Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spiritual


Just What Is Spiritual? Spirituality?

A Special Reading In Intimatic Christianity

Apr 30, 2007

Saying For Today: As you evolve this seeing, or progressively-integrated experience, you integrate less-full seeing into more-full seeing. Nothing is lost; all is taken into the wider Embrace of Spirit.

This reading was first given to a select readership Lent, Feb 25, 2005~"Questions about “Spiritual”: On Spiritual Formation, No. 2." The present edition, April 27, 2007, is a revision and addresses the meaning of "spiritual" as a part of ongoing writings on Intimatic Christianity.

See April 27, 2007, "The Soul in Intimatic Christianity," for a definition of Intimatic Christianity.

Ephesians 4.14-16 (NLT)

14We must stop acting like children. We must not let deceitful people trick us by their false teachings, which are like winds that toss us around from place to place. 15Love should always make us tell the truth. Then we will grow in every way and be more like Christ, the head 16of the body. Christ holds it together and makes all of its parts work perfectly, as it grows and becomes strong because of love.


Today, I begin with a tale.

Once a young, novice monk went to the Abbot. He asked, “Father, if Jesus visited America, what do you think Christ would teach us?” “Brother,” came the reply, “I think he would teach us how to be human.”

Below, I offer some common explanations of spirituality and will refer back to the above tale later. However, now, I note that there is some truth in all the following theories. No one theory defines “spiritual” completely.

Addressing this matter is essential in the present cultural climate. There is a widely~popular use of spiritual that is part of a mass rebellion and criticism of religion, especially Christianity.


As with any mass cultural revolt against anything more traditional, we need to be aware that there is some truth and much nonsense in the in-vogue touting of being spiritual as opposed to being religious. These persons show misunderstanding of both by failure to appreciate being spiritual and being religious are complementarities, not contraries.

Before proceeding to definitions of spiritual, I share the three levels of internal-structuring of being, or consciousness; called states. These states are fundamental to defining the meaning of being spiritual.

1) Post-conventional~beyond where the mass-consciousness of persons are spiritually. Here is mysticism, or contemplative consciousness. This is evolutionary, emergent, inclusive, and progressive.

2) Conventional~within the mass consciousness of where most persons are spiritually. Here is the general mythic-rational consciousness (i.e., from before the separation of reason from feeling, and within the epoch of reason cut off from feeling) of most world faiths. This is normative, conformative, and mythic-tribal (i.e., prerational, exclusive). This is an odd mixture of pre-reason and reason, without the integration of the two in a larger wholeness, which is the task of our present age.

3) Pre-conventional~this pertains to before differentiation between feeling and reason. This is pagan, and it can entail materialistic and magical forms of religion.

Pre-conventional is egocentric (I, Me, Mine). Conventional is social-centric (We, Us, Our). This latter includes group-centric consciousness (“Our nation is the best,” “Our religion is the only way,” “Our race is superior to all others” ...). Post-conventional moves all the way to full inclusion in the Whole, Reality, God, ... Post-conventional is a unitive, inclusive, post-rational state (i.e., feeling and reason integrated in post-feeling and post-reason states; mysticism; contemplation), and this is world-centric (All Humans) and evolves to cosmic-centric (Everything).


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