What Does it Mean to be “Spiritual”?

Spirituality in a secular world has come to represent a pro-active journey of self-empowerment, self-realization, or a fulfilling of human potential, which places human consciousness at the forefront of spiritual evolution.

~ Steve Taylor

Utter the word “spiritual” to some people and it will often evoke a negative, judgmental or dismissive response almost on par with the word “religion”. These sorts of responses often arise in those who espouse a conviction towards the mistaken and misguided perception that what they consider “science” is infallible and the only rationally sound path to knowledge. Unfortunately this elevated perspective towards empirical science and dismissal of spirituality (or religion) tends to be spouted by those with little or no first-hand knowledge of either.

To be spiritual is not about any specific practice, doctrine, dogma, concept or metaphysical wisdom. Nor is spirituality anything magical or woo-woo. And in no way is spirituality antithetical to science – quite the opposite in fact. Being spiritual simply means you are open to following the natural human psychological motivation to become the “best” you can be – however you define it.

To be spiritual is to be proactive in that you decide what “best I can be” means to you and then YOU act upon this, rather than being told, instructed or indoctrinated.

Being spiritual is about being proactive in your own life.

To be spiritual is to seek out the means of finding and expressing your deepest values, dreams, creations or relationships which feed and evoke your true nature, your truest “self”.

Being spiritual is about self-empowerment and self-realisation.

To be spiritual is to discover, nurture and grow your own highest potential as a human being.

Being spiritual is about actualising your highest potential as a human being.

To be spiritual is to discover, nurture and expand aspects of your consciousness which underlie all of your perceptions, experiences and relations in the world.

Being spiritual is to seek out ways to expand one’s own consciousness.

There is nothing anti-science, magical, mystical or “fake” about someone who claims to be spiritual (although the process and experience can indeed feel magical or mystical). People who state they are spiritual are simply sharing a conviction towards their own natural human psychological (and often moral) motivation towards what the psychologist Abraham Maslow called self-actualisation.

Being spiritual simply means taking responsibility for your own life and happiness, and putting the wheels in motion which will allow you to become the “best” you possible.

A Jolly Mystic Dude and Old Hippie. At 15 I was introduced to spirituality, shamanic practices and non-ordinary states of consciousness through the writing of Carlos Castaneda. Those teachings and practices not only provided psychological tools to help me survive early childhood abuse, trauma and mental illness, but laid the foundation for a life-long curiosity about spirituality, non-ordinary consciousness and psychedelics. Those early experiences with psychedelics and a transformational near-death experience at 24, solidified my interest in psychology and consciousness to where I began to pursue formal studies at 25. I have an academic background in neuropsychology, applied statistics & research, spirituality, consciousness and transpersonal psychology as well as decades of business technology experience. I hope to combine the wisdom of personal experiences with my education and studies into spirituality, consciousness, transpersonal psychology and technology, in the support of others on their journey’s of healing, wellness, spiritual growth and transformation. I am also hoping to engage with and support major research organizations in spreading awareness of and the science behind, psychedelic medicines.

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