‘Spiritual’ is a word I have mixed feelings about – for various reasons. For one thing: are we talking about the same thing when we use that word?
In my experience: no. For some (not for me) ‘spiritual’ refers solely to anything to do with spirits, mediumship and connecting to those who have passed.
I have nothing against that as such, but restricting the spiritual to connecting to the dead limits our spirituality, shrouds it in mystery and suggests that special gifts are needed to lead a spiritual life – and frankly I believe that is BS. Moreover, I have noticed in some (some!) mediums (and those who visit them) a tendency to value anything ‘spirit’ says above their own soul wisdom. I don’t get that.
We are spiritual – in that we are not merely flesh and bones, but spirit too. The more we are identified with the flesh and bones though, the less we experience that we are spirit too. It is our investment in our mortal body that is the main cause for all our suffering – because it withers, ages and dies (and what’s worse: the bodies of those we love do that too), and that is a disaster when you believe and feel that this body and this life are all there is. If you believe (and experience) that the body is merely the appearance your spirit is taking on in this moment, life takes on a whole different meaning.
However – this is another problem I have with ‘spiritual’ – when we get all ‘spiritual’ and try to totally identify with spirit and start believing that anything to do with our physical, earthly, day-to-day experience (including fear of the withering) is unspiritual and shouldn’t really impact us because we are spiritual, we get in dire straits.
Yes time and space are an illusion our brain creates, the body is a temporary shell and spirit is our true nature – all well and good, but nevertheless our earthly experience feels very real and we all have times when it seems impossible to look and feel beyond those experiences. What’s more, our souls chose to live this life, right? The full package. So what could be wrong with that?
On the spiritual path, we are taught that fear = ego, love = soul. Ergo, being spiritual and all, we shouldn’t be having those fear-based thoughts anymore. We should be above and beyond that. And if not, apparently we are far from enlightened.
It is actually the least helpful thing, in moments like these, to tell ourselves not to be so unspiritual and that we shouldn’t be suffering so much because we know better and all is one and we are souls yadda yadda yadda. The trouble is: our ego mind does not get this. And our ego mind is all about ‘I exist, I am real, I am right and I need to survive and I am apart from everyone and everything else’. It will never get it.
The ego mind cannot get enlightened – and our souls already are.
So the best thing you can do is to practice awareness of the dichotomy our earthly life presents us with, practice compassion and mildness with your ego experiences (that will not disappear as long as you have a body).
And the beauty of it is: when you practice awareness, the space around the ego grows, and it becomes easier and easier to see it for what it is and take it more lightly. When that happens, it looses its grip.
Doesn’t mean it won’t still play up from time to time. No matter. In the space you create by practicing awareness, your soul wisdom can come through. In meditation/contemplation, you find the space to disentangle from ego’s grip. Never mind getting rid of it – you won’t. And that is o.k.! Ego isn’t all bad! It is beautiful that it can feel, think, make plans, work stuff out, throw tantrums.
That’s what being human is.
But you needn’t be all identified with it all the freaking time. Nor take it too seriously. Start recognizing when it tries to take over (many times). Gently point it back to the back seat. Ask your soul to take the front seat.