The End Of Spirituality
I’m done with spirituality. I have been for years now. There. I said it. Coming from a spiritual mentor and energy healer, I realize this may sound strange.
About 8 years ago, after being a zealous meditator and Buddhist practitioner for awhile, I woke up to myself as awareness. I then went through the common “I-got-it-I-lost-it” phase, although nothing was actually "lost". It can't be. It was a divine mess, and a lot went down on the earthly plane and beyond and then suddenly, in 2016, exactly three years ago to this very day, a deeper, fuller, and abiding awakening happened. I woke up to myself as nothing...and everything. A union that has always been; suddenly and brightly made clear, and breathed, and lived. And “it” hasn’t left.
Some people call this fully waking up. Whatever the fuck you could call it, I’m free!
No more endlessly thinking mind. It’s pretty quiet in here, unless I’m purposefully engaging the noggin' in planning, creating, finding my way through streets when my maps app is down, or putting together IKEA furniture (damn you, IKEA!). There is simply a vast spaciousness, and out of this arises the next right thing. And the next. And the next. After a lifetime of debilitating anxiety, this is kind of lovely.
I am present. Sure, I think about the future when I’m planning or intending something. Sure, I think about the past when I need to recall something that helps in this moment. But no ruminating, fear mongering, panic planning, people pleasing, regret filled obsessing. I wonder what my life would have been like if this had happened earlier. I wonder what it will be like moving forward. But these wonderings pass quickly. I am in my current experience, which is a wonder unto itself. Nowhere to be but here.
No more trying to figure out what other people think of me, trying to become something others need me to be, gaging what other people are thinking or feeling so that I can help/change/fix/solve/escape the experience I’m in. There’s just intuitively the next word, the next impulse, the next right action. Everyone is free to be themselves. I may not dig hanging around some folks for a variety of reasons, and I feel a call to speak or take action when there is cruelty, but basically everyone gets to be their weird self. I no longer take any of it personally.
There is peace. There is always an underlying sense that all is well...even when it isn’t. I may get frustrated for a moment with my laptop, or spit out a hair in my soup, or feel a rush of adrenaline while undergoing a medical test or hearing tragic news. But underneath it all, totally accessible and ever-present is a core of peace. Well being. All is truly well.
And...No more spirituality!
How could there be? Everything is spiritual, beyond our prior concepts of what is “spiritual”. The very fabric of what we are, what we do, what we love, what we think we hate, is spirit itself. There is nothing that is left out of this divine soup, this very substance of our existence. And it has always been this way.
This is part of the big cosmic joke of waking up.
There’s a spiritual jargon, a lingo that “spiritual” people use. How are your chakras, man? What’s up with your soul these days? Are you feeling blessed? #blessed
The new age circles say things a certain way, and the non-duality (enlightenment path) circles say it another way, and the religions all have their own vocabulary.
Capitalizing words like Divine or Spirit have their place, but it feels strange to me now when I do it. It can be helpful, but to me, everything is upper case and everything is lower case. Everything is both and one simultaneously.
A pebble or a clump of dirt is just as spiritual as a sparkling amethyst crystal. I don’t need a stick of sage to call forth beneficial mojo. I deeply respect those who use all of these things skillfully to go deeper. We can benefit from rituals and teachings and practices. Clearly.
It can be helpful to have an altar on which to place your favorite things, so that you remember the depth and significance and beauty of the multiple dimensions of you and of life. I have an altar! I like it, sitting there in the corner of my bedroom, sparkling back at me.
Don’t get me wrong. Spiritual practice and rituals and holy words and settings can have great power. They can be a doorway in to something deeper than the endless chatter of the mind, helping dissolve the veil of separation between us and life itself, which breathes us and dreams us.
But life itself is our prayer.
It is forever opening itself to us, beckoning us to let ourselves be pierced more fully by it all.
And even in this realm of no spirituality that I’m living in, spirituality gets to be included. Because everything belongs, everything is in the soup, everything is life. And life is nakedly spiritual, whether we call ourselves an atheist or a Muslim or a Christian or a Buddhist or a Trekkie.
I remember years ago reading Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power Of Now. In it, he shares his experience of waking up to being nothing and everything. And then the rest of the book was a spiritual teaching. Wait! I wanted to hear about him, and hislife. I wanted to say to little Eckhart: What happened next? What was it like to adjust? What did your life seem like afterward? How did it change? What’s it like now after all these years? Do you still have a favorite color?
I wanted to hear about his life, because something in me knew, even back then, that what was the point of spirituality anyway, if not to really life your life?
They say waking up is the end of desire. I say it’s the end of being attached to your desires, being identified with your desires, being defined by them. If I still desire anything passionately, it’s to fully make use of this life, to meet it and to celebrate it; to share, and to embody this human life in the deepest, most vivid, technicolor way possible.
But it’s the end of spirituality and it has been for awhile.
Sure, I am a spiritual mentor. That word is helpful in that it differentiates me from, say, a golf mentor. (Are there golf mentors??) The word “spiritual” signifies that I will take you deeper than surface level...if you are up for it. I’m a healer. But really, what you truly are needs no healing, yet your nervous system, energy field, and human mind and heart can certainly benefit. I’m a comedian. Yet when I’m up there, even though I may make you laugh, hopefully I’m also helping you feel less alone, or to see the world or yourself differently, if only for a moment.
It’s all spiritual, so it needs no special word. Yeah, yeah, I’ll continue to use the words spiritual and spirituality because we live in a world of qualifiers and distinctions. Words are helpful, if not the whole picture.
But I have to tell you, my once rigid meditation and spiritual practice has been replaced with my true practice: fully living my unique life in this unique way through this unique vessel.
Today, on this day, it’s been three years since I woke up to being nothing and everything. It’ll take this entire lifetime to embody this realization as it drenches my humanity deeper, and deeper, and deeper. But each day it feels like my life can truly now begin. And so it does.