By Deon Du Plessis
On a deep emotional level we are all aware of our spiritual nature and underneath the surface level of life there is a dimension that we all long to make contact with. There are many views and definitions of what spirituality really is, but what I would like to do here is to present 3 quotes on spirituality from 3 very influential people; people who have made vastly different contributions to life and our understanding of what it means to be a human being in this world.
The first quote on spirituality is from Joseph Campbell, a man who spent a lifetime writing and thinking about the mysteries of life. Here’s what he had to say:
“All you can learn is what your own inward life is and try to stay loyal to that.”
In our ego driven world we all tend to look around for approval and for how to act and behave. We tend to compare ourselves to others to determine where we are in life and also where we ought to be going.
Spirituality calls on you to look deep within to find your own unique place and path in life. You are unique in every way and on a spiritual level you have a journey tailored to suit only you. When you look within you will discover that authentic spiritual part called your Self through which your entire life is lived. Joseph Campbell tells us to find this part of ourselves and then to stay true to that instead of always looking outside of ourselves for answers.
True fulfillment in life will never come from living up to someone else’s expectations or living your life the way you believe you ought to. It will never come from the attainment of goals or achieving what’s considered to be success. The ultimate purpose of life is to find out what you are about on that deeper spiritual level and then to live it.
“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa
The first quote on spirituality from Joseph Campbell was about finding your own authentic path in life. In this quote from Mother Theresa, she tells us how to do it. When mother Theresa offers spiritual advice I for one am willing to listen.
She gives us a very profound spiritual lesson and that is to embrace silence. God is the friend of silence and when you quiet your mind, you get to reconnect with God on a personal level. In our crazy-busy world, time for silence is probably the last thing on most people’s list of priorities, yet this is where true authentic power in life comes from. When you empty your mind from all the mundane demands and you return to the centre deep within you are once again connected with that divine power that orchestrates the entire universe.
In a world dominated by new trends and technologies it seems like there is an even greater demand on our attention from every direction. We marvel at the latest inventions and the wonders of new technology, but still it’s all very temporary and only lasts until the next best thing comes along.
Even when you look beyond all the man-made wonders and venture into nature to observe a sunset, a shooting star or a thunderstorm, there is one thing that is universally mysterious about it. Even with our technology and scientific knowledge, there is still a huge chunk of it that we simply do not understand. This is what Albert Einstein had to say about it:
“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”
Behind all the surface wonders of the world lies a deeper mystery – as if there is a divine hand behind it all that silently orchestrates and organizes it. This is the true wonder of life. At the heart of spirituality is this wonderful and mysterious force that is the essence of life.
Spirituality is about really waking up to life and to develop a higher awareness – an awareness of that mysterious force behind all of life. If you are not absolutely fascinated with life then you simply don’t know enough. It’s ironic that our modern day scientists are becoming more and more spiritual because the more we find out about the true nature of life, the more they are realizing that there is an indescribably force behind it all.
These 3 quotes on spirituality are from 3 very different people, but their message is the same: beyond the mundane activities of life there is something bigger; a higher force that some call God. It is in your nature to know this Force. By discovering your own unique place in the world, by embracing silence and making contact with God you can awaken an awareness deep within yourself that will open your eyes to a whole new way of life.
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