Yes, I’m going to give this journey a name, but more of that later. For now lets just say this blog is a different take on modern spirituality, its for the driven, ambitious, bad ass folks of the world who want to ‘feel’ it, rather than just ‘think’ about it, for the ‘doers’…
Indeed, its for the people who are not really very ‘spiritual’ at all.. its for you.
But for now, just consider this – all basic spiritual teaching can actually be expressed as follows:
- Love yourself,
- Don’t give a fuck
- and Look good
Yep, sound fun? Off course its requires explanation, all such teachings do, but maybe even now it resonates a little, you intuitively understand ‘something”.. See, that’s all you have to do, ALL THE TIME to develop a spiritual character. I’ve given this advice to countless people over the years and they have all been ‘improved’ by it, some dramatically so, some less so.
There is no need to ‘practice’, no meditation, no yoga sessions, just follow this basic model. Of course, you can practice if you want to… if you want this to go a wee bit quicker… but then you’ll need to be ‘motivated’, and your not, are you.. So if you want you can skip right to the post that explains it and read up on what it specifically means before taking your leave, please do – bon voyage to you all. However, that will be it, cause you are not ‘motivated’ to go any further. And that would be a real shame…
So that, ladies and gentlemen is the job I’m trying to do here, the mission that I have, and according to my like minded associates, foolishly (hell there is NO audience for this), agreed to accept – to motivate otherwise non-spiritual people, by various means, to engage in some form of ‘practice’… See, as you are about to discover, this Blog is not about your ‘normal’ spirituality, hell no..
In our western world mainstream, ‘normal’ spirituality is for the sick, the poor, the oppressed, the unhappy, the mentally ill. Its become a form of medicine, mainly because it offers hope, it offers comfort, its offers a sense of belonging, its offers release from anxiety. Its become a club, a badge of belonging for the struggling, the broken, the unhappy, the desperate, the people seeking peace, seeking refuge from their every day lives. To degree that’s what organised religion has always been, but never more so than right now..
And that’s fine, if it helps do it, but it effectively closes off real spiritual engagement from the vast majority of people in the western world. See, if your spiritual these days, their is something wrong with you, otherwise why are you doing this..
But spirituality as I know it to be is anything but normal self help, its the fundamental basis of life and death itself. Everything is spiritual, every act, every thought, every thing you do.. Its the same for everyone, for everything. There are no different versions of it, just different perspectives, different entry points, different experiences written down and lionized through the ages by different types of people. There are no clubs to join, no denominations to debate, its one system that it exists in nature, and you are currently ‘living’ in it, you depend on it, whether you like it or not, believe or not, understand it or not.
See, normal mainstream spirituality has lost its way, and lost most of its audience a long the way, but you can’t blame Buddhism, Christianity for this. The simple truth is that the ready market for mainstream spirituality, both now and thousands of years ago, is the poor, sick, disaffected – they are the ones out shopping for a solution to their problems, they are the customers. Therefore the organised religions that cater to this need have grown accordingly, to dominate the space to such an extent that the very meaning of spirituality has been completely distorted by this process.
Now to be fair, the founders of these religions NEVER intended them to become this ‘normal’ spirituality – to focus on being medicinal is a small subset of authentic ancient teaching, but evolutionary forces working after the fact have re-shaped, re-interpreted them to the point that providing ‘comfort’ to the needy is their total focus. Normal Spirituality can no longer be separated from the standpoint of the modern ‘humanist’ way, the Western ‘moral’ code, that’s what the word ‘morality’ has now come to mean and is more a counterpoint to the ever evolving capitalist meritocracy we all inhabit than any spiritual teaching – bizarrely modern spirituality has become an intellectual ‘reaction’ to the greed of the modern world, however you wish to see it, good and bad.
And its simply not true, this isn’t what organised spirituality was meant to focus on, indeed morality does not mean that – the morals as we know them are a miss-interpreted Greek invention and they are really to do with personal excellence, they are to do with what Virtue actually means, best summed up by the old Italian word ‘Virtu’. Ancient Morality means doing the ‘right thing’ at ‘that moment’, which maybe totally different in other circumstances, for the few people out there who are able to judge.. The moral codes as we know them are half ass, placeholder sets of regulations, in effect a coarse and blunt instrument designed to stop you doing anything too stupid BEFORE you get to the point where you are able to judge for yourself..
