I’ve written before about my take on ‘reality‘. In my belief system, ‘reality‘ is illusory – a dream or thought process from the mind of god, where we are the players that bring the story to life.
This belief ilk is called being ‘aware‘, and the ‘aware‘ are classed as being ‘spiritual‘ – and being ‘spiritual‘ comes with a whole set of expectations, not from god but from the other players in ‘reality‘ and even from ourselves, when we believe we are processing life in a ‘spiritual‘ way.
In christian spirituality, especially, there is an extreme condemnation of those who do not live what is considered to be a ‘pure‘ life if one has chosen a ‘spiritual‘ path. That ‘pure‘ life comes with a whole set of rules of behavior which are supposed to be disciplines to the spirit, to keep one true to that ‘spiritual‘ path – and if the aspirant strays from their ‘spiritual‘ path, according to those rules they must be punished, either by themselves or by others.
Martyrs of all types abound in the history of christianity and, in the past, monks wore hair shirts (to create a constant itch to test their temper) and whipped themselves till their backs bled, while living in tiny and grim cells for bedrooms, in order to persistently remind themselves to behave ‘better‘ and to be humble.
I think it is such modes of condemnation that almost immediately set others against you, today, if you appear to be a ‘spiritual‘ person and stray in even the slightest from what they consider ‘spirituality‘ to be. Thousands of years of such expectations have become embedded in the mind of the populace to such an extent that even those who do not class themselves as ‘spiritual‘ in any way will attack someone who follows a ‘spiritual‘ path but then appears to be straying from it.
This happened to myself, (again), not long ago, when I made a fair and objective comment on a Facebook site about a prize home that was being offered in a charity raffle.
I’d visited the home with my family as we like to support such causes, since my son became disabled in a traffic accident many years ago and this charity was one which gave him some help in recovery. The home was lovely, but the traffic noise from a nearby busy road was so awful I couldn’t imagine living there without being driven batty by it, so I made a comment about that in the guest book.
That is the sort of thing human beings do. We live life, we make comments, we interact with each other, we pour out ideas and opinions… But there were those who sought to take me to task publicly, on the charity’s Facebook page, for writing my comment in that guest book, and I was irked enough by the attack to reply.
My reply was objective and to the point. Where the attacker claimed that the road was not well used, I pointed out (as a local) that it was a very well used and main road. In fact, it was an arterial road between many seaside towns.
I thought that was the end of it, but later on another took up the thread and claimed how silly I was and that I should just ‘shut up and put up‘.
Now, that also irked me, because I believe in the right to have an opinion, and my opinion harmed no one – but these people seemed to think that because this was a charity event, it should brook no criticism. So I replied to that comment, too, pointing out that these events are sold as dreams, where people are expected to imagine a new lifestyle for themselves living in such places, so my opinion was simply a reflection on that.
For that reply, I was immediately called a ‘wanker‘, which is a derogatory epithet in our Australian slang language that basically called me ‘crazy‘, and that was followed by a long tirade claiming that I was over-intellectual and egotistical, and basically liked the ‘sound of my own voice‘.
I apologized for stepping on toes and upsetting anyone who thought the charity was sacrosanct, but upheld my right to my opinion.
As far as I could tell, the main reason why this second person felt so pissed off at me was because I wrote more words than you get in a ‘tweet‘ and in today’s society that seems to often be taken for being arrogant.
I thought that was the end of it, but that person then checked out my Facebook profile and saw my spiritual modes on display. They then attacked my spirituality, claiming that I was anything but ‘spiritual‘ if I could speak the way I did. (It was then that I realized this person was not of the ilk of the youth of today, who often seem to lack verbal eloquence, as this last tirade was full of great vocabulary and strafed me with a full paragraph of it).
My reply was a thank you for being thought of as ‘spiritual‘ and I pointed out that ‘spirituality‘ is a worthy aim and aspiration but I am also a human being who has a right to express valid opinions.
