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Eagerness to Change Through Spirituality

Updated on August 11, 2017
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long student of psycho-philosophy of living, and a devoted practitioner of many techniques enhancing personal evolution.

"We never Step twice into the Same River"
"We never Step twice into the Same River"

It Takes Willingness to Change

In some very simple terms which are well understood by anyone who has already set their foot on that path, spirituality means change, flow, growth. In that sense, habit and sameness are its biggest obstacles.

Just look at so many of those folks in their advanced age how agoraphobic they have become, glued to their home and to their familiar routines, which, when disturbed become a big issue. Oftentimes they eat the same foods day in day out, insist on wearing their "favorite clothes", have their designated chair in the house, and what not.

Or those unfortunate depressed folks - depression certainly being opposite of spirituality - how they avoid any dynamism of life, like social interacting, parties, travel, even work. Sameness seems to be the only life setup in which they can handle the gloom of their existence.

Adapting to New Environments Is Like an Inner "Massage" Enhancing the Flow of Life
Adapting to New Environments Is Like an Inner "Massage" Enhancing the Flow of Life

Journeys for Spirituality

Travel, and I don't mean business trips but travel for fun, is a great contributing factor in personal growth, and consequently in spiritual evolvement. It derails all those trains of habitual thoughts, emotions, and perceptions that are dictated by our routinized style of life.

We could probably use someone's eagerness to travel as a measure of their spiritual aptitude, by their adaptability to all those deviations from "normal", and by their touristic curiosity. Then also by comparing between how eager they are to open that familiar door again and say that proverbial "Home, sweet home!" - and by a sadness that it's all over.

For, home is that place symbolizing our habitual life, and giving us a sense of identity. No wonder so many are saying : "There is no place like home." And it's good to be that way, as long as we can balance it by opening our hearts to those vast exteriors, to the world where we can seek new mirrors for our souls.

Moving from Place to Place, Country to Country Was Driven by a Restless Young Soul Shaking Off Its Status Quo
Moving from Place to Place, Country to Country Was Driven by a Restless Young Soul Shaking Off Its Status Quo

Gypsy with a Mission

As I am talking about home, I can't but smile thinking of those two dozen or so homes that I have had in my almost 72 years. O.K. I am not insisting that you "measure my spiritual aptitude" by that huge number, so let's ascribe it to my somewhat gypsy mentality, if that would sound less boasting.

Each one of those many addresses quickly became a "warm home", but not for long, as something in me kept outgrowing my inner status quo and craving for a change of everyday ambient.

Also, as much as finances were allowing it, we also renewed furniture, repainted walls into a different (sometimes crazy) color - whatever we could. Then we emigrated for our second time, this time to the US, more precisely Los Angeles, after selling all our possessions. Next it was Portland, Oregon, then back to LA, and back to Canada. How is that for a gypsy mentality?

Books Seem to Have Been everywhere  -  in every Room, on every Bench of a Park, on every Beach...
Books Seem to Have Been everywhere - in every Room, on every Bench of a Park, on every Beach...

A Tireless Book-Worm

My reading was equally versatile, as I couldn't fall in love with one particular angle of looking at human nature; so I felt compelled to go from those orthodox to those esoteric, and much in between.

Late sixties and seventies brought a whole treasure chest of healing modalities to choose from, and it could have been some dozen or even two of different approaches that my hungry but modest studiousness was feeding on.

Along with reading I did every practice, technique and exercise that came around, which enormously opened the valve of my spiritual aspiring. Well, something in me needed it, and before I round it up, let me emphasize that I am not taking any credit for any of it - I felt compelled to take that path, so it was not anything like a conscious and planned act of diligence on my part - more like a "dignifying addiction".

Unlike Spirituality  -  Religious Indoctrination Does Not Have Questions, only Answers
Unlike Spirituality - Religious Indoctrination Does Not Have Questions, only Answers

Open and Closed Belief Systems

So, how does change really relate to spirituality? Simply because it involves choice. That' s where it differs the most from religiousness, because it's an open mindset, allowing refinements, changes, junking one modality in favor of an opposite one, and constantly challenging itself with new questions, new experiments.

Religiousness, on the other hand is a closed mindset, insisting on its beliefs, and extremely unlikely to change anything at its roots and its tenets. More precisely, faith wouldn't be what it is if it allowed deviations of any sort.

For another big difference, spirituality means refining the inner world via meditation, self-discipline, while expecting all answers from within - whereas religion is seeking answers from outer sources, and more into rituals and prescribed practices.

Needless to say, those "outer sources" don't tolerate the use of logicalness and free choice, as the faith is more-less carved in stone - too heavy one for a spiritual dude to remove from his path.