Organised spirituality actually started out for the elites of this world, who could read and understand it, be trusted with it, as a form of personal development, a path way to personal excellence, including a form of what we would now call psychoanalysis. This is spirituality for the great and good, the hedonists, for the ‘gifted’ of the world. People forget just how much of ancient spirituality is airbrushed out of history, as even now the mainstream regard for the genius of Socrates is tempered by the life of utter drunken indulgence he led, a man who spoke to his ‘daimon’ most days, who proudly fought as a soldier for the imperialistic Athens. Not very spiritual at all really, yet he (well Plato to be exact) changed the nature of philosophy and spirituality for ever.
See, once people KNEW that having a spiritual side to your life was ESSENTIAL, as some level of positive engagement with ‘it’ was crucial for continued success in life, happiness in itself, what the Greeks used to call ‘eudaimonia’, having a good ‘daimon’. Spirituality was not a ‘nice too have’, or a clique, a trite moral ‘element’ to your own personal ‘influencer’ brand, it was crucial, indeed you could say its the very bedrock of life itself.
Within this real world spirituality, the only real difference between people is their perceptions of it, is if they are open to it or not, motivated or not, therefore spiritual or not. Real spirituality itself is just sitting there in the black felt background of life, laughing at you, cause spirituality does not give a fuck what you think about it, your opinions are meaningless as its OWNS YOUR ASS ANYWAY. But no matter, as Hey, you are here for a good time, not a long time… are you not?
And that is what I’m going to write about on this Blog – the ‘un-politically correct’ world of real, genuine, original spirituality… Hope it helps, or at the very least, entertains you.. But, before we (you) go any further I have to read you the warning label:
If this interests you then please do read on. However, if you are unwell, unhappy or looking for a solution to health issue of any kind, I wish you well, I wish you love, happiness and prosperity, but you won’t find what you are looking for here. Good luck to you and yours but there are way better resources online than this blog for you, please STOP READING THIS and seek them out.
Ultimately this information is NOT for desperate people looking for a solution and hence prepared to try anything, its for people interested in exploring real spirituality FOR IT OWN SAKE and the a fore mentioned ‘test’ is the best approximation I have ever come up. Long story short, you need to have had some type of an ‘experience’ you are looking to explain, understand, to be a viable candidate for this stuff, for it to work for you. Yes, sadly, much as its the same system for everyone plain fact is that some people are more affected by spirituality, more ‘gifted’ than others. But that’s for later, don’t want to put you off this early…
A bit of housekeeping to end:
Probably best to say what this Blog is not..
- This is none denominational, I support no one school, church, movement over another, but find the same golden nuggets in many of them. I’m not trying to sell you anything, read up, and make up your own mind as part of the process.
- Its not a thought out system, a one size fits all process to modern spirituality, everyone is different and its simply not possible to do it. People have to be helped individually in this regard because being a man or woman, old or young, even having ‘interesting’ ancestors makes quite a big difference.
- Its not a detailed metaphysics to learn, aka Buddhism or Taoism, (not that I disagree with them at their core) at this stage all you need is to be able to related it to yourself, in the here and now, not learn TCM based concepts in order to heal the sick, raise the dead.
- Its not a new church, club or online ‘movement’, I am trying to help solve the problems of modern spirituality, not add to them! My approach is to simply collate and explain all of the stuff that works in an interesting and entertaining way, under the heading of the Ride.
- However, if you find yourself really wanting to join a movement, follow a church, then the advice is simple, pick an old Asian one, that does NOT have a named guru or master at its head, and get a decent teacher. So stay the fuck away from Falun Gong..
My 10 second Bio – I’m a serious student with decades of hardcore, multi discipline exploration of the spiritual world both behind and in front of me. My first love is Zen, but I’ve been everywhere since and I’m no fan of what western Zen has become now. No names here but you can refer to me, as others do, as The Old Bastard, should you wish. Note I wanted ‘Old Man of the Mountain’, but apparently that’s taken. Live by the sea in Ireland, but I’d be very British from a cultural perspective. Not driven by fortune or fame, but I don’t hate them either, and neither should you. I’m not going to bother with any spiritual ‘credentials’, with online qualifications, listing the mainstream honors I ‘could’ of had, or ‘faking’ relationships with the great and the good, my bona fides are contained in the information I’m giving you.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed that, maybe you are at least a little curious..
You can do what you want with this information, should it interest you.. ON ONE BIG ASS CONDITION – you reference, you cite, you note where you got it from. That’s all, nice and simple. This is not a business, I’m not an influencer, or a guru, I want to help, indeed I’m actually ‘obligated’ to try. Even at this early stage its important to introduce you to the concept of personal integrity, authenticity into the spiritual mix, or the age old concept of ‘honour’, should you prefer it.
Lastly, this is hopefully some of the most valuable information you will ever read, but there is no charge, should you not see it that way, much as I will get around to putting up a donation option at some point.