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.

An Old Hippie and Jolly Mystic Dude with a background (or interests) in psychology, sexuality, philosophy, spirituality, consciousness, contemplative practices and technology. In a few different previous lives/careers I have been a youth-care worker and program developer; statistician; database developer; web developer; WordPress developer; Linux administrator and open-source consultant; network/website security administrator; social-media and web marketing specialist; male waiter on Ladies Nights and a pourer of molten steel.

I currently hang out in Gibson’s BC while attending Alef Trust (Middlesex University) as a Master’s student in Consciousness, Spirituality & Transpersonal Psychology. When I am not reading, studying, writing, blogging, listening to music or contemplating my navel, I like to spend time taking photos, hiking, 4x4ing, camping, kayaking or challenging social, sexual, gender and intellectual stereotypes.

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