The short version: I believe in a higher power, my ability to talk with enlightened beings and the existence of a divine plan. I also believe it’s all in my imagination, has only limited utility in the physical world, is not objectively verifiable and in no way do I subscribe to any dogma. This conflict does not lessen the vividness, power nor usefulness of my spiritual experiences, nor the scientific realities of life on this planet.
After an inward period, I seems I can feel the floodgates about to open on a new phase of woo-woo writing from me, so I want to preface it all with an explanation of my dissonant ideas and how I am really quite comfortable with it all.
You see I am a very “spiritual” person. I believe in a Higher Power (God, The Universe, The Tao – it’s all wonderfully vague and Definitely Demanding of Sentence Case). Also I am in communion with a group of enlightened beings that I call The Buddhas or The Hosts.
Yes, that’s correct, by in communion I mean I talk with these beings. I “believe” they are benevolent and are present to help me to reconnect with my Higher Power and to understand The Plan for my life. I “believe” that when I ask, they are there and able to help me, they help me to get clarity and conviction around The Plan (which is for the higher good, I might point out) and they give me the abilities I need to make the plan happen here in the world.
So, yeah, all pretty way out. But note the quote marks around the word “believe”. I put them there because I have a caveat when it comes to my spiritual beliefs: I have them – but they’re all made up.
Yes that’s right. I believe – but I also believe it’s all in my imagination.
And in no way does the latter take away from the power and the “realness” of the former.
A Theology of Relativity
I have developed over the years a Theology of Relativity, the basic premise of which is that spirituality is just stuff we make up, collectively, individually, to deal with life and to explain the mystery of this bizarre existence we find ourselves in. Our theologies are relative because we are free to make up our spiritual lives as we see fit. There is no objective spiritual truth around which we need stubbornly cling.
I see spirituality as mysterious and powerful. I meditate and pray regularly and when I do I have rich, colourful and powerful experiences. I talk to enlightened beings, I feel physical bliss, I have great insights into my life and the nature of the universe and I feel empowered and connected to the “spirit in the sky”.
Yes It’s A Bit Cray-Cray – But It Makes Me A Better Kind of Cray-Cray
None of it makes sense in a mechanistic way – which is no problem. It’s contextually irrelevant.
I care not a jot about whether it is True or scientifically verifiable and of course it is not. What I do care about is the result. It makes me a better person.
Bit by bit, as I go inward and reflect, as I meditate and pray on the questions of life, as I read words of spiritual wisdom, I become a better man. I become more inclined to be patient, to forgive, to be kind, empathetic, compassionate. I see life through a less selfish lens.
I am less attracted to profligacy and more to a healthy lifestyle. I am more concerned about the results of actions on others and less with self-gratification. I feel happier and more content with what I have.
Spirituality Doesn’t Need to Make Sense
All of this self-growth comes to me via my meditation, my talking with Buddhas and with my Higher Power. It comes from my powerful meditations that involve cosmic energy filling my body, making me high on Love in a very real physical way. And this is all painted in and by my imagination.
Spirituality is like art – it doesn’t need to make sense, and its power and appeal spill out of that.
Fantasy is useful in that it is therapeutic. Spirituality enables me to confront the epic mystery of life and the universe, and how weird it all is that it exists and we’re here, in it, amongst all this stuff. Why it is this and not that? How come all this stuff?
Before We Go: A Quick Reality Check
Here’s an important thing: spirituality is useful for coping with life but it does not opt you out of life’s scientific rules. It can help you deal with tragedy, but clearly, it does not avert it. Trust in God, tether your camel. You cannot pray away a disease, but science may be able to prevent or cure it.
And run a mile from any religion or guru who tells you they have the One Truth. Honestly, I may talk to imaginary friends, but if you think God wants you to in any way be horrible to females, gays or anyone really then you’re doing it wrong.
For that matter, if you think that anyone is going to burn in hell because they subscribe to this fantasy instead of that one, then go find a mirror and spend some extended time in front of it.
Photo Credit: Barry Takes Photos