:a spiritual journey
I read something said about Reiki recently. I read, “Reiki is said to be a spiritual practice. However it is more than that”.
That statement implies the description of “spiritual practice” does not express what Reiki is. It implies the idea of being a spiritual practice is in some way insignificant to other considerations of what that person thinks Reiki is. What they are basically saying I think, is that if we describe Reiki as a spiritual practice it does not tell us the true worth and ability of it.
Being a spiritual practice, is the very highest of what Reiki is. It does not make Reiki less in any way. We have to take a look at the word “Spiritual” and determine what that is. Recently someone said to me that they consider themselves to be Spiritual and not religious and I asked them, what is the difference? The person could not give me an answer because they had not thought about it thoroughly enough. It was a clever and fashionable statement but did not have substance for that person. They did not have an answer to my question.
To consider the word spiritual we perhaps to look at the word religious also and look at them side by side.
Let’s start with the word religion. I feel that many people today have a negative view of religion and use the idea of spirituality in its place so as not to be associated with any particular religion but showing some reverence to something greater. Maybe religious history is partly to blame. This negative view maybe in part due to all of that fighting back stabbing, killing, abuse and downright dishonestly that many religions have engaged in over time, that have caused so many of us to just not wish to even hear the word religion spoken. It could be said that which is meant to nurture the human soul and spirit have thrown dirty water on the task. So it is not surprising that many are left feeling cold at the very thought of the word religion. Religions main task is to throw light on the path to God; instead it too can be bogged down with earthly experience. Difficult indeed to heave one foot on the earth and on in heaven.
Now what do we mean by spiritual? To consider the word spiritual we first have to understand the word “Sprit.” What is spirit? Often the word soul and spirit are used interchangeably to mean the same thing. They do not mean the same thing. Many people if not most people think of their body as who they are. “I am my body.” “My body must be beautiful because if my body is perfect and beautiful people will perceive a beautiful me.” Are we a sum total of our body or are we more than our body? The body becomes a mess in time because it ages, and so are we now not beautiful because our body may not be so?
To find the real beauty of a person you must look deeper. It is located inside of the person that is where the beauty lay. The beauty lay in their thoughts, ideas, actions, and personality. Those things allow the person to have interaction with the world on a deeper level. What are we to call those bits of the person as a collective expression? Are those things part of the mind or are they more than just mental thinking capacity of the person? The mind is a tool by which we make sense of information on an intellectual level. We analyse the world and life with the mind. We say we think thoughts and they happen in the brain which is the mind. The soul is not the mind it does not analyse at all it just is. We will come back to all of these words and ideas latter. So that leaves the word sprit and if spirit is not the soul what is it?
We have so far spoken about spiritual practice, we started with that and also religion and the differences in those two things. We have also spoken about the difference in the soul and the spirit. We further touched on the body and what is that and our ideas of the body and who we are. What a muddled mine field it all is. Please let me give you my take on this it may help you to make some sense of it all.
That defiantly is where the analytical processes of the person take place. We all think our thoughts in the brain. All information about our external life will be filtered by this part of us through the senses. We make sense of what is around us via the senses and the brain. We analyse that information with the brain and then that information is stored somewhere in us. We think about what is coming at us via life and our senses and then store that information. We do not think consciously about every bit of information that comes at us form moment to moment as there is just too much of it for the brain to cope with. It thinks about some of it and analyses that which is new or different or previously unknown and unfamiliar. A lot of information that comes in our direction does not need the brain to analyse it as it is very familiar and not consequential or threatening or different. It has been already stored and understood.
The Physical body
This needs little explanation, however it is not who we are. The body is not the person. The body houses the person and the person lays somewhere inside the body. I am not my body, but my body is the home that I inhabit. It allows me to move and live within the human experience on the earth. It is flesh and bone and it is easily damaged if I am not careful with it. I can work on my body to enhance its look and health. I need my body to live the human experience on the earth.