There Is an Unfathomable Play of Energies and Intelligence Within Our Personal Space
There Is an Unfathomable Play of Energies and Intelligence Within Our Personal Space

Not for Stiff Mentalities

Our bodies are in a constant change, with electrical currents and chemicals creating a dance of unimaginable fireworks, those sparks igniting life in us. Nothing stays still in our nature, and spirituality is picking up that vibration to a frequency that was predestined for homo sapiens, while toning down that animalistic part in it that's all wrapped around survival.

You may easily spot those with a low inclination towards spirituality - by their preoccupation with materialistic life themes. Spirituality is known for that proactive, conscious choosing, whereas a lack of it is characterized by unconscious, reactive replays of survival programs and strategies.

Such folks can be recognized for their proud claims about being "that kind of a person...with those principles" - that don't allow much improvisation. The stiffer mentality - the less spiritual it is.

"Moss Cannot Grow on a Rolling Stone"  -  and Nothing is Carved in a Mind that Allows Itself to Keep Evolving
"Moss Cannot Grow on a Rolling Stone" - and Nothing is Carved in a Mind that Allows Itself to Keep Evolving

Beliefs - Subject to Change

In terms of spirituality, beliefs are merely mental tools with a purpose to enhance that best in ourselves. Unlike religious beliefs, spiritual ones don't claim to be a "reflection of a universal truth in soul" - or anything along those lines.

I can "believe" in something today, and "disbelieve" tomorrow, if some new evidence makes that belief useless. In my own dictionary belief is only a mental function used to make unnecessary a repeated "thinking it over". It is in the same brain's department with habits, skills, and learned data.

My beliefs are flexible, allowing me to modify them, change them, or junk them altogether. They are in service of an ongoing impetus towards self-advancement, and as such they are subject to change.

Dogma in Religion and Science Thwarts the Spiritual Growth of Mankind
Dogma in Religion and Science Thwarts the Spiritual Growth of Mankind

Dogma in both Religion and Science

Having all these differences in sight between spirituality and religiousness, we can freely say that the world we live in is by far more religious than spiritual - stuck in its paradigm that's obviously outmoded and ripe to be replaced with new sets of beliefs.

There is basically nothing wrong about believing in universal intelligence "behind all this", but it's the dogma, both religious and scientific that's holding the progress back. There are areas where science is holding its positions making itself look like a religion.

One aspect of it that comes to mind is the medical insistence on mechanistic and reductionist view of human nature, excluding the most important and most promising facet of it - spiritual capacity to heal with placebo, suggestion, cultivation of positive "emotional climate" and a new, constructive belief system. After making it a household truism that most of illnesses come from stress, pharmaceuticals and scalpel are still main and by law enforced healing modalities.

Somewhere in the Maze there Is a Reward  -  a Rat Is more Likely to Find It than Men
Somewhere in the Maze there Is a Reward - a Rat Is more Likely to Find It than Men

Damn, No Cheese!

Back in seventies, dr. Eduard de Bono, a fine scholar wrote a little book about "lateral thinking". It made a big impact on my personal development, as it opened my eyes about these two models of thinking - lateral and vertical.

In some very lay terms, a metaphor would describe vertical thinkers by their insistence to keep digging and digging same hole in search for water, because "it must be there" - whereas lateral thinkers will try another location after a reasonably deep hole showed no appearance of water.

Werner Erhard, founder of est (Erhard Seminars Training) used the metaphor with rats and men, proving rats to be smarter in that respect. Namely, a rat will try out all channels in a maze until it gets to the cheese - while man will keep using the same channel over and over, never "getting the cheese", which became a sort of Werner's mantra about human stupidity.

Indeed, we seem to repeat all idiocies of history, instead of snapping out of that self-defeating trance and try something else. By the way, anybody ever thought of having other than democrats and republicans to choose from? No wonder Americans are not likely to "get the cheese" this time around either.

A Personal Note

I hope you enjoyed this little presentation about the importance of change in cultivating spirituality, and maybe you found this topic as motivating as I did many years ago. Gee, I keep mentioning these "many years ago" in so many of my articles, and one of these days I may convince myself that it's time to start thinking, feeling and acting my age.

But in this meantime until it comes to that, don't pay attention to my 72 trips around the Sun, I still have a lot on my mind to share - as long as you are willing to read it. Hey, I still haven't run out of stamina to change, so maybe I use my own ideas to change that 72 into something smaller. I don't know, it wouldn't be the first time for me to surprise myself. - Be well everyone!

