Real Spirituality

My fiancee' and I frequent a restaurant in L.A. called Real Food Daily. The concept behind the name is that their food -- which is unprocessed, abundantly nutritious, and lovingly prepared -- is more authentic, more "real," than most other food. This claim is at once silly and wise. Silly because philosophers have argued about the true nature of "reality" for centuries. Wise because it's an admissible philosophy that the closer something is to its source, the more "real" it is.

This principle has universal applications. Original paintings are deemed more "real" than prints. Linguistically inventive people are deemed more "real" than those who repeat one-liners from TV. A head of lettuce is more "real" than a hot dog. My interest here is to compare organized spirituality to improvised spirituality. Is either one more real?

Needless to say, comparing these two entities is trickier (and more controversial) than comparing paintings and prints. Every moment of every day, a gentle battle occurs between those that attend religious ceremonies and those that just "believe in something."

How many people do you know that just "believe in something"? I've met far too many to keep count (and I myself belong, for the most part, to this group). They're a raw and ragtag bunch that's curious enough for exploration but too impatient for formalities. Which begs the question: do formalities enhance "real spirituality" or detract from it?

Let's cast aside our existential leanings (if any) and assume that there is in fact -- for lack of a more evocative term -- a spirit world. If this is the case, then all of us are intrinsically connected to it, which means that accessing the spirit world (via prayer, visualization, intuition, etc.) requires no special passkeys. No torahs or rosary beads. No church walls or bemas. By this standard, we can kneel before garden hoses and find God in the pages of a phone directory.

Many of those that just "believe in something" like the sound of this. They tend to scoff in the face of organized religion. For them, all formally religious chants, prayers, rituals, and clothing are empty ornaments standing between the plain flesh of humanity and the sparkling blue rivers of eternity. I steer clear of such thinking.

To my mind, such formalities do not detract from real spirituality. Nor do they enhance it. Whereas the concept behind Real Food Daily is both silly and wise, the concept of Real Spirituality is just plain silly. All spirituality -- be it improvised, half-assed, or out of focus -- is authentic. Assuming, of course, that there is a spirit world.

Consider the realm of the spirit as a house with many doors. Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and Islamism are widely practiced, so perhaps they enter through the front door. Modes like Scientology and Wicca are less conventional, so perhaps they enter through the side. And as for those of us that just "believe in something," we may lack a formal name, and we may enter through the back, but I've no doubt that we reach the same place.

About The Author

Eric Shapiro is the author of "Short of a Picnic," a collection of fiction about people living with mental disorders. He is at work on his first novel.

[email protected]

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Publishers Weekly

Religion and Spirituality Books Preview: May 2018
Publishers Weekly
Storm offers an off-the-bus travel guide to the Holy Land with a spiritual dimension to the people and places. Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light by Rachel Marie Stone (InterVarsity, $16, ISBN: 978-0-8308-4533-0). Stone reflects on how childbirth ...


Psychology Today (blog)

"Spiritual But Not Religious" Is Associated With Depression
Psychology Today (blog)
Religious belief and practice is connected with greater resilience for those who enjoy faith and an attachment to god. For example, a national study of veteran's health highlighted significant protective effects of religion and spirituality (Sharma et ...


The Japan Times

'Ay Tjoe Christine: Spirituality and Allegory'
The Japan Times
April 28-Aug. 19. As a student, Indonesian artist Ay Tjoe Christine studied various art techniques, including drypoint and intaglio printing, and began her career as a textile designer. Her paintings are based on Christian narratives and spiritual ...


The Jerusalem Post

Where spirituality meets luxury in Safed
The Jerusalem Post
THE WAY INN in Safed: 'We want it to be not just a hotel but a center for spirituality'. (photo credit: Courtesy). The Baal Shem Tov, the Jewish mystical rabbi considered the founder of hassidic Judaism, was never able to visit the land of Israel, but ...

and more »

89.3 WFPL

Festival Of Faiths: Social Activist Ruby Sales On Civil Rights And Spirituality
89.3 WFPL
After being released from six days in jail for picketing a whites-only store in Alabama in 1965, a 17-year-old Ruby Sales experienced an event that played a pivotal role in who she would become. She and several others went to buy a soda, and were ...


yorkregion.com

Kathmandu — A city of temples and spirituality
yorkregion.com
Lines of fluttering coloured flags radiated from the gilded sceptre of the Swayambhunath down to the ground, where believers circled its whitewashed dome, running their fingers over carved wooden prayer wheels as a gentle chorus of Om Mane Padme Hum ...

and more »

Forbes

The Spirituality Of Trading
Forbes
In this article, I will introduce the concept of trading spirituality and explain, with examples drawn from research and real-world practice, how transcending the ego can help us become both improved traders and better human beings. Understanding ...


