Being “Spiritual” is a vague term. For some, it’s just less abrasive way to describe their self imposed religion. They say shit like “I’m not religious…but I’m very spiritual”. Which is kinda like saying “I’m not on fire, but is it like 2000 degrees in here?”. Whenever anyone says that to me, I’ve learned to just leave it alone. There maybe was a time when I might have pressed it a little and asked “What do you mean by “Spiritual” exactly?”. But, nowadays, I avoid a conversation that reads like the monologue in the video above as I simply don’t have time to listen to that bullshit.
I looked the word up in the dictionary and this is what I got:
Definition of SPIRITUAL
: of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : incorporeal
a : of or relating to sacred matters
b : ecclesiastical rather than lay or temporal
: concerned with religious values
: related or joined in spirit
a : of or relating to supernatural beings or phenomena
b : of, relating to, or involving spiritualism : spiritualistic
— spir·i·tu·al·ly adverb
— spir·i·tu·al·ness noun
Of those five definitions it would seem 1 and 3 are the ones that would apply to anyone who specifically describes themselves as “Spiritual”. In the case of definition #1, I’d say that applies to everything that happens to everyone ever. If your “spirit” is your general being that it’s safe to say literally everything you do , say, eat, think about, etc…effects that in some way. So while proclaiming that as a way of life isn’t incorrect, it’s also like bragging about how often you breath.
In the case of definition #3, it’s exactly what you think it is. Religious people believe in a higher power. It’s THAT kind of spirituality. Certainly not the kind that more people proclaim for themselves. In fact, the people I’m speaking about openly will scoff at religion , all the while speaking of mystical healing power that some rock contains or how eating a certain root with get you closer to mother natures majesty.
In both cases of these literal definitions, I’m pretty sure 99% of the people who have ever told me they’re spiritual are in fact simply just normal human beings who do yoga.
Much like people being vegans or straight edge , people referring to themselves as “Spiritual” was not something I grew up around. I also didn’t hear about veganism or straight edge until I went to college so, you know, that might give you an idea of the world I lived in. Aside from an occasional anti-fur rally and basic civil rights, it was a “cause free” upbringing. As for people being “spiritual”, I simply never heard it referred to as lifestyle until I was in my late 20’s. I dunno, maybe I was just lucky. If you asked me what “Spiritual” meant in 1994, I’d probably say “A ghost?”. Granted, the 90’s were a different era. This was before health food stores were everywhere, yoga and pilates were all the rage and people collected crystals openly. In fact, back then, a store that specialized in things like that was pretty much looked at as new age bullshit (AKA Hippy shit) or a place where wiccans would chill.
I feel as if , in recent years there has been a large movement away from organized religion. Obviously, it’s still wildly popular but there certainly seems to be a generation of people not connecting with it like they used to. While a good amount of these people simply move on with their lives (which would seem to be the logical progression from losing ones religion) another group just trade that in for the idea of being “Spiritual”. Instead of following a bible, they turn to what are basically self help books that were written with more flowery and mystical language. Regardless , it’s a book that was written by another human being. Just like the bible. Sometimes they will dump Jesus and simply consider themselves Buddhists. This is fine but the percentage of people who think of themselves as Buddhists and the number of actual people “bout that life” is probably preeeeeetty low. Obviously, I have no study to fall back on to prove this point (or anything I’m saying, really) but I’ve seen way too many people who have said shit like “I think of myself as more of a Buddhist” who are obsessed with their I-phones , getting shit faced drunk all the time, being assholes to people and , in general, being self absorbed dickheads. Pretty sure that’s not in the tenants of Buddhism , brah. What I don’t get about it is that these people who abandon religion , for some reason, still feel the need to grasp on to something. I understand the universe is full of unanswered questions. I can see how some people might need guidance through life but the idea of trading in one for the other just seems kinda pointless to me. Either way, it’s some made up shit. I suppose it’s just that you gotta find the made up shit that applies best to your life.
(OR you could just act with common decency toward your fellow man and use proper judgement. For the most part , it’s fairly black and white. Don’t kill people, Be polite, try to Share. Don’t rape, Respect other people, etc..It’s all basic shit the average person learns in pre-school. Think of all the time and money you’d save on books alone!)
Saying “I’m very spiritual” is similar to people who say “I’m a very sexual being”. It’s a blanket statement meant to express depth and faux intensity that’s referring to things that pretty much everyone in the world feels (Outside of people in comas and asexual eunuchs.They get the pass). Oh, you’re sexual? You like having orgasms? Man, you must be some sort of sexual super hero! Oh you’re spiritual? You’ve got it all figured out? Your chakra’s are aligned? Awesome. Your soul must weigh much more than mine.
They’re simply empty statements that mean nothing. Without trying, we are all technically spiritual. But this kind of “spiritual” that people claim for themselves? I dunno. I’m yet to meet a self proclaimed “spiritual person” who is anything more than either a regular hippie who eats lots of healthy food or one of those people who becomes obsessed with all things eastern . At least the latter seem to have their stories down though. They’re generally educated in their beliefs. It’s the hippie ones that will really talk you into a hole. Every gotten cornered by a hippie who’s under the influence of anything and set on telling you all about his/her spirituality? It’s meandering mish mash of words like “aura”, “chi” and vague references to astrology set the back beat of some dudes awful fucking weed breath.
I can tell you first hand that it’s slightly less captivating than reading binary code and , in the end, it makes even less sense.
Listen, I realize that a lot of this kinda thing stems from a good place. People wanting to find deeper meanings in life. People figuring out their place in the universe. While I never think about that kind of shit, I get why others might. All I really am asking is for those of you who claim this basic cloak of “Spirituality” to simply just stop being so full of shit. Believe what you believe in. You can do that. But there’s no need to try and jazz it up beyond what it is at it’s core. Your beliefs. Not everything needs a title. In Reality, you’re not more “spiritual” than the dude who pumped your gas or the guy that did your taxes. You simply are just keeping closer tabs on it. You’re not a specially spiritual person. You’re simply a human being with thoughts and feelings. Just like every other fucking person you’ve ever seen and met. I think from now on I’m gonna claim “humanism”. Or not…who cares. My spirituality is telling me I’m hungry so I’m gonna go eat a cheeseburger.