This part of the person is the person. The soul is who I am. I am my soul. The soul is my personality, it is my essence. I know that some of the person’s personality is governed by part of the brain. However the person is more than their brain functioning. They feel and when they feel they do not do so with their brain. It is at another part of their body that they go to for their feelings. It will be with their gut and the heart that they feel. Feelings painful and joyful go to these two places. This is where the person or the soul resides. The person resides in the gut mostly and in the heart also. The soul is the part of you that changes and develops over time. You are not the same person that you were ten years ago or even five years ago. In that time span you have had many experiences and those experiences good or bad happy or sad difficult or easy have moulded you into the human being you are today. It has given you your take on life. It has shaped your understanding of the world and what it can be to you and others. I am a therapist and very often it is this part of a person that is in the most distress when they come to me for help. I have to repair their soul, before the body will heal. Very often it is a case of sort the soul out and the body will sort itself out. This part of the person connects to all life on all levels and so it gets the biggest distress sometimes as it negotiates life.
Now what is the spirit? If the brain governs the analytical process of the person and the soul is the person, what is the spirit?
The spirit does not do the same as the soul. It does not feel at all. It is dispassionate. The spirit of the person stands back and watches. The spirit part of the person is the observer. What does it observe? It observes you the person. It observes how you negotiate life. It takes note of everything and records everything about you and what you do. It is like a note book or a USB stick recording as you go. There is nothing that you ever do that you truly forget. It is all housed somewhere and this is where it is housed. We think that our memories come from our brain. In part they may, however it is in the spirit that everything about you is stored. The spirit is like a filling cabinet and the brain retrieves the files from the cabinet. The spirit half of the soul records. The soul and the spirit of the person sit side by side within the person.
The spirit of the person is the part of the person that is pure energy. It is the part of your being that comes directly from the source of life itself. It is the part of you that on your demise will go back to the source of life. The spirit does not interact with life as the soul does. The soul is the messy part of you feeling everything and reacting to it all. The spirit just takes note of how the soul handles life. It is dispassionate.
These two jobs need to be separated. The soul very often is a mess feeling and reacting to everything that comes its way. There needs to be a part of you that stands back and is dispassionate to keep record of how you got in the mess in the first place. Your history needs to be housed somewhere. It is in the spirt that your history is housed. When you are done with life on the earth and the human experience your spirit hands over the spirit USB stick, if you will, to the source of life and your whole life is recorded in the universe for the source of life to use as information on life. Nothing is lost from the universe life takes note of everything and it is continually adapting to information. We know that life changes from generation to generation and there is development of all species that takes place within life. The universe keeps all information safe and uses it for the development of the universe and life. The spirit goes back to the universe or God. The spirit goes back to the source of all life and hands over its information to the source of life.
In every mystical or religious path we are told we need to recognise our oneness with God. What is that for heaven’s sake? Oneness with God! Many people don’t recognise God and so go into great debate about that. God is a word used to describe the source of all life. God is all powerful and the ultimate force of nature. It is the thing that brought all life and the universe into being. It is the universe. That force is given a human face by Christianity and in other religious paths it is given other faces, as an energy force, gods, or a god of some kind. All paths put that force above everything else and say all sprang from that force.
Now there is a clue in those words “All sprang form that great force”.
So if all sprang from this great force which some call God, that means you and I did and all things did. Mystical and religious paths say all is one and has oneness. All come from one to make many.
We can use the word “spirit” to mean essence of a thing. We are all from the main essence. We could say that the spirit and the main essence being one and the same. So the spirit can be said to be that bit of you and me and all things that came from the great source of life. It is the “God spark”. It is the bit of you and me and all things that come from the main ingredient of life. We can think of God in many ways but its essence is the source of all things. So now we can see the difference between the words soul and spirit. This is why these four words, the mind, the body, the soul and the spirit are so important to us. They describe very different aspects of the human living condition that are of great importance to the human living experience.
So now what of spirituality and a spiritual path? Well spirituality is the path that nourishes both the soul and the spirit. How can we do that? How is that done if it is done at all? If it is done will be dependent on what the person has decided for themselves. Do I ignore the whole idea of the spiritual and just exist?
Do I live the earthly life to the full and experience all that has to offer to the exclusion of nurturing the spirit? In that experience I feed the soul aheavy diet. I may well enjoy my self for many years but at the end of it some thing may well suffer.
Do I balance my experience by nurturing both soul and spirit? Walk a religious path alongside the earthly experience. So I can have an affair or two, drink loads of alcohol, take substances that are not good for me perhaps, travel the world and have a great time, then think about the spirit from time to time as is needed. I might think about it at my religious holidays and festivals, and at whatever ways and times that connects me to the “God source.”