The New Yorker

Jon Hopkins's Soundtrack for Spiritual Awakening | The New Yorker
The New Yorker
A decade ago, in the spring of 2008, Coldplay released an album with a grand title and a grander purpose. The title was “Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends.” The purpose was to transform Coldplay, which was just about the most popular band in ...

and more »

Daily Pioneer

Rahul Gandhi questions Modi on 'spirituality in cleaning toilets'
Daily Pioneer
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi on associating spirituality with cleaning of toilets and also took a jibe at him on frying of 'pakodas'. "The Prime Minister sees spirituality in cleaning of toilets and ...
'Pakode banane me spirituality hoti hai', Rahul Gandhi's swipe at Narendra ModiFinancial Express
Dalits May Die, Women May be Raped, Modiji is Only Interested in Becoming PM Again: Rahul GandhiNews18
Modi's focus is on Modi, not people: RahulThe Telegraph India

all 240 news articles »

Pulse Nigeria

Spirituality, Sex: Are demons making Christians watch porn?
Pulse Nigeria
Reportedly, Pope Francis has sanctioned a new training that focuses on how demons use porn. World Religion News reports that the church thinks there is a connection between Satan and pornography. The belief is that an avid porn addict is most likely ...

Google News

Angel Messages for Humanity ?- Message 1

In the interest of mankind the Angels are delivering messages... Read More

Real Spirituality

My fiancee' and I frequent a restaurant in L.A. called... Read More

Affirmations for Emotional Hygiene

Last week I talked about the need to practice emotional... Read More

Coming to Jesus

2 Corinthians 6:17-6:17For God so loved the world, that He... Read More

Homeless, Rejected, and Poor

Fanny J. Crosby's famous hymn, "Tell Me the Story of... Read More

It Took a Banker to Show Me What Jesus Was Talking About

On January 13th 1982 an Air Florida flight crashed off... Read More

We Fall Down -- But We Get Up

When I first heard Donnie McClurkin's song, "We Fall Down... Read More

What The Bleep is All This Quantum Physics Stuff About?

"Quantum Physics is the science of gods? Newtonian Physics is... Read More

Are You a Microwave or Crock Pot?

In our fast paced society we often want everything done... Read More

Being

Being"You have taken yourself to be something that you are... Read More

Anam Cara - Watching The River Flow

I love rivers. I have for many years lived away... Read More

5 Shortcuts to a Life of Charity

Charity isn't the easiest virtue to master. And with St.... Read More

Why Dont I Get What I Want?

The smart 'spiritual' answer is 'you always get what you... Read More

A Scary Thought For Some...

What could be a scary thought for some? How bout'... Read More

Spiritual Spring Cleaning, Making Room for More

Do you ever get into those moods where you just... Read More

Do You Have Hot Buttons?

You may ask, "What are hot buttons anyway?"Hot buttons are... Read More

Heart Matters-- What Matters Most

With excitement and anticipation I jumped on a plane last... Read More

Going Where God Leads You

I know God will not give me anything I can't... Read More

Geralds Story - A Tribute to Valor

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that... Read More

What Are You Leaving On The Table Of Life?

Our Creator is an infinitely loving and generous provider -... Read More

Integrity and Spirituality

The concept of integrity has arisen often in discussions of... Read More

Discover Who You Are And Why You Are Here

You are a Creative Worker:God carries on creative work through... Read More

What are Angels? Angelic Guidance Explained

Angels are making their presence felt everywhere. Once I started... Read More

Spirituality: Impersonating Jed McKenna

"No man is a prophet in his own country."That line... Read More

Truly Save

I can truly say to this day of August, 2005,... Read More