What Does It Mean to Be Spiritual?

Is being spiritual a religion? A lifestyle? Or is it, to you, something else?
Is being spiritual a religion? A lifestyle? Or is it, to you, something else?

Really, Blog-Buddies, what do you think it means to be a spiritual person?

“It’s obvious,” you might say. To which I would respond, “Hardly.”

The topic for today’s blog post was inspired by KAREN’s wonderful Comment 2 at Anti-bullying mixed with homophobia, an aura reading of Orson Scott Card.

She wrote, “I am honestly shocked by his connection to God [i.e., one of Orson’s subconscious-level chakra databanks, one about connection to God, as researched at the time of one particular photograph] because I know this man to be a very spiritual person who deeply loves God.”

Personally, I don’t find any contradiction between being a very spiritually motivated standard bearer for your religion and — at an energetic and subconscious level — having conflicts or limitations in one’s direct experience of the Divine. Problems that would, for a time, show up at the level of your aura.

I’ll be glad to comment below, later, and maybe even share a blog post about my personal definition of what it means to “be spiritual.” Comments are the place for my views on this topic, seems to me. Because defining what it means to be a spiritual person isn’t my area of professional expertise. I’m really curious what you’all think.

Rosetree Energy Spirituality is not a religion or spiritual path

Instead, this form of Energy Spirituality is about:

  • Developing skills for deeper perception — face reading, aura reading, Skilled Empath Merge. All of this leading to Stage Three Energetic Literacy and beyond.
  • Aura healing skills for aura healing and transformation, a form of mind-body-spirit healing where the energy being healed involves emotional and spiritual growth.
  • Personal empowerment, bolstering self-authority with effective skills
  • Coaching folks to move forward on their chosen path to Enlightenment.

This last part seems to be helped by living in human-based spirituality. Which simply requires neither going overboard on the woo-woo, nor shutting out energy awareness, but simply living with a reasonable balance regarding personal growth activities of any kind.

Otherwise, what is involved by way of religion or spiritual path? Or behavior? Or lifestyle? Or hymn singing?

That’s personal, isn’t it.

Blog-Buddies, you’re at least as qualified as me to have a point of view that could help all of us here at this blog. What does it mean to you, these days, to be a spiritual person?

55 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Be Spiritual?”

  • 1
    David FB says:

    I’d agree – big difference. I’ve written several articles on the major distinction between theist-atheist-agnostic beliefs vs actual direct experience/ connection.

    The first is essentially a mind-based story. We may believe very deeply and be a proponent, like a “militant atheist”. Sometimes, it’s even based on the best evidence we could find. But often it’s just what we’ve ended up thinking.

  • 2
    David FB says:

    But what does that mean, compared to direct experience?

    Just consider the distinction between believing Thailand probably exists and going there and experiencing it directly?

    Or between having heard about a starfruit and actually handling one, cutting it and tasting it?

    Kinda distinct, eh?

  • 3

    DAVID FB, you are so careful when commenting at my blog not to refer constantly to your magnificent blog.

    You know, Blog-Buddies, the one on the column to the right, under the heading ENLIGHTENMENT. The link to DAVIDYA.

    DAVID, please supply one comment each with a link to some of your illuminating blog posts on the topic. Maybe a one-sentence summary, too?

  • 4

    Still, when it comes to having personal views about what it means to be spiritual, we don’t have to be a fancy expert like DAVID to have an opinion.

    Everyone’s view about this is valid. Important, too.

    I’m looking forward to seeing several comments from more Blog-Buddies before I share my “Big Wakeup Call” about what it means to be spiritual, dating from when I lived in Springfield, Illinois.

    (Mentioned in case anyone needs extra incentive.)

    (And also to add SOOOOOOOOOO much suspense to my little blog. 😉 )

  • 5
    teresa says:

    To me, being spiritual means having a connection with the divine. Not necessarily a constant connection (I think Rose would call that spiritual addiction). 🙂

    Religion is not a necessary component of spiritualism, in fact to me it seems to detract. All the traditions, rules, and beliefs that religions have just get in the way of my connection. But that is just me, people need to decide for themselves what is best for them and how to express their spiritual side.

  • 6

    Thanks for stepping forward, TERESA.

    Your perspective is lovely.

    Just for the record, having a constant and dependable connection to the Divine is what I call “Enlightenment.” (There are other criteria, too, as described at other blog articles like this one.)

