Arguably, in this day and age, we have access to more information than ever before regarding spirituality, holistic health practices, and various tools for evolution and self development such as astrology, tarot, feng shui, meditation techniques, dream work and astral projection.
Because we’re faced with such a wide variety of options, it’s of paramount importance to employ our powers of critical analysis and discrimination wisely.
We would be selling ourselves and our brains short if we hopped on every bandwagon which proclaims “peace, love and light”, or followed every trail of incense smoke, complete with shea butter rubdowns and wheat grass shots.
It’s absolutely essential that we trust our inner voices when confronted with bundles of rhetoric which do not encourage any behavioral changes, yet are cosmetically and aesthetically pleasing.
I quote from the esteemed ancestor and brilliant psychologist Dr. Amos Wilson:
“There is nothing wrong with using the astrologies, the esoteric religions and using the moons and planets as guides for our behavior; but let us not become obsessed with them to such a degree that we do nothing else.”
No matter how much we engage in meditation, chanting and the like, chances are, there’s a tangible physical reality which we must be fully present for every day. The concrete world requires our participation.
Whether it’s our rent, or a 15 page paper that’s due, organization of ourselves is key. I would be willing to bet that our landlord or professor doesn’t take “Oms” as a form of compensation or completed work.
Spirituality is all encompassing. It permeates every aspect of our being. Because we’re spiritual people, it doesn’t mean we don’t curse, fight, have sex, or become angry.
In fact, I would make the case that one of the true aims of spirituality is to locate an organized center within ourselves and integrate our many dimensions by finding constructive outlets for our various facets to thrive.
As spiritual beings, we’re not going to float away in euphoric bliss and project ourselves into a dimension which will alleviate us from earthly responsibilities.
We may even have to appear ruthless at times. Eliminating people from our lives and severing the ties of situations which are blocking our growth. Distancing ourselves from unhealthy relationships physically, emotionally and psychologically by any means necessary.
True spirituality strengthens and enhances us. It doesn’t convert us in to passive people who advocate peace at any cost. Sometimes we have to go to war with the “monster”, relegating it to it’s proper place in our lives.
Thinking for ourselves regarding spiritual concepts merits very serious consideration. Hopefully, we’re all seeking to evolve and create physical, tangible evidence through our actions to show us that we’re doing so.
We know that it’s not enough to exclude analyzing the way we act in favor of the external trinkets, dress, diet or language which we think “enlightened” people abide by, yet misusing these resources as “props” to divert attention from the lack of desire to positively change our behavior.
I quote again from Dr. Wilson
“Why not demonstrate the effectiveness of what you’re talking about in your own behavior, life and therefore be a beacon to other people? Demonstrate through your life-behavior and habits the effectiveness of your ideologies religions and concepts?”
The question then becomes:
What is my behavior saying about me? What am I teaching others about my views on spirituality through my actions?
There are many tools of development, when used in a constructive manner, which can greatly enhance the quality of our lives.
However, if we show little to no concern about staying focused on our true intentions of self-improvement, the same systems lead to the evasion of concrete reality. Avoidance from the fundamental concept stated so eloquently by the African proverb:
“When deeds speak, words are meaningless.”
*Notes: Excerpt from a lecture delivered by Dr. Amos Wilson at the Marcus Garvey Senior Citizen Center, Brooklyn, NY (1985 )