Wednesday, March 22, 2006

My Recent Definition of Spirituality

For the Body Mind Spirit People:

On an interesting Wednesday morning, here are some tentative definitions of what spirituality might mean.

Spirituality is perhaps what happens when the air gets fresh, when we feel reinspired, remembered, reconnected to ourselves and others on the most radical and integral level, in a way that enables us to recall our deepest desires, deepest vulnerability, deep rootedness in a community that might include nothing less than everyone and everything. Some people get there by prayer, meditation, bodywork, stretching, preparing food, silence, conversation, singing, good sex, reading a favorite book, but not all at the same time. Some people get to that renewing place by simply being still. So in this definition, Spirituality is what deepens us into ourselves.

To use a three word quote from another context, Spirituality could also be, “truth mediated by personality.” And that might balance the first definition with an interpersonal dimension. Mystics from most of the wisdom traditions over world history have said that each and everyone of of us has particular value, is a unique offering, manifestation that needs to be manifest. So that each of us is a kind of gift, picture, word, poem, sermon, even dance or song, to the whole world of which we are a part.

Like some of the scientists are telling us about DNA, something of the fullness of life, hope, truth, God even, is contained in each particular manifestation of life: in the seed, the cell, the drop of rain. All seems to point to the chance that there is a deep specificity and integrity in the style of the whole universe that needs to be honoured individually. So that we, each and everyone of us, might be containers of ultimate and infinite integrity and truth. If this is true, it means we can take the chance to open and honour the place where our deepest desires, joys, needs, and sometimes even scars are found, for they all could be places that have essential purpose in the larger way of the universe.

So perhaps Spirituality is that which opens our hearts, minds, being, and communities to take the chance of being ourselves for the sake of all the world.


Katinka Hesselink said...

Hi, I've written some thoughts on spirituality and health, and how they are NOT intimately connected. Perhaps you are interested in this page: How Spirituality and health are (or aren't) connected.

Anonymous said...

nice piece of writing - where do you get your inspiration?