- Who are we?
- Where do we come from?
- Where are we going?
- What do we do now?
- Why do we exist?
Many people think that once they are able to answer the 5 questions above, everything will become clear and they will arrive at their ultimate destination. In reality, this realization is only the beginning of the real journey.
Life is harsh, painful and unfair. We encounter obstacles that force us to understand more about ourselves. We take risks that will have unforeseeable results. We make choices that require our sacrifices and trouble, yet those who benefit from our help may even turn against us. It is through this crucible of life that knowledge is transmuted into wisdom.
Practicing spirituality is not about disconnecting ourselves from life. Instead, we integrate all the different parts of our life together, including all the painful and difficult parts that we detest, as well as the delicious and wonderful parts that we love. It is in this context that we can develop the healthy habits below:
1) Accept reality unconditionally: If we fully trust in our Higher Power, we will not make wishes or demands upon it. Instead, we will accept whatever that appears in our Life unconditionally as a gift for our personal development. Some people claim to use the so-called “Law of Attraction” to manifest their own reality; this idea is a materialistic wolf in spiritual sheep’s clothing. Treating the Universe as a wish-granting genie detracts from the purpose of true personal development.
2) Beware of conflicts of interest: A servant cannot serve two masters at the same time. Are we serving our Higher Power or are we serving materialistic desires? This conflict is the most apparent for those who make a living from doing work which was supposed to be of a spiritual or higher nature: when a dilemma arises, will we choose to suffer hunger or to compromise on our principles?
3) Live Actively with Purpose: Planet Earth is not a shooting gallery where each of us is a target waiting to be shot at. Regardless of our fate, luck and life situation, it is up to us to take action to change our own lives. It is our responsibility to bring our inner calling from the abstract into physical form using our own lives.
4) Accept the mainstream material world: Seeing money with contempt and technology as harmful artificial creations cuts us off from the rest of the world and guarantees our isolation. This is perfectly fine if we wish to withdraw from the world, but not if we want to be effective agents of positive change.
5) Reduce opinions, increase knowledge: Many people think that they are knowledgeable enough to express their objective opinions on complex matters, for instance non-scientists who warn of the dangers of genetically modified foods. In the era of fake news, it is wise for us to abstain from forming opinions on matters which we are clearly not experts in. A truly open-minded person has very few opinions.
Many people call their faith-based “knowledge” science. However, science does not only rely on individual observations or publication of papers in a journal; it requires repeatable objective and measurable observations by other people in controlled conditions and the ability to extrapolate the unknown to qualify the results as “scientific”.