Spirituality is not something which is at all separate from the physical experience of life. On the contrary, the spiritual encompasses the physical, as is clearly alluded to in the following famous quotes:
‘As within, so without. As above, so below.’
‘All that we are is the result of what we have thought.’
Consider the man who was described in my parable of The Island. His belief in the message contained in each one of the envelopes that he discovered in the stone temple had distinct consequences in his physical life:
– When he believed that he was a convicted criminal who had been sent to a prison island, his mood dropped quite markedly. His environment suddenly seemed grey and monotonous, and he began feeling sorry for himself. So much so that his fretful mind made it very difficult for him to sleep that night.
– When he believed that he was a lottery winner who had been given his own private island to enjoy as part of his prize, his mood was hugely elevated. His environment suddenly seemed brighter and more vivid, and he became enthusiastic about enjoying his time on the island to the full.
– When he believed that he was a famous botanist, his mood became rather more scientific and inquisitive, and he started picking out tiny details about his environment that he hadn’t noticed before.
Although the island itself remained the same from day to day, the beliefs that the man held about himself and his environment had a massive impact on his experience. The belief that he was a criminal made his experience more negative, the belief that he was a lottery winner made his experience more positive, and the belief that he was a scientist made his experience more neutral.
In the same way, your own views on spiritual matters are always affecting your experience of life to some degree. Your beliefs about yourself, other people, this planet and the way the universe works will govern how you think about every aspect of existence.
Birth, love, sickness, ageing, death, taxes and every other event in life can all be viewed in a largely positive, negative or neutral way, and the primary thing that determines how you view those things is your spiritual perspective.
Even people who claim that they don’t have a spiritual bone in their body still have opinions on spiritual matters which affect their experience of reality. Those who believe that there is nothing more to life than evolution and biochemistry find that they must live their lives in that way, either by shutting themselves off from any direct awareness of the spiritual, or by explaining away any spiritual experiences which they do have as coincidences or self-induced hallucinations.
Clearly, your spiritual perspective is something that affects every other aspect of your life. That being the case, it is sensible to create a spiritual path in a deliberate and mindful manner so that your perspective is one that helps and empowers you.
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