Monday, April 5, 2010

On the origins of Spirtuality

Do we become spiritual or are we born spiritual? Why are some people more spiritual than others? Can a spiritual nature be cultivated? These are some of the questions I’m contemplating following one of the holiest Christian celebrations of the year. Unfortunately as with most questions there are as many answers as there are questions and the answers seem to vary from person to person. Of most interest to me is the question, why am I spiritual? I wasn’t raised in an overly religious family only occasionally did we attend church during my childhood so I can’t attribute my spirituality to any sort of religious indoctrination or focused effort on the part of those around me. There was a period around 10-14 were I was very afraid of the devil. However fear and spirituality aren’t on the same plane.

I believe nature holds the answer.

The ultimate reality (God) is most easily experienced in nature. To me God is the beauty found in nature, not esthetic (visual) beauty but something greater, more encompassing and timeless, something you experience with your heart and mind. When I was a child I was very independent and my Mother allowed me a lot of latitude to explore, perhaps too much but that’s a different story. One experience I remember was when I was four or five walking several blocks to play in a white wintery field of snow and ice. I would play amongst the dead cat tails walking on the crunchy ice of a frozen creek. The only sounds were the birds and the wind. I would push my feet through holes in the freezing water testing the limits of my boots experimenting to see how wet I could get them before the water would soak through. I stayed out until I got cold or bored, which was usually all morning, and then I would zigzag my way back to our suburban duplex. I spent hours alone with my own thoughts in a serene white landscape of silent falling snow. I was cultivating my imagination while connecting with my inner self.

Did I seek out these experiences because of an existing spiritual nature inside of me or was a spiritual nature cultivated by having these experiences? I suppose its how you choose to view it. As a child I didn’t have a conscious spiritual nature so I find it difficult to imagine that I went where I did to fulfill something already inside of me. It feels like these spiritual moments in nature transformed me into who I am today. Through them I was connected with the beauty that exists in me and in everyone. The timeless nature of our soul is what I discovered. All that was required of me was to be fully present in nature.


Dan Gurney said...

I agree. Your post calls to mind the poetry of Mary Oliver who makes the connection between the spiritual and natural worlds in particular eloquence. You may also enjoy visiting the blog, Golden Fish by steven. He sees these connections quite clearly as well.

Stream Source said...

Fascinating set up, isn't it? We have to learn to become all grown up so that we can 'unlearn' and return to our 'child'.

That's our life... and the nature of learning through duality, I guess.

Very nice read...