Make no mistake, I am not drawn to spirituality because of some higher calling or inner urge to connect with a power beyond myself. The reason those like me seek to dismantle the material world is because life provides us nothing but grief. We try to fit in but things don’t go our way — unpleasantness abounds. Yes we may even contribute to our own grief, but either way, something’s not working. And so we sit frustrated until we find a means to cope. That non-destructive method of coping is called spirituality. We’re not able to change our external world so we simply seek to redefine it, describing life in a more palatable way.
And the more we apply this new perspective, the more satisfied we become. Life finally starts to make sense. Who was the Buddha but a confused prince, so stricken by the trials of life that he sought relief through spiritual means. Likewise, who was Arjuna but a distraught prince, so grieved by his plight that only by adopting a spiritual perspective could he continue living. We who follow this particular path of spirituality are inspired to do so by misery. We’re not high-minded saints, but despondent complainers.
And through detachment we rip apart the material world, seeking satisfaction through the spiritual. We convince ourselves that the world is not what we initially perceived. It’s not a place formed of matter but of spirit. None of this is real, it’s a mirage, a fictional story. If things don’t go our way we don’t care anymore, it’s a meaningless game. But know we don’t live empty lives, we simply experience life as entertainment-only. Think of it this way, a movie is a contrived experience yet our emotions follow along as we sit back enjoying the show — if at any time it’s too intense, we just remember it’s fake.
The answer to our dissatisfaction and fear is spirituality. And we can take it as far as we need to feel comfortable with life. Within our minds we can create the foundation of everything we experience. In fact we’ve been doing this our entire lives, yet somewhere along the line we unwittingly adopted a frightful interpretation of life. But it is within our power to redefine this pessimistic view. The easy and time-tested method is called spirituality — the belief that life consists of much more than what the flawed senses perceive. By broadening our view, we can rewrite the underlying cause of circumstances to be in our favor. Whatever happens doesn’t matter as long as we design reasons we find pleasing.
So many only see the accoutrements of spirituality, missing its practical purpose: to alleviate our suffering, allowing us to experience joy. If life seems lackluster, then spirituality provides the shine. Our lives are shaped by thoughts, and spirituality is the recognition of this fact. Through our thoughts we can form life into a work of art — something to love and appreciate. As seekers of spirit, that is our goal, and so we walk the spiritual path. We are as artists crafting a masterpiece, our canvas is life, our medium is thought, and our tool is the mind.