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    • ValKaras profile image
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      Vladimir Karas 13 months ago from Canada

      Allen, buddy of my soul,

      Maybe I should revise my humble claim in the above answer to MizB., and say something so daring like - at every of your comments I feel like your identical twin, sensing something between those lines that just couldn't be verbalized. You are a deep seeker, my friend, and your often humble remarks about yourself even say more about it. I know it doesn't take you any effort to say all these nice things , but just the same - thank you, Allen, as far as I am concerned, Hub Pages would never be the same without you. It's giving me enormous pleasure to be able to write something that's resonating so well in you. - Be well, amigo!

    • ValKaras profile image
      Author

      Vladimir Karas 13 months ago from Canada

      MizBejabbers - With your developed ESP abilities (that you mentioned earlier) you must have figured me out, so there is little left for me to disclose. I can't claim anything of the kind. Maybe a heightened sense of empathy - if I am not just deceiving myself. Like, once in a while I sense as if a reader wants to sharply disagree with me, but then changes their mind and reduces it to something diplomatically mild.

      However, it doesn't happen too often, and so far I must say I am more than happy with responses to my hubs. My readers are obviously broadminded folks who take into consideration how we are all of a different intellectual taste, and it's just great to find something in common. Imagine trying to please everyone's taste.

      You are right about my leaning towards "psychology", although I don't call it that way. I prefer "spiritual radicalism", or urgency to drop illusions of ego and religiousness where it represents merely ego's defense mechanism - and cultivation of personal sovereignty. Well, my bio says most of it, and I don't think it mentions "psychology" anywhere.

      Just like you, I am against psychobabble, although there is something we can learn from every approach to human nature. I am not much into labeling things as "right" or "wrong", it's all educational.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Aliswell 13 months ago from Iowa

      I hope you enjoyed this little presentation about the Gee, I keep mentioning these "many years ago" in so many of my articles, and one of these days I may convince myself that it's time to start thinking, feeling and acting my age.

      But in this meantime until it comes to that, don't pay attention to my 72 trips around the Sun, I still have a lot on my mind to share - as long as you are willing to read it.

      Val My Friend,

      You can count on this 'still in diapers' spiritual seeker', to continue to read with great interest and with the stern determination of trying to absorb even a fraction of the knowledge you provide in each and every one of your superlative narratives!

      If I could, I would gladly walk the plate amongst your readers and collect the Alms, or if your persuassion so dictates, I would be more than happy to pour you unlimited amounts of Templeton Rye over the rocks!!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 13 months ago

      There were several of those in Little Rock back in the 70s, and some of them were into "woo woo" stuff, but it didn't take me long to get past that. There today exists an organization or two in the area that still hangs on, and I don't hang out with them because like a certain backward political party, they think they know it all. Although some would disagree, there is a difference between "parapsychology" and "metaphysics". I find that a lot of your writings seem to revert to psychology which is more on the ego or personality level. I assume that is the audience you are striving to reach.

    • ValKaras profile image
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      Vladimir Karas 13 months ago from Canada

      MizBejabbers - Back in seventies I used to be a charter member of a Parapsychological Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas. I also exchanged a few letters with the founder, and also author and psychic Harold Sherman, and well, I was very much into that stuff for quite a while - in those years. So I know exactly what kind of "spirituality" YOU are talking about. In those days, more accurate name for it was "occultism", or "shamanism", and alike. So, I reserve the term "spirituality" for man's inner search for his place in universe through meditation, self-discipline, and any other form of transcending everyday model of experiencing and exploring the divine essence in himself.

      Of course, it doesn't matter where we live, but I mentioned it only to accentuate my passion for "change". And of course, change BY ITSELF won't "make" anyone spiritual, but those who ARE spiritual also happen to appreciate some form of it.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 13 months ago

      Weeeell, I agree with some of your thoughts, but I am on a different path of spirituality. My first husband kept us moving the 10 years of our marriage. There was no spirituality in the fact that my older son had attended a different and sometimes two different schools his first six grades. Now as far as spirituality goes, we settled in one city in which I was able to attend a metaphysical school for several years. It helped me to develop my clairvoyance, clairaudience, etc. and in turn, my over all spirituality. I've lived here now for 40 years, and I travel whenever I wish, I've learned the difference between 3rd and 5th Dimensional living and I know the difference between man's dogma, including his psychobabble, and true spirituality. As you say, a spiritual person can change his or her views daily, depending upon the information of the day, but I don't believe it matters where he lives. Travel and change do broaden one's horizons, including one's mind, though.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 13 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      There is no growth without change. Even in my 'advanced years' I love the opportunities for change that are presented to me. Not just in a spiritual sense but physically as well. At my age I've never been healthier. I recently completed my first 5 mile walk...I sure couldn't do that 15 or 20 years ago.

      I've learned that the best and fastest way to combat depression is to devote a few hours each day serving others.

      I want to wear out - not rust out. :)

      Great, uplifting hub Val. Sharing.

      Blessings to you and yours,

      Audrey