Do I immerse myself in the spiritual path and just live my life exclusively nurturing my God spark, feeding the spirit with the best that living can give it? Do I then pass those learnings onto others and illuminate their path to the best spiritual nurturing they can have?
Do I sit back and analyse it all using my brain to assess the validity or futility of all of these paths?
As you can see there are many paths and each path has its own merit. No path is better or worse than the other. Each path has its merits as each path will bring something positive to the person. Each path brings experience through the living experience to the person. All paths are a road back home to the ultimate force. We all return to dust or at least our body does and our soul and spirit go home. The ultimate power of the universe, that which some call God wants back that which it gave us, that piece of itself called the spirit. A spiritual path is one that nurtures that part of us. God is the ultimate energy force that houses the best in us or the light side of us. Not the dark side of the human nature. If we follow a spiritual path we wish to enhance the best side of us. That bit that is nearest to the universal perfection that we have.
Life itself is the ultimate spiritual journey. Life takes us from the universal source of life and then sends us back to it. We are on a journey of return from the moment we are born. We are thrust into life and we are given people who are our parents and wider family and we accept that situation and get on with what comes our way from that experience. We then are trust even more into the living experience and made to learn many things and are schooled by our social systems in one way or another. We start our development of the soul from the moment we are born. The situation to which we are born into starts that development for us. We are on our spiritual journey. We are working our way back home already. To be on spiritual journey you do not have to be religious or non-religious you just have to be living. Living is the ultimate spiritual journey. It is the return home for all of us with a lot of hassles and joys thrown in to make it interesting and stretching.
A spiritual journey is not about being good or bad. It is not about being the light or dark it is about a return home. How we choose to return home and with what kind of information on our spirit USB stick is our choice. The source of life gets to look it over and it will be happy or sad at the information stored on that spirt USB. The source of life needs you to experience life and no two lives are ever the same. We are all different people having our own personal human experience. There are rules to life, for life would be chaos without rules, and so the source gives some rules for us to follow. However, if we choose to follow those rules or not is up to us as above all we must experience. At the end of life we get to make our case for the life we lived. We are all on a journey of the spirt no matter what. The path we take and if we take a spiritual path on that journey is up to us. Free will and choice is at the heart of the universal desire for you. You get to choose many things each and every day.
Religion sheds light on the way back home. It highlights the rules to that return, or at least that is what it is supposed to do. It is there to remind us that there is a home and we are not here forever just a time and then we return home. The universe is home and the universe is what we return to. All religions give their personal explanation on how the universe is organised. It does not matter what religion you choose or if you choose none at all. You will return home one day and you will have lived a life long or short good or bad. You will return home with experience and development of your soul.
Religion or no religion a spiritual path or not is up to you and always should be your choice. So what bit of you do you most wish to nourish? Is it the soul, the spirit, the mind, or the body? We all get to choose our focus.
Now let us finally go back to the very beginning of this blog and discuss Reiki. We have now come full circle. A spiritual path nurtures the spirit and spirituality is the practice of nurturing the spirit and the soul. Living itself could be said to be the ultimate spiritual journey as it nourishes both the soul and the spirit to some capacity. Reiki is a spiritual practice and so it nurtures the spirit of the person. It enhances the practitioner’s spirit, because they connect to the source of the spirit. That is where the energy of life comes from and it is that energy that the practitioner connects too. It is that energy that the person both the practitioner and the patient or client engages with. That energy feeds the person on all levels. It feeds the body, the soul, the mind, the emotions and the spirit of the person. It enhances the person on all levels of their being. That is why it is a spiritual practice and that is why it is the very best it can be, and to be a spiritual practice does not make it less than but more than. Reiki is very effective and this is its effectiveness. Reiki connects to the source of life and it connects the person to that source, both practitioner and patient also. Reiki draws energy from that source.
We all get to choose both our focus and our path in life. We all get to choose many things each day. We get to choose if we bother to think about things and analyse things or not. All aspects of the person are important as is the method of feeding and nourishing each aspect that we choose. Each choice is a road ahead and a way forward, a method of engaging with life itself. Each choice we make is an opportunity to enhance the many aspects of ourselves.
What will you choose today? You have at the heart of your being free will and choice to do as you please.