Friday, January 13, 2012

Why We Need More Spiritual Discrimination

Borrowed and adapted from Campus Ministry
Today, I could have benefited from a so-called "Integral Awakening Skype Session" to foster my "transformational process"... But I chose not to, just like I choose not to attend to the plethora of spiritual events available in the Bay Area, and here is why.

You would think that the Bay Area is the best place to nurture your spiritual side given the vivid subculture and the diversity of practices available. And yet I find myself rather closed to the spiritual market here, as if too much exposure to it had made me dull. Is it a personal disposition? Maybe, after all I grew up in a quite secular environment. But really, the red flag to me is the lack of discernment by spiritual teachers about spirituality itself.

Spirituality is an intimate relationship with reality, it requires observing and experiencing this relationship directly, exploring the territory by yourself before relying on maps others have drawn before you. So it produces an interesting paradox when you live in a culture imbued with spiritual concepts. You are called to encounter them in discussions and readings, and even though you're talking about existential and ultimate concerns, you end up sometimes using them more or less casually.

I don't know you, but I find it difficult to keep giving a special meaning to a spiritual concept like "awakening" or "epiphany" when I read about it in promotional emails.