People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own souls. They will practice yoga and all its exercises, observe a strict regimen of diet, learn theosophy by heart, or mechanically repeat mystic texts from the literature of the whole world – all because they cannot get on with themselves and have not the slightest faith that anything useful could ever come out of their own souls.
This exactly sums up a number of conversations I’ve had with my friend Harsha over the past few months. We are both big believers in finding our own truths, from the depths of our own souls, rather than buying into any tradition wholesale.
Any spiritual tradition, if it is authentic, is based on a real spiritual experience. On top of that is developed rituals and dogmas and teachings which are supposed to help you discover your own spirituality and have your own spiritual experience. But the rituals and dogmas and traditions are dead. Only your own direct spiritual experience is real. If the teachings help you achieve that, great. If not, move on. Or continue because you enjoy it, or there are health benefits, or whatever. So long as you trust your own intuition and judgment. That’s the only thing that matters.
It reminds me of studying at the university. Everyone around me were so caught up in exams and curriculum and getting good grades. I didn’t give a shit about those things. I wasn’t at university to satisfy a professor or some future employer. I was there to learn for myself the things that I was interested in learning, because I was already working and I loved my work. If what I was learning wasn’t helping me grow, I would only do the minimal necessary and I wouldn’t worry about it.
We’re not here to satisfy the requirements of the spiritual traditions. The spiritual traditions are here to satisfy our need to live an authentic life with an active and real spiritual component.