The Dark Side Of Spirituality
I think it’s safe to say that spirituality is indeed a good thing. The problem is that some people can enter the spiritual world with a pre conceived misconception that it is going to be an all-round positive experience.
Spirituality is not one thing and can be expressed in multiple ways. Some will find enlightenment through their work, others through religion, others through spiritual practice like mediation and yoga, others through the use of psychedelics and others by just expressing themselves in a positive way through kindness, compassion and love. No matter how you find the spirit within you, there is no right way of doing it.
What is spirituality? Spirituality is a very misunderstood term, some equate it to religion and while it can be related it is not an exclusively religious thing. The spirit is the essence of a person, that elusive thing within us that makes us naturally behave in certain ways. When the mind is quite and all is peaceful all that’s left is the spirit.
You have your 4 levels of health- the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. All but the spirit are easily defined, measurable and explainable, the spiritual side of things is a little more mystical and hard to explain in a short sentence. But it is still a real thing.
One thing that will be present in all spiritual practice is consciousness. Consciousness is hard to define as is spirituality because again it is not one thing, but to make things simple consciousness on an individual level is your awareness of a thing, even if that thing is nothing.
One of the problems that can arise as a result of expanding your consciousness or awareness is a hard slap around the face of reality. It’s almost like The Matrix’s when Morpheus offers Neo the red or blue pill. Once you take that red pill reality can be hard to comprehend.
Spiritual practice and the expansion of your consciousness is like dissolving a barrier that has been slowly put up throughout your childhood and adulthood- through education, society’s expectations and family and friends.
Once this barrier is down it opens up the floodgates for all the good there is, but also the darker side of the world.
Firstly if you look at the collective consciousness you will see a lot of disharmony between people. As you walk down the street you will see peoples pain and on a global scale you will see how terrible the wars and suffering are. That’s not to say you didn’t see some of this before but once awakened it can be hard to ignore.
The second thing is your individual consciousness, once activated this spiritual awareness is like the holding up of a mirror and while it will help us to see the good in ourselves and others it can also help us to see the mistakes we are making and where we are going wrong.
Spirituality makes you face your flaws, the pain you have caused and the negativity which lies within you. Sometimes it can make you question who you are and what you stand for. It will also help you to realise the pain you have locked away and at times this can be a lot to bear.
One of the things that is common to experience is an initial feeling of euphoria when you reach a certain level of spiritual development and while this euphoric feeling is great it can often set you up for unrealistic expectation of yourself and others.
For some it will manifest in an expectation of others to understand your process and while it is good to have people around you who are on a similar path, it is ultimately an individual journey.
Another misconception is that a spiritual awakening is the end goal, when in reality it is just the start, it’s a bit like capturing a wild lion and expecting it to be tame. You have to nurture your spirit and continue to ask questions. Sometimes you will not like the answers and at other times the answers will not always be clear, but if you persevere you will find what you are looking for.
Taking the road of spirituality can be both the most difficult and rewarding thing you will ever do and it’s important not to get attached to your current situation, you will usually find that the dots connect and nothing you have ever done has been pointless.
One of the most important things you can do to minimise stress and anxiety, is to trust the process and know that if you continue to move towards your goals the only thing that can stand in the way is time or if you decide to give up.
When you can separate the darkness which we all have from the light and understand that both are normal and necessary it will make the road a lot less bumpy. Different states of mind serve different purposes and when you get to know your own emotional cycles and how they affect you, you can use these states to perform at your peak.
Ultimately making a conscious effort to grow spiritually is the best decision anyone can make. Spirituality will inform you of the truth, positive or negative and once you can face that truth in your own life growth will be inevitable!