I have already written about the amorphousness of our inner worlds, or our inner selves, and about how we actually shape our inner realms by our attempts to understand them with our minds, and in order to communicate ourselves across to other individuals. Yet our inner being is shapeless in its essence, magnificently shapeless.
And just the other day, having listened to an interview with Hank Wesselman, I came to a deeper understanding of the matter. Namely, it seems that we don’t shape our inner realms just arbitrarily, but rather squeeze them into whatever paradigms we have available, and so it is by no means a coincidence how we perceive our own spirituality, for instance.
In the late Stone Age people were living in simple communities as hunters and gatherers, with simple social systems and they were dependant on their direct link with the nature. Thus they perceived innermost realms of Life – let’s call it spirituality – through the paradigm of their direct interaction with the Mother Earth, with the spirits of the nature… And when in that period rather suddenly art exploded all over the planet at approximately the same time, it was representing exactly that: the connection with the natural world, with natural spirits…
When with the invention of plough and agriculture permanent villages and towns started to emerge, followed by city states of Babylon, Sumerians, Egypt…, human state-level societies became heavily stratified with power concentrated at the top and used to suppress masses at the bottom. Human perception of the spiritual realms followed by shaping them into the complex and well organized religions of polytheistic gods, with higher and lower gods and their own troubled relationships…
With the societies gradually strengthening the power and the control on the top, soon monotheistic religions emerged and with the sword swallowed all the rest. The one-and-only god at the top, while all other spirits and gods were thrown out. Nature became demonized and had to be overpowered and mastered by humans. Spontaneity, natural flow, open connection, ease and freedom…, all soon perceived as dangerous and to be put under control.
Now it seems we have been trying to re-shape our spirituality for the last 50 years or so. With the notion of equality, human rights, democracy, freedom awakening in our societies, the so-called New Age movement started to emerge, seeking the truth inside of us, through the direct experience, openness, and inner liberation. It is easy to understand why this all is so threatening to the control-ridden monotheistic religions of the present. Of course, in these first attempts of New Age movements, very often old elements were dragged along, like the omni-wise guru at the top and well organized spiritual societies below, with loads of misuse of power… Re-shaping paradigms is not the easiest job in the world.
And now, with the globalisation and the internet, the notion of instantly directly connecting to each other and to the source of information becomes prevailing, speeding up the process of throwing away the old models of spirituality. It is becoming clear that we don’t really need priests and gurus and all the old deontological approaches, but that a person can become his or her own guru and priest, by exploring, through direct experience, inner realms, thus making steps, here and now, on the path of spiritual awakening. The awareness seems to be rising globally that the wisdom, the meaning and all the answers are within us and accessible through direct experience, through opening up to the Life within.
And, honestly, I am so much celebrating this as well as the fact that my work has been, all along the way, precisely about this. Especially this last step I have made by offering Evoking Life retreats, which are about, well, profoundly evoking life within and letting it fully manifest itself.