It would be silly to think I could say much important about spirituality in 500 words. It is, to me, one of the most vital and crucial topics imaginable. What follows is just some preliminary thoughts and undoubtedly spirituality will show up a lot in entries to come. There is so much to say about this topic and it is incredibly necessary to say it. We live in a time when spirituality is more needed than ever. The type of crises that the world is seeing right now are catastrophic. While this of course demands peace, brilliance, cooperation and decisive action, it also demands reflection. Reflection without a spiritual connection is, to me, hollow and insufficient.
I have been on a spiritual quest for the past four years or so. For most of my life I called myself a “militant atheist” but it was a lie. Not a malicious lie, to be sure, but a false appearance of self. In fact, I was not an atheist, and certainly not a “militant” one. It was a placeholder if nothing else. In fact, there were always the stirrings of something spiritual within, even if they were often faint and hard to discern. I think this was a need for connection to the universe and connection to something bigger than myself. This is a uniquely human quest that has been going on since the beginning of time.
For me, spirituality is deeply connected to philosophy. The reason I say this is because both ask the BIG questions. It is no coincidence that there are many academic departments in Religion AND Philosophy as the two are so deeply intertwined. Some of these questions might include: Why am I here? What is the meaning of life? What is my purpose on this earth? What happens to us when we die? Why do we suffer so much? What gives us the strength and determination to go in the face of adversity? What is our responsibility to our fellow human beings? What does it mean to live an ethical life? What does it mean to live a purpose-driven and meaningful life? What is the search for meaning? What does the search for happiness mean and is it even able to be fulfilled? You know, simple questions like that!
Spirituality may not easily and simplistically answer these questions, but they help us to approach them. Atheism works well for many people and I totally get that. For me it didn’t. It left a void that I was constantly trying to fill in less healthy ways. Now I feel more of a connection to the Cosmos and I believe in God. Speaking to God has been a tremendous gift. THEY are in conversation with me about all the questions that I just wrote down. I can talk to Them and ponder the mysteries of my own life and of the greater world, as corny as that sounds. I feel like this truly is a journey, and one that will have many twists and turns. After a few years, the “honey-moon period” ended and I had a lot more doubts, but lately I have been back to greater belief again. I have no doubt there will be many such shifts as I work through my relationship with God and continue to hone my BIG questions and discover the many truths that I seek for a more meaningful and fulfilling life.