We are all giants, raised by pygmies; taught to walk with a perpetual mental stoop.
—Robert Anton Wilson
What is spirituality?
Is it an identity?
A new way of seeing the world?
A soothing retreat from materialist culture, a call to kindness?
I want to suggest that these ideas are a passive and timid reflection of what spirituality should be.
Authentic spirituality is a celebration of the depth and mystery of who you are and a reminder not to take yourself for anything less.
In this sense, authentic spirituality can be used to point out the partial nature of other human pictures. It can be active and combative—not to criticise and break down, but to uplift and empower: to reveal the folly of our small self-images by reflecting our full stature in the mirror.
We see traces of this in traditional definitions of spirituality as something that “aims to recover the original shape of man”.1
Spirituality is also a way of answering the demand. It is not a weekend hobby or an intellectual whimsy. It is a bold answer to the existential demand that we feel in our bones.
Finally, for those who have undertaken the contemplative experiment, spirituality should be seen not as an unapologetic case for superstition, but self-respect: a necessary way of maintaining fidelity to a new awareness.
2 Feb 2023