    Still I agree with what I think you meant, TERESA. Constantly TRYING to be or feel connected spiritually does lead to spiritual addiction. Even doing this for longer than 20 minutes per day seems to lead to spiritual addiction now, in this Age of Aquarius.

    Living now… Less is more.

  • 7
    Jessica says:

    Spiritual – this is an interesting question for me.

    I grew up protestant Christian, then got involved in Buddhism, and then backed off from both.

    When I first met Rose I was deep in spiritual addiction and have spent awhile investing in human life and moving out of that.

    I’ve had this comment up on my computer all day because I realize I don’t really know!

  • 8
    Jessica says:

    As a kid, I thought it was direct prayers or meditation.

    You checked in with God nightly or meditated in the morning, with the occasional binge on the weekend.

  • 9
    Jessica says:

    I used to think it was the peak experiences – usually involving nature, love, or really, really good books – like when the lights went out in the mountains and the only light came from the Milky Way, or reading any book by Barbara Kingsolver, or standing on the edge of a waterfall, or holding my aunt’s hand as she lay dying.

  • 10
    Jessica says:

    I used to think it was every day all the time – the laundry was sacred if done sacredly. (whatever that means).

  • 11
    Jessica says:

    And now?

    All three and more are a part of my life, though I tend to just do the laundry when my clothes get dirty without attempting sacredness – which does not imply that my laundry is not sacred in the sense that all of existence is…if that makes sense.

  • 12
    Jessica says:

    So what is spiritual to me now? Meaning.

    (I am just thinking about this as I write it down.)

    Life – this body, this striving, this suffering, this living – has meaning.

  • 13
    Jessica says:

    I think I don’t even care what it means or to whom.

    I’ve joined and abandoned several major religions and movements with answers to that one – what exactly the meaning of life is.

    I really don’t care or I guess I’m building my own meaning or discovering it.

  • 14
    Jessica says:

    Sometimes it’s formal practice or work, sometimes it’s laundry and sometimes it’s a glorious peak.

    But it is different than surviving or marking time.

    Hmm. I wish I had more of a conclusion than that, but the direction of this whole set of comments has totally surprised me, so I guess I’ll leave it there.

  • 15
    Rachel says:

    I do think this is an interesting topic.

    I’m sure that enlightened people are not the only ones who can be considered to be spiritual.

    But what does it mean to be spiritual?

    My probably-lame, instant response is that maybe it has something to do with a person intuiting – not thinking with the intellect, but rather sensing within – that there is more to life than what meets the eye.

  • 16
    Rachel says:

    In fact, that reminds me of a tale I read some time back about why some people healed from illness and some didn’t.

    There was some study done in NYC, looking at people with some serious illness (I forget which) and investigating why some patients got better and others didn’t – even when most variables were strikingly similar.

    Interestingly, they did not conclude that the ‘positive thinkers’ were the ones who got better. They concluded that the patients who got better were the ones who believed (and felt) that their experience had some meaning.

  • 17
    Rachel says:

    They didn’t have to know or understand what the meaning was, just to believe and sense that what was happening to them had some meaning.

    Well, I found that interesting!

  • 18
    David FB says:

    Also, another small point, Teresa. Spiritualism is a specific teaching that has evolved out of the early seances and mediums of some hundred or so years ago. Ministers are trained in England and have churches around the western world, offering a form of energy healing and talking to the dead at services. I doubt that’s what you meant. 😉

    Spirituality is the broader, non-religious term.

  • 19
    David FB says:

    In the case of Spiritualism, “spirit” means the departed. Usually, rather far from the divine. 😉

  • 20
    David FB says:

    Why thanks, Rose. If people are interested, here’s an article on the distinction between Belief and Experience.

    http://davidya.ca/2013/08/23/belief-or-experience/

  • 21
    David FB says:

    In this article I use a bunch of quotes to illustrate belief, having a sense of it, and having it the direct experience. The example in this case is around reincarnation.

    http://davidya.ca/2014/01/25/belief-or-experience-by-example/

  • 22
    David FB says:

    And finally, an older article where I explore the question about belief in God, again as distinguished from direct experience.

    http://davidya.ca/2009/09/21/do-you-believe-in-god/

    Thanks, Rose.

  • 23
    Lilian says:

    Lovely comments!!

    Humph, I was trying to calm down at the blog this week… Anyway, good links Rose and good reminder about David’s blog.

  • 24
    Lilian says:

    In brief: I am typically abstract and verbose.

    To me God is an integral part of everything and everything is God.

