Spiritual Experience: Hope, Healing, and Hard Work
The worlds of Spirit and Insight are ever-present and all around. Each day, each moment, we live a step away from an experience of life that is full of wonder, hope and deep connection. This is not, however, a journey of the mind. The traveler into the world of Spirit becomes an explorer of the heart. For as we travel deeper into the greater dimensions of this world, what we discover is that we are more interconnected, interdependent and interrelated than we could ever have imagined.
Spiritual experience is not about acquiring super-powers or a metaphysical superiority to others. Spiritual experiences aren’t trophies either, like the practices and philosophies that lead us to them. Each spiritual experience is pointing us somewhere deeper: to the Oneness of our world.
To realize that we are born into a Living Energy Universe is to realize that we are much more than this life or what we have yet been shown. Spiritual experiences remind us that we are greater than anything that has ever been said or done to us. No matter how broken or depleted we may feel, there is always an abundant and vital dimension to who we are that remains untouchable. To begin the journey into the fullness of our universe is to begin a journey that never ends, is always personal and always has more to reveal.
A deep willingness to release what we know for a new experience of self can change and challenge a lot in one person’s life. Spiritual experiences can be the root of great healing, self-love, the release of shame and the blossoming of compassion. We must not, however, assume all spiritual experiences will be easy, comfortable or even have a positive outcome. Too often spiritual experiences can lead to struggle and a loss of meaning and not always the easy and joyful fulfilment shared throughout this book. In life, we tend to see more of what we are looking through than what we are looking at: meaning, our culture, emotional history, personality, assumptions about life and self are all factors that can shape our reaction to a non-ordinary state…
It is my distinct experience that spirituality is not about belief or choice any more than physicality is. We all have a body. Our bodies differ in so many ways, yet there is no denying that human life requires a physical element to thrive. Some people may be born with physical prowess and aptitudes that others don’t have; some people practice and develop physical ability and skill; and of course, others must focus on managing illness or injury—but we all have a physical dimension to life on earth. In the same way we all have a spiritual dimension.
Each person lives by a conscious or unconscious worldview, a set of values and each must answer the questions: what matters most, what relationships are truly important and who am I really? These three questions form the foundation by which all our experiences are framed, understood and responded to. As these three questions evolve and mature within us our relationship to self, health, resilience and community grows. The spiritual journey, no matter how magical, mystical, psychedelic or fantastical it may seem or sound, is the most practical and useful life process we can undertake...
Naturally, anyone can excel for a short time without a spiritual path or worldview. People and companies do it all the time. True lasting personal success, with resilience, joy, and sustainability eventually needs to be rooted in something deeper than self-interest or a divisive way of living. We are born from and into a universe in which all things are interconnected. Whether you explain this profound interconnection as dumb luck or a higher order at work, it is what it is. We are already woven into a world of oneness.
Researcher and journalist Scott Kaufman reviewed a number of studies that investigated the prevalence and impact of a “oneness” worldview. In the magazine, Scientific American, he wrote:
People who believe that everything is fundamentally one differ in crucial ways from those who do not. In general, those who hold a belief in oneness have a more inclusive identity that reflects their sense of connection with other people, non-human animals, and aspects of nature that are all thought to be part of the same “one thing.” This has some rather broad implications.
Kaufman goes on to discuss how people who “believe in oneness,” regardless of culture or religion are far more prone to hopefulness, a feeling of connection with life, a growth-mind set, and a greater capacity for compassion and a sense of purpose. The outcomes of a rich spiritual life that continues to evolve and remains in dialogue with lived experience are absolutely life affirming and health promoting.
Mystics and sages of the past experienced spiritual states without the context of global science, cross-cultural knowledge or the inter- net. Today’s spiritual explorers have the opportunity to cultivate an integrative/integrated understanding of self and life… This means that a person who pursues the gifts and insights of spiritual practice can apply their experiences to all areas of life and not fall prey to the old world modes of using spiritual experience to feed the ego or to justify one’s own separated sense of cultural superiority. A true open heart and mind in today’s environment will find that spiritual experience is exactly what prepares and inspires you to face the chaos and crisis of the modern world with equanimity, optimism and a willingness to engage and make a difference.
Jonathan Ellerby PhD
Dr. Jonathan Ellerby stands out as an extraordinary spiritual growth and consciousness expert offering a rare background including advanced academic degrees and research, combined with decades of practical leadership and applied experience in settings as diverse as hospitals, rural communities, Fortune 500 boardrooms, international settings, and premier retreat and resort facilities. Along with 35 years of personal experience, Jonathan has traveled the world to explore countless cultural approaches to transformation and spiritual growth. Author of 5 books, there are few topics in the world of consciousness, culture, religion, and spirituality that Jonathan cannot address with clarity, insight and an inspiring perspective.
Copyright © 1998 - 2024 Mystic Living Today All rights, including copyright, in the content of these Mystic Living Today web pages are owned or controlled for these purposes by Planet Starz, Inc.
Terms of Service
Disclaimer and Legal Information
For questions or comment, contact Starzcast@mysticlivingtoday.com. Reproduction of this page in any form is not allowed without permission of the author and the owner of this site. All material on this web site, including text, photographs, graphics, code and/or software, are protected by international copyright and trademark laws. Unauthorized use is not permitted. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute, in any manner, the material on this web site. Unless permissions is granted. If you have any questions or problems regarding this site, please e-mail Webmaster. Web site design by: Creative Net FX