I also pointed out that even the Dalai Lama tells us to stick up for ourselves against bullies.
Which brings me to a historical event where the Dalai Lama got severe condemnation and was considered to have strayed from his ‘spiritual‘ path many years ago when there was a Tibetan uprising that ended up killing several Chinese shopkeepers based in Tibet. Because his response to that event was not quick, and he took time as a human being to consider the facts of what had happened, and only eventually gave advice to his fellow Tibetans to remember their ‘spiritual‘ path, many Western ‘followers‘ (not necessarily buddhists) became disillusioned at his ‘spiritual‘ leadership.
Even someone as ‘enlightened‘ as the Dalai Lama is a human being, encased in human form, and prone to the same laws that shape the rest of us at times – meaning that difficult decisions are not an instant process, and care had to be taken to assess all aspects of the situation so that he did not upset things further by interference in what was essentially an uprising against local politics and oppression by pissed off human beings.
My belief about spirituality revolves around this idea that when we incarnate as spirit into a solid form, (whether that be a human one, animal, vegetable, or mineral), in this world, we become prone to the laws of ‘reality‘ that form us.
So dogs, even though they are basically the same ‘spirit‘ as we humans are, will still sniff each others bums, lick their balls, and bark at cats, no matter how advanced their personalities appear to be.
Humans, too, are prone to the same laws that hold the roleplays of their destinies together – so even though they may be ‘spiritual,’ they can still get pissed off at impositions caused by other human beings.
I have lost count of the times when others have decided I am being quite ‘unspiritual‘ because I got angry and upset at a situation that had gone on long after every avenue toward peace and resolution had been tried. People tend to point that out in a very smug way, as if to prove that because you have temporarily and apparently ‘lost the plot‘, you were never really ‘spiritual‘ in the first place.
That is so wrong an assumption, it’s not funny. Was Christ considered to be ‘unspiritual‘ because he got so angry at the peddlars selling religious wares on the steps of his local temple that he upturned their stalls? Was he considered to be ‘unspiritual‘ when he cried out on the cross, wondering if God had deserted him in his last hours? No, because ‘spirituality‘ is more than temporary human passions and aberrations. Spirituality is a life long mode that is so persistent that it crosses all the apparent ‘strays‘ of feeling and action.
I know that there are those who say that you should always ‘turn the other cheek‘ when someone slaps you, always ‘love your enemy’, or ‘walk away or say no‘ when faced with confrontations or altercations, but life is not so black and white. There are many shades of grey… And running away or shutting off is not always a solution, especially when you are dealing with people you want to stay in your life.
Sometimes, you really do have to do battle to bring about resolution – even if that is just holding fast to a valid opinion against condemnatory opposition.
When we try to be ‘perfect‘ in order to be ‘spiritual‘ we set ourselves up for a fall, because we are also human. As human beings, we live a dichotomous life, a schism, or a pairing.
We are both a spiritual being and a human being, and the two don’t always gel if we go about setting rules for how ‘spirituality‘ should be expressed in order to be valid.
I was watching a television show with my husband, recently, which is about a competition between renovators of apartments. Like many ‘reality‘ shows these days, it is full of product placements, and the scripting is quite obvious at times to me, because I worked in the film and television industry for over ten years in my youth.
Most people may not be so aware that seeing the participants talking about themselves going through their processes and tribulations as they are apparently still going through them on screen means that they have been pulled aside (during what is apparently a crisis) to give comment – and that to do that a whole new camera set up has to be put in place to record those comments, and any such withdrawal would certainly take the edge off any crisis.
In fact, every time you get a new camera point of view means that whatever these players are doing has to be interrupted so that a new camera setup can be put in place, necessitating a lot of waiting around by the participants while that setup is erected. (During that break in proceedings is when the participants are most likely taken aside to another area to give their comments to another camera. It certainly does not actually happen while the crises events are going on).
