The essence of monotheistic religions is the idea that there can be a direct and permanent connection to God. However, in these same monotheisms there is the notion of the angel, a kind of being close to God who enjoys a relatively high level of consciousness. In other traditions, connection to God may be via deities.
The Analogy Of A Skill
You could say that spirituality is a kind of skill: you may have a predisposition, but you have to work and “train” to get to the next level. When you start learning a new discipline, you’re often put in touch with someone who’s competent to teach, but not necessarily the best in the field. They’re there to help you get from A to B, knowing that someone else will help you get from B to C and so on. Of course, you can watch videos of the discipline’s elite at any time, or read their books, but most of your progress will be made with your different teachers. In my opinion, it’s the same with religion: you can connect with God personally, but your spiritual progress will be primarily with your teachers.
Always Connect With Someone Who Can Uplift You
You don’t always have the opportunity to connect with God because He seems far away. Your morale is low and you find it hard to connect with your faith. though it’s hard to
You feel alone or disconnected, yet you feel so demagnetized that you don’t believe in your ability to connect with God. You can, however, turn to entities or individuals who are closer to you spiritually, but still more advanced than you.
Acedia: Spiritual Laziness
We all have an excuse for not making the daily spiritual effort. Yet we have time for entertainment, work, leisure and so many other things. What we lack is not time, but concentration or attention. We don’t have the attention for spirituality because we don’t make it a priority. We need to set aside some time every day (preferably in the morning) for spiritual practice. It’s not quantity but quality that counts. The quality of the time you devote to your spiritual body counts for a lot.
You Don’t Need To Be Spiritual Until You Need To Be Spiritual
Why be spiritual when life smiles on you, everyone cheers you on, and you lack nothing materially? Perhaps living in the illusion of permanent success is enough to make you forget the necessities of an existential quest. You’re probably puzzled by the sight of people going to church or taking up a passion for prayer or meditation. What’s the point? When you lack nothing on the outside, there’s no point in looking inside, is there? The problem is, you’re never safe from an existential crisis. Whatever your age, if it hasn’t already happened to you, you’re bound to reach a moment of transition that will force you to get to know your inner self.
Who We Think We Are And Who We Really Are
If you don’t know who you are, you don’t know if you’re in good company. Spirituality allows you to reconnect with your inner self and let it express itself more fully in your everyday life. There can be a big difference between what we are and what we believe. The difference is a reflection of our spiritual work. The greater our spiritual work, the smaller the difference, and the more our inner self expresses itself in our daily lives.
Spirituality And The Different Levels Of Happiness
Spirituality exists for anthropological as well as spiritual reasons. The central idea of a spiritual life is that it is happier than a non-spiritual life.
There are different levels of happiness for each dimension of our being.
Physical, mental and spiritual happiness
Physical Happiness: The Pleasure Of The Orifices
Sense-pleasure happiness can be summed up crudely as satisfying the body’s orifices (eyes, mouth, etc.). This raw relationship with the world is, after all, logical, since it’s linked to our survival and reproduction. However, to confine ourselves to these levels is to limit our potential. The pleasures of the senses bring real but fleeting satisfaction. It’s not by indulging our bodily pleasures that we can achieve lasting happiness – it’s a never-ending race.
There’s a pleasure to be found in revelling in knowledge, philosophizing and reflecting. This kind of pleasure is widespread in societies that have placed a strong emphasis on the cultural dimension of life. It’s a more elaborate form of pleasure, as it provides a kind of distraction from the pleasures of the senses. In some cases, you could say it’s a psychological defense mechanism, in this case intellectualization. You see, intellectualization allows us to put distance between ourselves and the world, which in some ways enables us to overcome our neuroses. Mental happiness is less accessible than the pleasures of the senses, since it requires education. It could even be said that mental happiness can help make sense pleasures more beautiful. Isn’t romantic poetry a cultural device designed to give us access to the pleasures of the body in a roundabout way? Intellectual happiness, while it has its virtues, also has its limits. When we fall into the trap of over-intellectualism, we can end up being too down-to-earth and miss out on the spiritual dimension. That said, someone who has got into the habit of intellectualizing the world can also achieve spirituality through this means (cf. Jnana yoga).
This kind of happiness is normally simple, but as we are distracted by life in the sensible world, we tend to miss it. It’s simple, but it also requires discipline to educate the heart and soul. The higher you go in the hierarchy of happiness, the more subtle it becomes. Sensible happiness is tangible. Intellectual happiness is much more ethereal.