Many external factors make developing a spiritual practice challenging. When immersed in a system that breeds hierarchy, division, derision, and emotional and financial strife, it’s easy to get caught up in your own problems. Spiritual awakening is about zooming out of yourself and separating from the inherent thoughts and emotions that dictate how you act in the material world. When you are too fixated on yourself, it’s hard to separate from the issues you perceive are causing you to suffer.
Our current way of living doesn’t help the cultivation of spiritual practice either. Humanity evolved under the stars, free from light pollution and other obstructions from the view of the celestial bodies. We have lost our innate spiritualism as a result of this separation from the night sky. Being here (in Belize) has spurred something inside me, causing me to examine our place here on Earth and in the cosmos. Almost on a nightly basis, I am left awestruck by the sky above me. I don’t know of a better way to zoom out of oneself- without taking psychedelics of course. By looking up on a moonless, clear night, at the endless expanse of stars and the milky way, I am reminded that there is something greater outside of myself.
A spiritual practice isn’t an easy thing to develop. It takes a significant amount of self-reflection, looking in at what makes you tick and why you believe the things you do. It requires you to analyze how your past experiences have shaped how you think, act, and feel. This is an uncomfortable and challenging activity. The resistance one faces is fierce. Yet, it is necessary for cultivating a fruitful spiritual practice.
When you understand yourself on a deeper level, you can develop a more effective way to remove blocks and fight resistance. When you are at ease with yourself, you are less likely to veer off of your path. You will develop a firm resolve in your decisions and life choices. You will be steady on the rocky path to spiritual enlightenment.
A spiritual practice is one of self-improvement; building up your awareness of your being and of how you exist in the world. It is the cultivation of the inner, higher self. The higher self is the only self that can access a higher plane of existence.
A spiritual practice is also a complex one. It is more than meditation, observing the moon phases, positive thinking, or manifesting. It’s more than reading tarot (or having it read), numerology, or speaking with your spirit guides. All these things are well and good and can be an important aspect of a regular spiritual practice. However, they all require believing in a realm of existence that is outside our own; outside of our perceived reality.
This is a hard thought to wrap one’s head around because it runs counter to our lived experience. Constrained by our senses, we are inherently limited. Even within our material world, there exists, all around us, aspects that are imperceptible. Infrared light, and pitches in sound below and beyond the spectrum our eardrums can hear, for example. There is a whole world of undetectable and indecipherable sources of stimulation we are not attuned to.
The spiritual realm is no different. But unlike these physical limitations, we have the ability to learn how to connect and tune into this higher realm.
What we perceive then, is an illusion. This is not some woo-woo statement either, its scientific fact. Modern discoveries in quantum physics are proving this to be true. I will write a separate post on this later and will be brief here, to avoid a long-winded digression. Research indicates that the fabric of the universe, which structures our lives, is unlike anything we would recognize as our average day-to-day. This limits our understanding of what truly is.
So, a belief in something greater than ourselves is imperative. Without it, the aforementioned beliefs and supplementary practices, become like a delicate house of cards: shaky at best and ready to collapse at any moment. I know this first hand. As a former atheist and hardcore scientific-minded person, it’s taken me a long time to adopt a belief in a spiritual realm of existence. Over the years, I have flipped-flopped from a state of convincing myself that it exists, to one of questioning the reality of the possibility, to belief. But you can’t convince yourself, you need to believe if you want to connect with it.
If you aren’t prone to believing such things, like I was, it will take time to understand the validity of the existence of this other plane and way of being. It took consistent practice and the odd profound experience to get me there. Psychedelics definitely helped in this regard, which I’ll touch on in another post.
So, you don’t have a spiritual practice because it is a hard thing to maintain. The resistance and distractions of daily life, work and kids if you have them, draw you away from consistency. But consistency is key.
Spiritual life may seem intangible, but it is attainable. Spiritualism can be as simple as doing what you want to do in life. You can so so by, as writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell once said, following your bliss. When fulfilled in life, you are content and full of love. You live on a higher frequency of existence. Content people don’t want, feel lack, or feel hatred towards others. Content people are selfless and spread love. They share knowledge and understand others.
But is this what our modern society encourages? Definitely not. The purveyors of society need us to feel lack (of accomplishment, material possessions, and wealth), and frustration with our lives. They need us to live in a low vibe state so we spend our lives consuming. It’s what allows the current system to perpetuate. When we are consuming, we are not creating. Not creating a world connected to a greater plane. As long as we all linger in this realm, a higher one will be unattainable.
A spiritual practice is essential for fighting this. The spiritual realm is an innate part of us all. We need to get back in contact with it.
Simon is a former renovation contractor turned writer and author. Apart from writing about his experiences with spiritualism, Simon has a passion for reading, podcasts and spending quality time with his family.