The idea of spirituality has inundated all aspects of our society, from the religious to the most mundane. It has raised its head in a period of time well suited for its growth, and gives testimony to the old axiom, 'when an idea whose time is ripe appears, nothing under the Sun can interrupt its full expression.'
Nowadays, it has become very common to hear someone speak about a particular experience he or she might have had, in terms of its spiritual connotations. For example, if someone experiences certain phenomena of Nature, hears a certain musical melody, or participates in an event, he or she is likely to describe their experience from the point of view of spirituality. Yet, despite our cultural readiness for spirituality, it comes with certain unsettling expressions. There are false lights that can come from psychic experiences accompanying over zealous spiritual activities, not only those coming from traditional religious sources, but also from non-traditional sources. For instance, the violent conduct demonstrated by some of the "right-to lifers" of the conservative Christian wing or the swindling for money by "new age" practitioners using psychic ploys, such as, trance channeling, past life regression, psychic healing, forecasting the future, etc.
Because of the great appetite for spiritual knowledge and experience and the rapture generated by its use, there is also a great danger of distortion of spiritual vision, (spiritual self-deception), and a kind of spiritual gluttony.
Regardless of its possible negative consequences, the idea of spirituality has interfaced with our collective cultural consciousness and has begun an assimilation process interacting with all other elements of our society. As we digest the idea of spirituality, we begin to break down old, traditional understandings and to transform them into more evolved understandings. As we discover the illusory elements in our spiritual quest , we will hopefully learn to employ only those spiritual elements that foster greater common good and balance.
What is spirituality? Where does it come from? Why is so important?
Spirituality is the core principle of the total constitution of, not only human beings, but also of all manifest things. Its source, as with all things, is divine. At an original point of manifestation of "mankind" and all things, a "thought spark" emanated from Divine Consciousness, a principle around which "mankind" and all things began the Great Drama of Evolution. The first principle or god-spark or Divine Emanation, is infinite and could never be blackened by some kind of finite cosmic sin. We are not thrown, haphazardly into the eternal expanse, damned by a perpetual, Original Sin, and there to dwell as worthless specks until physical death takes us. Because of our god-spark we are a living analogy of Divine Consciousness. The same forces and qualities that uphold the universe, uphold us; we in it and it in us. We can but look onto our own reflections and inner consciousness to find that which will convince us that we are more than what we appear to be.
The intuitive reader might be some what confused, and ask the question, " What is the distinction between spiritual and religious?" Most people, because of their religious training, associate spiritual expression exclusively with religion. However, spiritual expressions are often completely separate from religion. Its like the old question, "What came first, the chicken or the egg?" Spiritual expression originates from human's god-spark, their essential core, and although religion can initiate a spiritual response, religion is not the source of spirituality. Thus, any human who is not affiliated with a religion, can be highly spiritual.
Nowadays, spirituality has become important because traditional religions have lost their spiritual relationship, by either becoming spiritually defunct or by too much attention to the "eye" of religion rather than its "heart." Religion is the outcome of human's spiritual core. Human beings aware of their god-spark manifest that awareness in terms of doctrines, ceremonies, and rituals, that in turn recognize, celebrate, and educate that awareness through out their particular communities. When a religion is born out of a human being's spiritual core it vibrates in tune with its spiritual impulse, and manifests itself within the current mind-set of its associate culture. Since the spiritual core of human beings has not as yet been perfectly evolved, human's religious expression, at any one point in time, is also imperfect; representing as it does, the currently evolutionary capacity of human's spiritual expression. Over time, religion will lose its initial spiritual radience, and gradually turn towards vibrations of a more mundane kind, spiritually exhausting its doctrines, ceremonies, and rituals. In this inevitable cycle of religious decline, human beings are again urged by their spiritual core to explore, from within, outward for refinement, clarification, and reformation of their religious expression. This process has an appearance of spiritual chaos, but is actually the natural operation of our collective spiritual consciousnesss, exploring itself in an effort to transmute tired religious forms of expression into higher, more evolved forms. Essentually we are spiritual beings, and although we can allow our senses to mislead our minds into believing that our physicl nature is the most essential element, we can never addicate our spiritual essence.