BELIEF ARTICLE

Is Your Spirituality Weirding People Out?

Being Spiritual AND Normal is a Higher Form of Practice

I’m a fan of a self guided spiritual text called A Course in Miracles. The text and corresponding practice deeply influence the way I view the world, and the people who are inspired by this thinking are some of the most wonderful, loving, accepting humans I know.

But a lot of “Course” students are really... weird.

Spirituality Doesn’t Have to be Really Weird

Of course, this is not limited to A Course in Miracles. I see it in all kinds of new age and self-help paths. People talking about energy vortexes and sleeping with crystals by their beds come to mind.

But it isn’t limited to the new age either. You can find “weird” things in every path to divinity. Catholicism has a long and rich tradition of exorcisms. Sikhs don’t cut their hair (ever). Sufis spin, supposedly.

I’m not here to affirm or deny possessions, energy in crystals and vortexes, haircuts, or even the validity of A Course in Miracles. Nor I am interested in deconstructing the idea of “weird” and “normal,” based on their cultural context. I like weird. Heck, I grew up and live in Austin, Texas, and I’m proud of our city’s motto to “Keep Austin Weird.”

I’m here instead to say that “being weird” as a result of spiritual practice is often an unconscious way of separating from other people, and that separation is usually in direct contrast to one’s spiritual goals. [1]

True Spirituality is Process, Not Content

True spirituality is in the way you act towards people, not what you say or do. You can say the words “I love you” with sarcasm or sincerity and they mean completely opposite things. What is important is not what you say but how you say it. Does it come from love or fear? Peace or guilt?

Another way to say this is that there are an infinite number of ways to love someone.

So think of the “what” of spirituality—be it ACiM, Christianity, Zen, or Evolutionary Enlightenment—as a subject you’re interested in, like movies, or fashion, or sports. And talk about it like you would talk about that interest. If someone doesn’t care about your particular hobby, you don’t force them to try it or even talk about it. You find another way to connect. Likewise, find a way to love people, observe your ego, and be in connection with God with or without the particular terminology of your spiritual path.

The Great Thing About Normal Spirituality

The great thing with “being normal” in spirituality is that you can pray, meditate, forgive, and be aware of your thoughts anytime, anywhere, whether or not the people you are hanging out with are into it.

If something else were your top priority, like swimming, you would need special circumstances—a body of water, a swimsuit, and a chunk of time set aside for it. Yet with spirituality you can engage your interest, in your own mind, while talking about finances, or sports, or whatever. You don’t have to keep it secret, but you don’t have to flaunt it either.

Being normal then is a way to more fully embody your spirituality—finding a way to express love, non-attachment, and devotion that anyone can feel, regardless of the terminology they use, the faith they ascribe to, or even whether or not they consider themselves “spiritual.”

ImageSome rights reserved by Celeste


[1] This is true of integral theory as well—“being integral” is a way of being, and a surefire way to know that you’re acting from a less developed part of yourself is by judging others for not accepting your AQAL sanctioned terminology.

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