As humans, we all have a spiritual side even though we live in a material world. We know that money can’t buy many valuable things such as life, happiness, love, friendship and compassion. Inside our minds there always exists a conflict between the spiritual and the material urges. The results are seen in the actions we take and the events that unfold around us every day. Sometimes our spirituality wins. Some other times our material urge carries the day. Which world has more value? It is up to each of us to decide as we face different circumstances.
We don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. Spirituality has nothing to do with religion, but religion should be about spirituality in order to make sense. As a person, an atheist has a spiritual side in recognizing that many valuable things in this world cannot be bought with money. A religious person is surely corrupted by materialism if money or power gains control. Spirituality is a state of mind. It’s how much we appreciate the value and purpose of life. In short, spirituality means how much we understand life’s profound meaning.
Which world carries more power? The material world looks concrete while spiritual one seems abstract, but that is not where power originates. Do you think the pen is mightier than the sword? The sword means no more than injury or death, imparting fear and subjugation. The pen enables us to disarm evil forces and organize resistance because it conveys the truth, which is a pillar of spirituality.
The material world is governed by physical laws supplemented by human laws and traditions. For instance, the airplane must first overcome the physical law of gravity in order to fly. A business must make a profit to survive. Our house can be destroyed by fire or earthquake. We pass our material assets to our offspring, which is made legal by the human laws or traditions of inheritance.
On the other hand, the spiritual world is governed by a set of higher laws of Nature beyond the bounds of the powerful physical laws, not to mention the lower human laws and traditions. For instance, we think of our loved ones wherever they may be, even after they have passed away. While undertaking a difficult task, we draw inspirations from our heroes who may have lived in a different place and time. In this way, our spirituality enables us to make the connection to someone or something in a different place and time, thus overcoming the obstacles of the physical world.
Since we are limited by the duration of life in this world, we must ask the question: What happens before life and after death? Does it mean life begins with nothing and ends with nothing? A materialist certainly thinks so. An atheist tends to think the same way. A religious person finds an answer provided by a particular religion being chosen. In truth, the answer is much deeper if we are true to our spiritual nature.
We must ask ourselves: Is my life just an accident? Does it have a purpose? Are those things like truth, happiness, love and friendship that I have come to know valuable to me? Are they limited by just my own lifetime? The fact is, they are not. They have existed long before I was born. They were bestowed to me by the previous generations and also this one. So I have the duty to pass them on to the next. I will devalue my own existence if I think that life begins and ends with nothing. Something non-material is being passed along through the generations. It is valuable and everlasting, and hence all powerful.
This is my own simple interpretation of spirituality. What is yours?