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Our Spirit Holds Our Deepest Thoughts, Our Inner Voice, Our True Intention. It is the Connection Between Our Mind, Body, & Our Soul.
Defining the Spirit:
The most thought provoking and also perhaps controversial one of the three (mind, body & spirit), is the Spirit. That is why, no one definition satisfies all, or seems to apply adequately, and there are such a variety of them – some very conflicting, and others, many can relate to. The Spirit, is understood as something that cannot be seen, only felt by the self, and perhaps another (kindred) spirit. I think of the conscience as the spirit within us.
Many refer to the Spirit as the Soul or ‘आत्मा’ – (pronounced Aathmaa – Hindi word for soul) Hindus have many words relating to the soul, depending on the context in which it is used. The word ‘रूह’ pronounced (“ruh” or “rooh”) is an aspect of the soul that best fits the spirit. Simply put, I think of our Conscience (the wisdom within), as the expression of the spirit. The Soul is that which brings the mind and body to life. The Spirit is that aspect of the soul that links the mind and body to the soul.
Each definition seems to leave out something for some one! A simple and sweet definition that appealed to me is: “Spirit is that which gives meaning to one’s life, and transcends oneself.” I would define the spirit as:
The nonphysical part of a person at the core of one’s being, that holds one’s deepest thoughts, inner voice, and true intention – That which connects mind. body, and soul, is the Spirit.
Religious & Spiritual:
One thing that has changed in time is the belief that one who is spiritual is religious, and vice-versa. I hope it is a given by now, that someone who is spiritual, need not be religious; and just because someone is religious, does not mean that one spiritual also. One could be both, but it is not necessarily the case. Some very deeply spiritual people are not at all religious.
Religion Does Not Define Spirituality: Growing up in India, I learned that religion is only an issue, if you make it one. The majority of people in India are far more spiritual, than they are religious. They may or may not be religious, but most Indians are spiritual. You have to live there, to know this to be true. That is also why people travel to India for Spiritual Enlightenment. I witnessed the difference for myself – a valuable lesson learned. In India, (born and raised), I learned firsthand, that one does not have to be Religious to be Spiritual. Of course, you don’t have to come from, or travel to India, to be spiritual, but it does help one understand that we have to live with and respect all faiths if we expect to coexist in peace. It is important to note: that while one who is spiritual may, or may not be, as spiritual as one who is, or is not religious, religion and spirituality are more often than not, closely related.
The Essence of Any & All Religions:
Religion has become the bone of contention instead of the subject of peace and goodness. How sad that is, when we consider that The Golden Rule, is the essence of Any and All Religions! If we simply consider that each religion was created by a leader or prophet, who wanted to better the world, by representing The Almighty Spirit / God, with kindness and love, then we realize, that any religious dictator or bigot goes against The Golden Rule of every religion. Such persons go against the teachings of their own religion, and contribute to giving religion a bad reputation.
While I do not encourage or promote any particular religion here, nor believe in the superiority of one religion over another, I do encourage Faith & Belief. Everyone believes in one thing or another. By Belief, I don’t mean religious belief in a strict sense, but I do mean having faith – believing in a Higher Power, or simply in Goodness as being powerful and morally right. (more on that in part 2) Faithful Belief enhances the spirit, and makes one healthier. In other words our spirituality contributes to our balance, or a lack there of.
Very Spiritual: Everyone has a spirit, but while some go within, consult with, give importance to, or fine tune theirs, others don’t. So in a broad sense, those who do, are understood to be very spiritual, or more spiritual than those who don’t. Then again, it’s a matter of who’s judging who!? For the purpose of Well Worthiness however, those who listen to their conscience, tap into the goodness within themselves, and that makes them more deserving. The closer attention we pay to our conscience, the more we are able to benefit from the natural goodness that is within us. Feeding and nourishing the spirit is important for wellness and a balance in life.