Spirituality is beyond religion.
We are embodied beings – embodied pure beings – not of matter, but of compassionate, intelligent energy, or spirit.
Religion is meant to put us in touch with our spirituality. Whether it does or not, will depend on the type of person we are. Of course, we don’t have to be in a religion to know our spirituality.
However, if we are not ‘religious’, and look at our spiritual side, we will probably come to the same conclusions…more or less!
We may believe in a God or not…or perhaps ‘something in the middle’. Again, this will depend on our temperament and understanding, which will determine the path we will follow. The use of the word ‘path’ can imply method, or our own confused state, which has to be clarified.
Even in Buddhism, there are many different types of people. Some are religious, some philosophical and some experiential. Whatever we go for, it is all merely symbolic of our real spirituality – compassionate energy. After all, we are beings in a body!
There are many who condemn religion as controlling and limiting. It is unfair to condemn others for the way they see things, and says more about our level of tolerance than that which we are condemning. There are many methods to help beings: these will depend on our temperaments and…what comes our way!
Whatever we choose may be refined.
We all have free will…more or less. Some want to be told what to do, so there is no point condemning them, as it’s their choice. Maybe it’s all they can cope with, for the time being. Some need blind faith, and others recognise the value of faith. Faith is trust, and may be based on various causes, from superstition to pure devotion. Whatever we choose, we never lose our free will, although it may get clouded at times.
If we are going to criticise something, we have to be prepared to put something better in its place, in order to help others. Without this, we will just come across as people who condemn in order to make ourselves feel superior, or appear more important. We could find ourselves complaining about everything, and becoming lonely and depressed.
When we are aggressive to the world, the world then takes control over us. We need to be gentle and spacious – accommodating. We are not going to change the world. Even if we did rid the world of all evil, we would still have a enemy – our own likes and dislikes! We’d still argue.
The only thing that we can change is ourselves.
Here is an example:
I’m currently working on an illustration for a friend (who is a happily raving Buddhist!). She keeps changing her mind, so, to date, I’ve done 9 or 10 variations. The old me would have gone up the wall, and chewed out my internal organs by now…
The latest version of me knew what she was like, and so drew the element on the computer so as to be able to make easy changes. I’ll keep doing the changes until she is clear in her mind. That is the only thing that is important. There is no point in adding aggression to the world: that only binds us to these bodies.
When the teachings say ‘let go’, they literally mean ‘let go’. At death, we have to let go of everything anyway. Better to do it with a free will. The more precise we are, the more magic (in Sanskrit, this is called ‘drala’) is available to us.
A method is a guideline.
We may wander from the line
but it always there
to show us where we are,
giving us a sense of direction.
It’s a guide line,
and keeps us true to our course.
A guideline is merely a series of points:
at every point is our destination.