciousness, one source, one power, one love.
We can see very clearly how we delude ourselves; we can see it in our friends, relations, family and we can see it in ourselves. We can see how beliefs, simple ideas or thoughts, become hard and fast truths that we will not give up. It is important that we are conscious of what we think, believe and hold as true; it is also important that we are conscious of the distraction of those thoughts and beliefs. It is important to be conscious that there is something else that is more real, more true, than anything we can think.
Consider who would we be if we had no image of ourselves, if we had no thought about who we are, if we had no thought about right, wrong, right or wrong ways of being. Who would we be if we only were present to what is real in this moment? The human world now contains an overwhelming conceptual structure of what is true, what is false, what is right and what is wrong, of responsibilities, obligations, rights, duties, complex beyond understanding. Nature does not figure in this structure.
For many of us, our best hope is that we can deconstruct some of this structure, change it, tinker with it, or manage it. But if we were able to dissect the human, we would find no evidence of any of that. Where is the basis in reality for all of that structure? That is only in the mind. None of it is real, none of it is true. Who would we be if none of that was distracting us in this moment? Can you imagine yourself free of all responsibility, all moral consequences, all duties and obligations?
True spirituality has no structure, has no conceptual framework. It is the return to spirit – spirit being the source of life. There is the recognition of our unique ability to perceive that which is not physical, that which comes before the physical, that which is experiencing the physical. Something is having a physical experience. That implies there is more than the physical experience. The true focus of spirituality is the revealing of that spirit. It is not a moral duty or obligation. It is an inevitable journey.