It would neither be erroneous nor brazen to state that the world revolves around spirituality. The simplest human being and the most sophisticated one share a common platform as they beseech the Supreme One. Each one has his / her own conceptualization of God. But the strand that unites all is the belief that they are under the protection of the Omnipotent.
Regardless of religion, there are certain common ideologies embedded deeply in the streams of beliefs running deep in the minds of people. I for instance have my own thoughts of spirituality. While it comes coated as my ideology of spirituality, one can find, if observant, references and similarities to ideologies quoted elsewhere. That doesn’t make me guilty of plagiarism, for when spirituality is concerned, almost all rational and humane human minds think alike.
I believe that the concept of spirituality can be reduced to just three theories, or rather practices, to be followed. One can readily refute or gladly accept these opinions floated by me. For spirituality is definitely a concept that cannot and should not be shoved down one’s throat.
Yes. You read it right. Love is the core of spirituality. As both learned and illiterate people would readily acknowledge, love is of various forms. So which one are we discussing now? This is more of the ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ concept.
This theory, if followed by all, would create a world that is surprisingly patient, devoid of blame games and free of war. Who wouldn’t want such a world? Well… some might not. But the majority would embrace this. This seems like Utopia, but can be turned into reality, if you and I put our hearts to it.
A man speeding in his car on a rainy day would slow down when he sees a bicyclist travelling near a muddy pool, if he envisions himself in that bicycle. A woman who notices an inadvertent error of a colleague would not escalate matters if she puts herself in that tough spot. The president of a country would not wage war on another country if he visualizes his own family being torn apart and rendered homeless. Quite an effective concept of spirituality, if you were to ask me!
The second concept that I would like to insist upon is tolerance. This too is of many kinds, as is love. What then is the concept dealt with here? Despite many people refusing to accept the fact, the one area that even the so-called ‘spiritual people’ find difficult to tread is tolerating the faiths and practices of other religions.
Whatever is strange to one’s faith and whichever is contrary to one’s practices bring forth a mélange of surging emotions that one finds hard to decipher, and sometimes control. When a Muslim leaves way for his Hindu brother to chant mantras, redemption is not far off. When a Christian does not shout at a Muslim or a Hindu at his face that he is holier than them, salvation is nearby. When a Hindu does not object to the eating or clothing practices of a Muslim or a Sikh, a peaceful world is already sliding towards us.
State of Mind
My third opinion on spirituality is that people’s mind can change anytime towards religion. For some, doing good deeds to others is spirituality. Some people believe firmly that worshipping only one God would take them to heaven. Many are of the faith that noble actions lead them closer to moksha. The point to be noted is that each has his / her own interpretation of spirituality, and that it must be respected by others.
A person is entitled to his / her own beliefs and theories. The state of mind of a person can change anytime. None can question it. At the same time, gun-point conversion is an idiotic practice that is to be shunned. You keep to your borders and I keep to mine is what must be followed.
With the advent of the world leering dangerously towards annihilation, it is high time theories such as mine are heeded. You never know, ‘The Triad of Spirituality’ just might stop the world from falling off the brink into the bottomless pit.
For as long as there is breath in the body, there is hope.
(This essay by Janneker Lawrence Daniel was first published on the Readomania website in March, 2022.)