In my previous entry I spoke of the road towards sustainability and how we have to start somewhere, without feeling like hypocrites just because we can’t become 100% eco-friendly over night. We can’t expect to extract ourselves from a culture of waste and wastefulness – unless we literally drop all our ties and live as a hermit on a mountain. For most of us that’s not a realistic scenario. But that doesn’t make doing SOME-thing useless. Doing a little bit, and then a little bit more is the way of nature. It’s the way everything grows – incremental, bit by bit. And that’s how we have to transform our current culture of waste and wastefulness into a culture of sustainability and regeneration, of cycles and systemic consciousness… We have to grow into it and we have to grow the culture itself. But sustainability is only one aspect of the culture that we need to create.
In spirituality, especially in evolutionary spirituality that focuses on growth or self-development as a means to reach enlightenment or transcendence, there is this idea of transcending the self. But often it seems that the practitioners, rather than getting less egoic they tend to get more egoic, either neglecting the world around them focusing only on how self is evolving, or becoming domineering and basically full of themselves. No doubt do some of them possess deep insights into spiritual truths, it just seems like the step of truly transcending the self rather than just cleverly hiding or disguising it is a very hard thing to do.
What does it mean transcend the small self? What takes its place? A bigger self? In the integral version of developmental psychology, the lines of development show an ever increasingly complex self transcending and including the previous versions. That self transcends the contracted and self-centered ego, the voice that screams, “me! me! me!” and replaces it with a different song that is now concerned with not just me, but me + many other things. In a way the me has become decentralized… or has it? Or is it still at the center of everything, just with a wider vision?
I’d like to talk about a topic that doesn’t seem to get a lot of attention. It doesn’t seem to be on many people’s radar: Can energetic or spiritual practices unbalance us to the point where they are counter-productive? Is there such a thing as an overdose of intentional work? And if yes, what does it look and feel like?
I spent the past week participating and teaching at the Ocean Yoga Festival and absolutely loved it. But I was also astonished by the event’s effect on me. Even though I didn’t go so many classes, I felt a definitive energetic quality that after prolonged exposure felt a bit ungrounding. Continue reading
In the following paragraphs I will try to convey to you a meaning of the term spirit (and spirituality) that perhaps is a bit different than the idea you have in mind. My hope is to leave my readers with the sense that spirituality is not a new-age, hippie thing that requires incense, crystals, tie-die shirts or using the word namaste in every second phrase. Instead I believe it is a fundamental characteristic of our existence and thus accessible to everyone and of meaning to everyone.