SPIRITUALITY and its definition vary for every individual. The first things that perhaps come to our mind are deities, religion or to be more mainstream, a hippie with colourful hair who meditates 24/7. Nowadays, it can even be considered burning sage and candles to keep negative energies away. It can be one or all of these things listed, but I really do believe that in some ways it is more than what meets the eye. Taking on perspective through beliefs and most of the times letting go of materialistic beings is the standard definition for spirituality for many. In hindsight, it is believed to be an extension of one’s soul and involves deeper thoughts, ideas — more than what the eye can meet. On the topic of eyes, the concept of the ‘third eye’ is linked to New Aged Spirituality. It is said that one is enlightened and outer-worldly knowledge through a deity, especially that of Shiva and Buddha.
For many, spirituality is a pure and divine experience that is better to leave unexplored and questioned, while for others it’s just a myth of feelings that closed-minded people feel to comfort themselves away from the real world. The biggest debate people often have around this topic is the question, “Can one be spiritual and still be rational?” Well, can we? Maybe, maybe not—I can’t seem to pick sides. However, it’s based on perspective and in a state of being spiritual, one’s mind wanders off away from our day-to-day existence and we wander off to a peaceful and wisdom-like place. I believe one does not necessarily need to be in an awkwardly physical yoga position, light incense or enter a place of worship to feel spiritual. Perhaps, travelling the world or reading a book and even enjoying the sunset can evoke that feeling—it solely depends on the individual.
As I was researching, I came across a concept that suggests spirituality can also be an escape away from our egotistical selves. It entails letting go of what we materialistically desire and have as well as, the pleasures we seek and grasping and appreciating the little life has to offer and mirroring the best versions of ourselves. On that note, it can also be used to escape our body and become whoever and whatever we want to be—looking at life in the perspectives of unfamiliar angles. Being spiritual also is known to open up our affective sides a bit more and allows us to feel intensely in ways we never have before.
This might sound like a bunch of nonsensical words, especially if you’re an atheist or someone who simply does not believe in spirituality. To me, that is the mistake we always make—it is to believe that for one to be spiritual, they must also be religious. If you haven’t heard it already, let me be the first to say that’s not true. One can simply be ‘religious’ but never even felt what it feels to be enlightened or soulful—vice versa. Some ways people normally practise spirituality can be eating healthier, giving to charities and the less fortunate, praying, meditation, self-care and my favourite—sharing love. Love is very important when it comes to being spiritual. It extends beyond your friends, lover and families—it reaches to the point where it’s infinite to the world, the unknown and everything in between.
My main point by writing all of this is to shed light on the fact that we look at spirituality on a spectrum of mostly ignorance. It is more than just going to church and being vegan, it’s a lifestyle of pureness and the generosity of emotions towards ourselves, others and even the unknown. While I cannot fully answer the question, “Can one be spiritual and rational?”, I can at least leave something for you all to ponder and answer the question for yourselves—the School of life said, “A spiritual experience is neither ineffable nor absurd; the term refers rather to a deeply sustaining interval of relief from the burdens and blindness of being us” and that to me, is all we need to know!