    The main way I connect is through the sense of connectivity between everything and the sense of joy and enthusiasm and possibility and general awesomeness that this brings.

  • 25
    Lilian says:

    The feeling of being cherished by and trusted by God makes me feel so proud and happy.

    Like a giant pat on the head from the sky.

    I have faith in the awesomeness and wonder and joy that underlies everything.

  • 26
    Lilian says:

    So even if my emotions are all over the place and my thoughts are confused, I feel that I have never really separated from awesomeness but that I am simply learning more about how being a reliable representative of awesomeness in every nook and cranny of existence.

    I guess I see myself as God’s excitable pet dog! Yes I have deleted about half of this comment series as it is…

  • 27
    Lilian says:

    Also, I do like the 8 fold path, as after many years of catholic school it seemed logical and doable.

    The mystery religions are not for me… Right thoughts, right words, right action!!

    Yay for this pop culture reference from Franz Ferdinand.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuXb6S6aDeY

  • 28
    Teresa says:

    Rose,
    Yes, you were correct when you thought I meant attempting to be connected, which is totally different than “being as one” (if that makes any sense).

    David,
    Thank you, I hesitated and read the word “spiritualism” twice. I guess I should listen to myself when I question the words. Good lesson, I didn’t realize that.

  • 29

    TERESA, of course you made excellent sense, as usual.

    It takes a different kind of courage to write about things that are very heartfelt or abstract. You’re getting used to doing that here, and every word of yours is appreciated. 🙂

  • 30

    DAVID, thank you for posting those three links. I relished every one of those blog posts.

    You are one great (and also non-pushy) blogger!

  • 31
    Kira says:

    I don’t really have a definition for “being spiritual”, I guess. I relish reading other people’s definitions, and find that several of them resonate with me, but when I think about it (and believe me, I think a lot about inner experiences!), it always seems to be just around the edge of my ability to explain.

    I’m coming to the conclusion that, for me at least, “being spiritual” is a state that I recognize, but can’t describe. Something that transcends words.

    At least until I successfully write a poem about it.

  • 32
    Suz says:

    David, comments 1 and 2. Yes!

  • 33
    Lilian says:

    I’m going to stick my comments on this blog to keep them from taking over. It’s purely out of politeness to the blog.

    http://zofia-jones.blogspot.co.uk/

    Much love. xxxxx

  • 34
    Lilian says:

    ie. No need to read and but I’m going to let my mind ramble on in its own little space. It’s been needing it. 🙂 Your blog has done me the world of good Rose.

  • 35
    Primmie says:

    This is a really great thread.

    I have no idea what spiritual means. I think I might describe myself as someone who in every way, in theory, is an atheist but thanks to experience I believe in God. And love God.

    I can’t make sense of what I experience, I just accept that it is as it is. I feel confounded by what spiritual might mean in my life and unable to articulate much about what I feel, I’m sorry! Usually it’s easy for me to describe what a thing means to me.

  • 36
    Karen says:

    I agree that you don’t have to have a religion to have a relationship with God but some people are helped by religion, I know I was at one time in my life.

    For me it was a stepping stone to a wider understanding of what God is.

  • 37
    Karen says:

    And I am still in the process of understanding, I’m far from done with that journey.

    I am not even convinced we can have a full understanding of what God is while we are in a human form.

    I remember reading a near death experience in which a woman asked her guide why there were so many religions and the guide said because there are people on earth that need that religion.

    It made sense to me. We are all at different places in our spiritual growth.

  • 38
    Karen says:

    I don’t practice a religion anymore. I often feel like I should have some sort of spiritual practice but nothing so far has felt right for me. So I continue the search.

  • 39
    Karen says:

    I used to feel guilty that I don’t do more on the spiritual side but after reading on this blog that we can go overboard with a practice

    I feel less guilt haha.

    It might have even helped me :p

  • 40
    Karen says:

    I have tried to read David’s blog but it feels a bit over my head. I do plan to continue reading it because i feel like I’m learning something and I like a challenge. =)

    At the moment it is all new to me. I grew up Christian and am not familiar with much of Eastern teachings, but I don’t think I’m too old to learn a bit about it. =)I had never even heard of Adyashanti until I read over his recommended booklist.

  • 41
    Karen says:

    For me spirituality is a connection with God, in my opinion it’s going to be different for every person.

    I feel that connection most often through music or out in nature. And also when I am expressing creativity in some way.

    No idea how I make a practice out of that but I bet there is a way lol.

