What is the Point of Spirituality?

September 18th, 2014 at 14:13

In a sea of white noise of information, concerning, in part, Spirituality one might ask a question – what is the point of Spirituality to begin with? What is the criteria to gauge the spiritual development, and what is it’s modus operandi, what is it’s purpose? At first one can immediately think, that the point is to make a human being somehow behave or act “better” so to speak, but is it just behavioral? Or is it something more internal? There is various discussions in the spiritual domain, such as what teaching best addresses and, perhaps describes the inner realities that are supposed to arrive along with the spiritual realization. Is it just letting go of “material” interests, is it detachment, is it some sort of ever-bliss? Various teachings address these topics differently. For some, the goal is moksha or liberation, for some it is bhakti or service to God. The following is my take on spirituality’s goals.

First of all, there are two truths – as according to Buddhism, the relative and the absolute truth. The relative truth is just the conventional common sense truth, and the absolute truth is the realization that all things are empty. What can be achieved with the realization of absolute truth? Detachment, disassociation. Regardless of the stream of events, one is so to speak mentally even or is present in equanimity. About the relative truth, it can be said that the Reality exhibits properties of me, Others, God, Mind and Matter. It is on relative level of truth that we can perform service to God and others by following bhakti-style yogas. In general, one does not have to realize emptiness or absolute truth for this, if one can just find some other way for mental equanimity. Spoken in words, both truth are merely linguistic descriptions of the corresponding realities. There can be many varying sets of descriptions, and basically they lead to the more or less same result. So there are two main things – mental equanimity, or detachment from dependence on the stream of events (moksha), and service to God and others (bhakti).

Another, the third goal of spirituality can be described as bliss. This is the third component in Vedic Sat-Chit-Ananda triad (Being, Consciousness, Bliss). With mental equanimity, and with being active in performing good deeds towards the others, and also by following certain spiritual practices, comes the ever present feeling of bliss. This is not same as getting flashes of happiness tied to the domain of material events (a wedding, having a child, winning lottery etc). This feeling is independent of the stream of material events and phenomena, it is just always there. It is exactly the result of spiritual attainment, and not a set of events conditioned by karma. It arrives independently of any conditions.

All else, such as siddhis, states of mind, knowledge, are important features of spiritual attainment, but they are secondary to these primary three ones.

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