It was said that Michelangelo could see a sculpture in a block of marble well before he laid a chisel to it. He would work away at the rock until the sculpture would finally be revealed. To him, the finished product resided in the raw material all along.
Is life a process of finding a spirituality outside of us or rather uncovering a spirituality that resides within us?
It may be cliched to say “I’m spiritual, not religious,” but such a statement bears examination. Religion is extrinsic to the human sense of spirituality. That’s not to suggest that spirituality cannot be shaped in a religious context but religion does not predate spirituality. It’s the other way around. Religion is something that has been applied, usually through means of some codified moral maxims, to help spirituality make sense to people.
Embarking on a spiritual quest without rules or a system whereby that spirituality is fostered can be equally liberating and terrifying. A raw spirituality does not carry with in eternal consequence or coercion. These features are normally attributed to organized religion as a means of arcing the narrative.
What if there were no rules to your spirituality?
What if your spiritual nature is innately a part of who you are?
“But what about moral obligation?”, you ask. Well, what about it? Are we moral because someone told us to be? Do we do well by others simply because we’re afraid that we’ll run afoul of some deity who will damn us for eternity?
It’s my belief that we do good things for others because we are able, on some fundamental level, to see the other as a part of who we are. We haven’t evolved to this kind of thinking but rather we’ve evolved away from it through national/cultural divides, religious differences and socio-economic exceptionalism.
A crucial component of awakening to our own spirituality is recognizing that human spirituality and human love is universal. Each person is entitled to experience it and partake in it, regardless of who they are. Beyond the petty labeling we use as a society of compartmentalize ourselves there’s a pure human being-ness that exists.
If you have ever smiled at a stranger, hugged someone, laughed to yourself, exchanged the deepest and most intimate expressions….you have been spiritual.
Every moment is an invitation to commune with our own divine nature which is beautifully made evident through our humanity. When it comes to human spirituality, there is no this and that, no me and you or us and them. There is only oneness. As we, together, journey upon the path that leads to, ultimately, the holiest ground we may ever venture: inside ourselves.