Wednesday, September 10, 2014

THE ART OF CONVERSION (The Ideology of Spirituality)

Our world is a dual world - a world of 'material things', and a world of 'inner meanings'. When one raises oneself to a level where material things become secondary and inner meanings become of prime importance, then one is a spiritual person. When a scientist discover the scientific world, he does't leave the material world, but rather stays here, studies and makes discoveries in this very world. Spirituality is also a science. Consequently, in spiritual science the same method is valid, i.e. undergoing spiritual experiences while remaining in the material world. Spirituality, in fact, is a process of converting our everyday material events into spiritual experiences. While living his social life, man is effected by events, which trigger negative thoughts such as malice, lust, anger, arrogance, greed, etc. But when man raises himself above his immediate surroundings, i.e. from the material level to a higher level of thinking, he experiences real spirituality. At this elevated level, man is able to eradicate his negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. In this state, he learns to convert non-spiritual matters into spiritual matters. This is the principle on which the entire material world is based. It may be called the principle or art of conversion. For instance, let us take the case of water. Two gases separately are not water, but, when they combine and convert into another form, they take the form of water. The same is true of the tree. A tree is, in fact, the result of the conversion of non-botanical matter. The cow provides another such example. The cow ingests not milk, but grass. Then by means of a biological process, this grass is converted into milk. That is to say, the cow is an industry, which converts non-milk into milk. All these processes use the principle of conversion. In the same way contemplative spirituality through the principle of conversion makes man spiritual. This can be understood through the following example. It is said that once a young man met an elderly person, who was devoutly spiritual. The young man took umbrage at something the elderly person had said to him and kicked him in the chest. This was an incident of a gravely negative nature. But the old man converted this negative experience into a positive one by responding with these words: "I hope your gentle foot was not hurt by my hard stony chest." This is an example of a truly spiritual person. Spirituality activates that intellectual process which is necessary for the development of one's personality. Indeed, spirituality is the greatest source of crises management. A spiritual person can hear every loss, for he feels that any loss, which is material in nature, is always far less in comparison to what he still has in his possession in terms of spirituality and that is a treasure that no one can take away from him. True spirituality, an intellectual activity, is a science of inner development and material things indirectly contribute towards that development. In fact, material life is made more meaningful by the proactive role played by spirituality in intellectual refinement and the consequent process of humanity. Spirituality does not, as some may imagine, arrest the thinking process, but rather enhances intellectual activity in the complete sense of the world. In short, true spirituality or contemplative spirituality makes a man a superman.

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