What you see on the screen at the end is the result of a lot of editing and splicing of these separate films taken from so many different views, each clip repeating the same words. Reality television is therefore rarely ‘reality‘. At best it is a rendition of ‘reality‘.
Even if the players are ‘ordinary‘ people roped in for the competition, and not actually actors or ‘improvisational‘ extras, they are still being highly directed and are following scripted guidelines (including asides for product placements, which are advertisements for goods shown in a ‘normal’ usage setting).
I mean, what ‘ordinary‘ person is so garrulous about how to do the things these people do in their renovations, going through each step as if they are teaching us all how to do it, and speaking out loud the whole time about their processes? If most of us kept talking all the time about what we were doing, in such detail, we’d be considered crazy.
An overwhelm of words tends to overwhelm people (which is apparently what set my critics off when I made my comment on the charity prize house) – unless, of course, it is during a ‘reality‘ television show…
Now, even knowing all this, and having a good ‘heads up‘ on the above because of my experience with the industry, and even after discussing these points in detail with my husband, we still find ourselves watching the show at times and assessing the competitors and their shenanigans, and even find ourselves getting pissed off at the rudeness or coldness of some, or feel pity for the way others have been apparently abused or treated unfairly.
We get caught up in the story of the show, and we end up reacting like any other ‘ordinary‘ human being watching it.
Which makes us laugh at ourselves, in the end – and we do have to keep reminding ourselves that it is a show, and these are players, and most likely the whole thing is very much scripted, and even the crises are simply set up to make what would have been a bland show about renovating into something more interesting…
And that’s where ‘reality‘ kicks us all in the guts at times – because it doesn’t matter how ‘enlightened‘ or ‘spiritual‘ you are, you are also a human being, and you have birthed into a ‘reality‘ that is full of plots and storylines that suck you in, no matter how much you know it is basically an ‘illusion‘ or a ‘gameplay‘.
We all get sucked in by life at times, and that is what is supposed to happen.
Even the most ‘spiritual‘ among us are supposed to be human beings, too. If they aren’t, they are quickly condemned as being cold, aloof, and ‘out of touch‘ with ‘reality‘.
Life is an adventure and an experience of investment.
It doesn’t matter how much knowledge or skill you have about the ‘bones behind reality‘ or the ‘modes of spiritual evolution‘ or what aspirations you have toward being the ‘best type of human being‘ you can be, you are human at the bottom line, and until the day you shed your body and return fully to spirit, life will always catch up with you.
Even the Pope has to go to the toilet. Even the Dalai Lama has admitted to getting annoyed when someone changed the radio station he was listening to, or to jealousy of his brother riding a bicycle when he was a child while he had to stay inside and read scriptures.
Life itself is a ‘reality‘ show and we are all the players. Destiny is the script.
You can play a board game or card game over and over, always knowing the rules and how things work, but still get invested in the competition, or pissed off at the other players, and even let out a resounding whoop when you win.
That’s life. That’s living… And that is ‘spirituality‘, which in truth means ‘living life with the fullness of spirit‘…
So what is this ‘spirit‘ we should live in fullness with?
It is investment. It is passion. It is heart and care. It is life force energy that urges us toward creation. It is our emotions, our worries, our cares, and every state of connection that manifests the divine force in ‘reality‘.
God dreams us into Being, and ‘spirituality‘ exists wherever we are aware of this.
It is not reliant on rules or expectations. It is present in any appreciation of the magnificence of existence, even in the smallest of moments.
It is present in even our darkest moments, when we call on our energetic life source… and it exists even when others call us to task for apparently not really having it, because God is the dreamer and all that exists is God – even the aberrations.
Heck, even those who have no religion or ‘spirituality‘ can be called ‘spirited’, because ‘spirit‘ is a pure expression of itself. It is the ‘life force‘ at work (and play)… And ‘spirit‘ is what makes ‘reality‘.
Spirit reality = spirituality.