I cannot remember when last beef and spirituality were in the same sentence, if ever.
A spiritual seeker seeks insight into what one does not already know. One meditates on the unknown to somehow grasp the known. One dismisses the obvious in deference to its alternates. The system of inquiry that allows for such methods is spirituality.
However, there is another occupation which is not entirely dissimilar. There too, one questions the unknown to try and make it known. Therein, one dismisses the obvious in deference to its mechanics. William Whewell, an English philosopher and a gifted wordsmith, termed one occupied with such interests as a ‘scientist’.
Though technically identical in their quests, a scientist could not differ more from a spiritual seeker. The latter relies on the abstract whereas the former employs logic as the tool of discovery. Scientists make the unknown known on the back of irrefutable evidence. Universal truths emerge as the culmination of their investigations.
What, then, does the spiritual seeker do?
One studies the abstract and the obscure with dubious tools. These tools have no form nor any defined function. They do not operate within the constraints of reality. Inquiries typically precede birth and go beyond death, scrutinizing everything in between.
This is where I sniffed my beef out.
Spiritual inquiry is not built on a scaffolding of logic. It is an attempt to grasp a superior reality with inferior tools. It is random and personal, expansive and fragile- all at once. Spirituality obeys no laws, nor does it contribute any. Fact checking, unfortunately, holds no weight in spiritual inquiry.
Fraught with such inconsistencies, spirituality sometimes confuses fiction for fact. The converse is true as well, sadly.
I consider this kind of inquiry dangerous. To me, it is a haven for those entrapped by dogma. Imagine the endless labyrinths of fact-fiction one can weave herein! Anybody can aspire to spiritual inquiry; intellect not being a barrier to entry. Contrived inferences on the same reality emerge, desperate to reinforce the overarching dogma. Fiction pervades, fact is shunned.
It does not help that spirituality has garnered immense acceptance. It has suffused every zone of life. We have spiritual solutions for workplace issues. Sportspeople win gold medals and credit them to spirituality. Families resolve domestic disputes, courtesy spirituality.
But for how long will fiction shield one from reality?
It is bound to break, sooner than later. And when it does, your happy little bubble will implode. You’re back to the beginning and realize you had actually never progressed. Just imagined it, that’s all, but never have.
Listen, should you ever feel the irrepressible urge to question- stop. Think. Will answering this question transport you away from logic? If the answer is no, proceed. If the answer is yes, good luck.