“We are not physical beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” ~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
The concept of spirituality is layered with levels of complexity far beyond the average person’s understanding. For some it is ascribed to a specific religious dogma, including everything from Christianity to Buddhism. While for others it is achieving a level of inner peace achieved through a combination of meditation and philosophical study. Even for those who adhere to a life of non-spiritually, and choose to rely on the principles of scientific, rational thought as their governing force this guiding force too could be conceived as a form of spirituality. How we open this door is unimportant, as long as we make the effort to do so.
One’s spiritual journey is paramount to understanding what motivates us. At its core, pursuing this philosophical base is at the center of everything we do. Without it, we are merely going through motions dictated to us by a parade of outside forces. Whether it be society, peer influences, or media representations of happiness there are a number of things that seek to guide our lives. When we discover our personal spirituality, we are able to identify what is most important and base our actions around it. This realization enables us stay focused on the goals and tasks vital to our personal satisfaction.
Having a solid spiritual base enables us to handle the uncontrollable events that arise from the natural chaos of the world. The best laid plans can be thrown in to turmoil without a moments notice. Tragedies like terminal illness and the sudden death of a loved one sneak up on us like some sort of ninja assassin. This can leave us with a feeling of despair and a sense that the only justice in an unjust world is chance. All Dark Knight references aside, the key to overcoming this darkness is having a sense there is something larger than mere survival guiding our life. That even though we may not be able to control everything that happens to us, as long as we persevere and adhere to our own personal code it is possible to carry on.
Striving towards some type of spirituality is central to becoming the best versions of ourselves. Most forms of philosophical and spiritual guidance are heavily focused on creating a moral code of guiding principles. This process forces us to examine our individual strengths and weaknesses at a level possibly never experienced otherwise. It causes us to question our initial reactions. To truly think about why we act the way we do. Look beneath the superficiality of our existence to the deeper concepts that govern our life. Many times it enables us to reach beyond our perceived mental and emotional limitations to become a more well-rounded person capable of interacting with the world around us in a way never before possible.
Spiritual understanding is a key element to living a full life. Whether it serve as a way to better understand our motivations, a method for dealing with the uncertainty surrounding us, or a means to self-improvement, it is door that will lead to greater fulfillment. I am sure there are many who will read this and scoff at the notion that spirituality is necessary to satisfaction. However, by rethinking our notions of what defines our spirituality and how it can be bolstered through our personal experiences, one might find such a journey well worth the effort. And of course there is always the chance that spiritual understanding could lead to one becoming a Jedi. A lofty goal we all should aspire to.