Every-day Spirituality

How can we consolidate a spiritual solidity in the midst of the complexity of modern life?

The gulf between the two seems paradoxically far and our traditional beliefs about what it means to be “spiritual” are seemingly in direct conflict with our everyday life. If we define being “spiritual” as the ability to act with compassion, unconditional love and have access to wisdom, creativity and manifestation and be totally present in the here and now then what’s standing in the way of us being able to live a life like this?

Our conditioning!

We come into this world with a clean slate – you only have to look at babies to see this truth for yourself. When a baby looks at a dog or bird and you see the wonderment in their eyes you see how when we give things a mental label they start to lose their divine nature and all we see is a mental concept before our eyes.

This is how our fall from Grace begins. Personal, familial and cultural conditioning get layered over the top of our own true nature or True Self. We then become a separate entity or Small Self, locked into mind identification and we become the slave of our reactive conditioning. This is the great trance that Eastern mystic traditions have been telling us of for centuries now. But uncovering our True Self isn’t the end of the story.

Evolutionary Enlightenment now demands that we don’t keep the True Self locked up in an Ashram or monastery but instead bring it back into the world through our Small Self, situations, people that we’ve met along the way, jobs we’ve had and the totality of our humanness. In a sense we are creating our own mini big bang as our Unique Self.

What does this look like when it hits the ground? Can you imagine the point at which the worlds needs, your passion and your unique purpose collide? This is what Evolutionary Enlightenment looks like

This photo captures it perfectly for me. The sun represents our True Self and the clouds represent our Small Self. We begin life as a baby by shining uninterrupted love and warmth into the world but gradually over time the natural, and healthy, development of the ego begins as seen by the clouds in the photo.

Eventually, over time, the sun literally ceases to shine out into the world as we become a product of our socialization reacting to our environment in less than optimal ways. We live under the constant cloud of anxious feelings and skittish thoughts that serve to disconnect us from our true nature even further.

Most people live their whole lives without ever uncovering their True Selves (sunshine) and if they’re lucky they might get brief glimpses at the sun. So how can we begin to punch holes in the overcast cloud and what spurs us on to even look to see if there is anything there? Divorce, the loss of a loved one, major illness or some other event that rocks us so fundamentally to our core that we literally begin to question our reality and the lens at which we look at life through.

Meditation is a great way to experience “the sun” but we now know that it’s not enough to awaken us permanently and that we need to engage in shadow work to help us shine the light on our conditioning or overcast clouds. By diligently and consistently engaging in these practices we’ll eventually start to be able to shine our sun out into the world and become spirit in action. A grounded spirituality that’s accessible to one and all and not reserved to those who choose a monastic lifestyle. It’s a both/and, and not an either/or spirituality. One that seats us firmly in our life whilst  fundamentally changing our orientation and the outcome.

At Man Up we get our clients to engage in what we call Integrated Men’s Work. This includes practices for body, mind, spirit and shadow. Cross training for the modern day man which serves to open, heal and ground him – ground him in a life of presence, love and service.

Exactly what the world is crying out for now!

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