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Spirituality: What It Is & All That's Behind It

The concept of spirituality can refer to the connection between humankind and God or a deity... or not. Meet its secrets!

hands symbolising spirituality
Spirituality: What It Is & All That's Behind It | iSTOCK

Many people mistake religion for spirituality, or for specific mysterious, supernatural phenomena. This often occurs due to a lack of knowledge and the fear of being manipulated. In the following article, we'll analyse the concept of spirituality, what spiritual awakening is, and everything that's connected to this domain.

What is spirituality?

The notion of spirituality has become so alien to our society that it is sometimes mistaken and even characterised as a cartoon of itself, with religious faiths abusing people's gullibility to tremendous extents.

We can divide spirituality in three areas: love in communion with a personal deity; knowledge where the individual who knows goes beyond the subject-object duality; and a poetic spirituality where the contemplating individual gets absorbed within the nature they watch.

In spirituality, the individual gives their own truth to themselves, the way they see the world doesn't change. The fact that things seem to adjust to his perception is enough to believe they're right.

What seems to be a main trait of spirituality is the idea that the access to truth requires a conversion of our sight, a conversion which implies that the individual is transformed.

With all being said, we can sum up spirituality as the condition and nature of what's spiritual. This latter adjective refers to what belongs or connects to the mind. The notion of mind is in turn connected to a non-physical entity (which we could call rational soul, the virtue that encourages the body to work, or the supernatural gift that God grants to specific creatures, just to name a few examples).

Therefore, spirituality can refer to the connection between humankind and God or a deity, but not necessarily. For many, religion is often a link to create this bond, but it isn't obligatory to adhere to a specific faith or to follow a religious institution in particular to develop spirituality.

Within this section that defines spirituality, we can't forget that in philosophy, spirituality is seen from an opposing point of view between matter and spirit; a search for life meaning that goes beyond earthly reality.

Spirituality vs religion

If we commit to ignore our worries to try to study and understand the meaning of spirituality, we reach a point of awareness and conclusion that there isn't anything mysterious or supernatural; spiritual awakening isn't tied to churches, religions or cults and this is due to the fact that certain religious beliefs and the spiritual world have opposing views.

Thus, religion tells you to follow guidelines and obey certain rules because, otherwise, you'll be punished. On the other hand, spiritual awakening encourages you to follow your heart and find out for yourself what's the best for you, thus expressing your true colors with no fear.

Religion shows fear, it tells you what you should be afraid of, the consequences if you go off-path. Spirituality and being spiritual makes you aware of consequences, but doesn't focus on fear. Instead, you do good out of love, not out of the aftermath.

Another difference between spirituality and religion is the way you reach the truth: religion tells you what the truth is and what path you should take, while the spiritual world allows you to make discoveries at your own pace, by setting your own goals and connecting with your Superior Being, instead of a deity.

Another fact, last but not least, is that spirituality and spiritual beings are joined together and all have the same truth despite their differences, whereas religion puts aside and signals explicitly to those believing in a different faith or stepping out of the right path.

The 4 steps to develop spirituality and become a spiritual being

If you'd like to take the leap into the spiritual world, follow these tips.

1. Listen first

Even if you can read many books, you're your own best guide. You have knowledge, qualities, intuition that deserve to be developed, for which you make room in your life. Your spirituality isn't something you should seek on the outside. In this sense, meditation is a wonderful listening tool.

2. Talk to your guides

The spiritual equivalent of dialling to connect with a friend. You can have them as your guardian angel, your totem, your god or whoever you'd like; even the Universe could be your spiritual guide. Talking to your guides gives you the chance to help you, to comfort you, to guide you into what's best. It's a way to open up the door to your intuition and sacred dimension.

3. Nourish your soul with positive vibrations to develop spirituality

Feeding your soul is crucial, almost as much as feeding your body. Find resources that resound in you. Feed your soul with positive content, and take down as many sources and media that feed fear, judgment or stress, as often as you can.

4. Choose your environment

It's important to keep people around you that resound in your spirituality, people to whom you can talk freely with no judgment coming. You'll learn to surround yourself with open, sensitive, connected individuals by asking the Universe. Also, don't be ashamed of your spirituality.  If you fully embrace it, your vibes will shine and you'll feel attracted by like-minded people.

Compass rose: the spiritual meaning behind cardinal points

There isn't a real spiritual evolution without the conscious or unconscious use of symbology, the study and practice of symbols and their meanings. Symbols exist across all latitudes, religions, and belong to many categories.

Within spirituality, many give plenty of importance to the compass rose, which is linked to meaning of cardinal points. In itself, the compass rose is the synthetic representation of the wind's directions, or the frequencies of those directions in a specific place for a specific time (month, season, year, or even years on end) which is engraved into a flat surface. Its shape is a circle, a star or a rose, and it fits into the cardinal points.

Within spirituality, the compass rose is at the same time the end of the soul's journey and the peak of unity, and links specific emotions to said points.

Thus, the center is reason and emotion, mind and spirit; north is the achievement of maturity, old age and the final stage (but not last); south is the stage of soul exploration of a young soul, innocence and lack of experience; east is the start of humankind's time; and finally, west links to relaxation and realisation, preparation (but not death).