    Karen

  • 42

    Hey, KAREN, I can recommend a way to use creativity for your spiritual development. It is part of living your human life.

    Also known as “Spiritual integration.”

    Seems to me, living today, 20 Daily Minutes of Technique Time is plenty for expanding awareness. That can be spiritual practice.

    Then we evolve rapidly by NOT continuing extra spiritual practice but by doing human things, having fun, talking to other humans (*not guides*).

    Make sense?

    And thanks for all you have written here. Beautiful!

  • 43
    David FB says:

    Hi Karen
    Not to worry about reading the blog. The approach is not a requirement. No exams. 😉

    Some of the more recent content is also extremely abstract and/or addresses stages of development past what Rose has talked about here.

    Some might find earlier content better, like in browsing the Key Posts tab. But I also have the occasional more practical post mixed in there. 😉

  • 44
    Lilian says:

    “I think I might describe myself as someone who in every way, in theory, is an atheist but thanks to experience I believe in God. ”

    That’s great! I’ve always thought that science, evolution, humankind’s acheivements, proving things with rational thought etc is evidence for God, not against, as its evidence of a greater intelligence. Never understood the big problem there. 🙂

    Yes, creativity and spiritual integration is a thing!

  • 45
    Isabelle says:

    I might have answered very differently a few months ago… Today I would say that being spiritual includes living and accepting every moment of life. Nowadays I feel like human life is a spiritual meditation and the 20 min of technique time are my ‘time out’, rebalancing myself.
    Before I would have said that the 20 (or, then, more) minutes of technique time were my way of ‘being spiritual’ and the rest was struggling with human life. Thankful to now see it in a different way. Being spiritual means to me trying to give attention to all levels of life.

  • 46
    Kira says:

    Not sure if it’s successful, but I did actually write a poem last night about this.

  • 47
    Kira says:

    Being Spiritual

    Being spiritual is just
    Being.

    Not that I always notice that;
    I’m usually too busy living
    To be aware.
    But I catch glimpses sometimes–
    When stars twinkle overhead,
    When clouds drift into fantastic formations,
    When trees beckon to be climbed;
    When an audience claps for my performance,
    When I share quiet moments with friends,
    When my husband cuddles me at night.
    Experiences like that
    Make me feel more myself,
    And more than myself.
    I’m connected
    To myself
    And everything
    And just being is enough
    In that moment.

    In the next moment I’m living again
    Instead of being, but
    The memory is there.

  • 48
    teresa says:

    Kira,

    I love your poem! It describes how I feel when I am in nature, and experience the oneness of life.
    Thank you for sharing.

  • 49

    TERESA, I agree.

    KIRA, you and Walt Whitman, kid.

    Thanks for this whole generous series of comments. And to ISABELLE and LILIAN and DAVID FB.

  • 50

    For anyone reading through these comments here, this thread is continued now here as well:

    Being a spiritual person, taking it personally

  • 51
    Kira says:

    Thanks, Teresa and Rose! I guess the eloquence pills haven’t worn off yet. 😉

  • 52
    Cathy says:

    Great topic! As someone who also grew up protestant christian (extremely conservative), I always thought being spiritual was having that connection with God, but that of course could only happen if: you did all the right things, attended the right church, yada yada.

  • 53
    Cathy says:

    I never felt that. Not that I didn’t love God, as a child, but no matter what I did, I felt like there was a glass ceiling between me and him. The ‘Still Small Voice’, is only something I have come to understand in the last year. Since realizing I’m an empath, and learning to listen quietly and deeply. It is most profound as an experience in early morning for me, watching my birds on the feeder, or sitting out under my apple trees. There is just that connection.
    Looking back on my child hood and all that church-going, and I know many people derive comfort from churches, I shudder. For decades I have experienced panic attacks when thinking of having to sit through church!Maybe being an unskilled empath had something to do with that 😛

  • 54
    Cathy says:

    ANYhooo, my point is, I think being spiritual is having that connection to God, being able to connect to that still small voice, and let it speak to your life.

  • 55
    Julie says:

    There is a scene from the movie A Walk to Remember that I like. The main character played by Mandy Moore is trying to explain to her boyfriend how she knows there is something more out there in life.

    He has asked her how she believes in God or a force bigger than herself out there in the universe.

    Her answer is very touching, because it’s not coming from a desire to convert him or make him experience as she does. She’s just explaining what it’s like for her.

    And she says “It’s like the wind. I can’t see it but I feel it”.

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