Understanding the Spiritual Way
Updated: Nov 7, 2021
One question that came up today that why the concept of the Spiritual Way itself is necessary to understand and whether it serves any useful purpose. Being a very fundamental question, it is necessary to examine the same. It is both difficult and abstract at the same time.
Mostly we depend on our five senses in our approach to living life. A person with a purely materialistic outlook tries to fix things that may be wrong in his or her life by moving them around and bringing about outer changes.
In contrast, the spiritual way is to see beyond external experiences. With a spiritual approach, one can change and transform his own world by changing his perceptions and thinking patterns and thereby uplift himself.
It is actually the art of being in harmony with yourself. It is trying to align your senses of self to your inner working that we may not be even aware of. So, it actually is a process of becoming aware of your own self, your feelings, emotions and your very sense of self and what is happening around you.
One’s own mind is the greatest tool to transform one’s own world. This is a knowledge which is not finite knowledge or a bookish knowledge but something which needs to be experienced through practice and a keen sense of self awareness. As the external world is temporary and ever-changing, the only abiding fact is what you can see within yourself and what you can seek.
Mostly we are not observing ourselves even when we are breathing. We are not in harmony of flow with the universe around us. When we react to situations, our reactions can be very sharp and scathing. They can be very hurtful and deeply agitating and disturbing for our physiognomy and if that is the case, then we are not peaceful. And if we are not peaceful, then the question of being happy does not arise.
So, if mentally there is no contentment, the mind is agitated, reactive and harsh, then we can continue to suffer without being aware of it and this can be a source of great pain and misery. What spirituality can do is to bring about a shift, a shift into understanding the inner most spirit of our own heart.
Here, we are talking about a non-physical space within ourselves which has to do with our intuition (harmony with the energy of the universe) and also an area of unconditional love for others where even if someone acts against you, you still remain whole. It is a space where you can keep coming back even when things become extremely challenging and disturbing.
The fourth non-physical space is the space of contentment. Outer objects, people or events cannot provide abiding happiness. They can provide happy feelings but true contentment is something beyond what is visible to the eyes.
The knowledge and awareness of your true inner nature can transform one’s entire world. It has to do with the energy we keep creating within ourselves. A scattered society, a lessor sense of family and commitments to one another can deplete our energy and also give us less time to spend with ourselves. This can work against our spiritual growth.
Self-knowledge or awareness also gives one the objectivity and insight necessary to purify one’s thoughts, words, actions, habits and even character. When we pay attention to our inner state and contemplate about our inner workings, our own nature and our past reactions to events and situations, we can become acutely aware of what kind of a person we are and what works best for us.
We have to find out which keeps us in a good state. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules for discovering this. We merely have to pay attention to our inner state and contemplate.
Are we creating energies within us that are secretly destroying ourselves, are they playing havoc with our mind, with our thoughts, our sense of happiness, contentment and creative energy? If so, we are definitely harming ourselves.
I have known people who have been so hateful of their circumstances that by choice they have deferred or denied themselves definite possibilities of happiness. So, we can systematically destroy our happiness if we do not understand the workings of our own mind and we can start to work against our own interests.
It is also possible to reach a stage of tension and anxiety that can trigger extreme emotions and reactions and many times it can prompt people to take their own lives even. We can create our own distress to such an extent and such is the great power of our own mind that we can completely destroy ourselves and our own happiness.
It is therefore extremely important that we have to learn to grow and nurture our inner selves so that the parts of us that get irritable and that tend to entertain thoughts, that are negative, confused, upset or fearful, we should be able to overcome them by grasping this knowledge which has its bedrock in modern day psychology but its roots can be traced back to the wisdom of ancient times.