I always thought that the Spiritual Path was all about becoming as “spiritual” as I could. When I first started on the path, it was even almost a competition to me. If someone had an understanding that I did not, at best I would feel left out, and at worst I would look at them with some measure of contempt, distrust, outwardly stating that they were wrong! If I KNEW that they were right, and that they really did understand some aspect of Universal truth, or had a better grasp than I did surrounding chakras, healing crystals, past lives etc, then I would feel defeated; that somehow I had missed out on something.
To me, this race was one that I wasn’t going to lose, regardless of the absurdity of the thoughts that I was competing in some manner of spiritual trial. I knew intellectually from what I had read that everyone was as readily able to find God as everyone else, but if I didn’t get there first, then I wasn’t interested in it. If everyone could know such things, what value did they have to me? Bear in mind this all unfolded in a family that told me as a youngster, if I spoke about things such as meditation or spiritualism openly, that I would be overheard by the wrong person and sent to a mental home as a ‘loon’.
After a journey that is as tiresome to speak of or write about as it was to live through, I have come to a completely different understanding on what it truly means to walk a spiritual path, or live a spiritual life.
After experiencing the significant loss of immediate family members, enduring the hardship of military deployment, spending years in clinical depression, wandering lost from country to country, studying Alchemy, Martial Arts, becoming a Reiki Master, running across deserts, sailing across oceans, retreating for months at a time in monastery with Buddhist monks, studying Yoga, Qi Gong, Psychology and living on the road homeless for 12 months I have discovered the following:
There is actually no quest to become anything other than what we already are. Sure, we will change as our circumstances and situations apply pressure upon us. We will mature and grow. But spiritually, we are already everything we are. We are children of the Divine, and nothing can change that. This always has been, is now, and always will be truth.
Here’s the thing that many people are yet to understand surrounding our time here on Earth… We are not here to suffer as a human, to find immense hardship being or not being whilst struggling to return to something better. We are NOT here to learn how to become more spiritual, or how to grow beyond our humanness into something ‘more’.
We are here to enjoy the richness of feeling what it means TO BE HUMAN! We are here so that we can feel the disconnection and resulting pain from being ‘away’ from our roots, because the second we leave this place we will return to them; that is a given.
We are here to embrace the icy bite of freezing water on our skin, and to taste the salty tears running down our cheeks when sad; to laugh so hard that we snort and choke and to graze our knees when we stumble.
When I hear about how hard a time someone is having with their humanness I smile, because the struggles, the joys, the highs, the lows, the happiness, the misery, the pleasure, the pain, the love, the disconnection… THIS is what it means to have a human experience, and THIS is what it means to walk a spiritual path.
Much love ❤
Article – Chris Jones
Image – Chris Feser/Flickr