My friend Kabar posted a very interesting question on his blog:
How do you define spiritual depth in a person?
Here is what he says:
“The deepest spiritual people that I know all have one thing in common: balance.
Perhaps balance is our most natural state and when we have that state we come into contact with our spirit?
These deep people do not pretend to be something more than they are. They are very comfortable within themselves and also very normal. I think that to be normal is a sign of high spiritual achievement. When people appear to be great or act like they are something more than they are, it is a clear sign of insecurity. If someone is great and deep that is what they are; they do not bother with trying to prove it to others. The greatness of their spirit is coming through them and they need not take credit for it.
Humor is another quality that I have seen in deep people. They are not afraid to laugh and do so often. No matter how much effort people put in to growing spiritually if they loose their ability to laugh then they are missing the big picture.”- continue reading here.
Kabar is calling out for inputs to this topic, please share your ideas on his blog or here, we both are really looking froward to your definitions!
Here is my humble try to define it:
“Your definition is very interesting and I think i know that you mean. however…you know, exactly what you give as the core qualities – balance, normality and humour – these are the basic qualities of my father, who has recently (finally!) started seeking but by all respect I cannot call him a deep spiritual person. But he fits your description perfectly! How come?
I suggest there must be some other things as well…I will try to contribute although my answer will be surely incomplete.
Basically, yes – balance is essential. Nothing is so great in someone swinging from left to right, from depression to domination.
Accepting people as what they are: welcoming everyone at heart and being patient, loving and compassionate same way to everyone…this seems to be essential. My favorite saint Hazrat Inayat Khan once stated that the real reason why people love to go and see some saints is not to get something like blessing, but to see someone who will accept them UNCONDITIONALLY.
“Glowing face” effect – it seems very important to me that the really deep person can be easily identified from the crowd just by his/her beaming, harmonious and peaceful face and overall appearance. He/she emits “THAT”. However the “glowing face” effect should not be mistaken for the charisma phenomenon, since charisma is something else.
Last but not least I would name “globality” in a person. That a spiritually deep one would have concern with the whole world, putting the enlightened attention on various world issues, and not only enjoying the bliss and peace within.”
I agree with the qualities you have selected, but I have met and read of people I take to be deeply spiritual who do not conform to them. It has been decades since I read Varieties of Religious Experiences by William James, but if you want a very thorough and thought-provoking answer to this question you should find a copy.
James was an American scholar in the late 1800s, loosely in the Transcendentalist tradition of Emerson and Thoreau. The book is a series of academic lectures in which he deconstructs different ways that religious (by which he means spiritual, even though today most of us separate the two) can experience express itself in individual lives. It is a tour of the saints through history. Some of them are nothing like our expectations, and it provides an eye-opening lesson about putting boundaries around something boundless.
Axinia, you and kabar have asked very difficult question. answer is covered by big illusion as a story of elephant and five blinds , everybody is describing on his own experience still the whole answer may be totally different . It is quite possible that we don’t know totality.
For me Anonymous helpers are the best spirituals as they really don’t bother for right or wrong , big or small they just go on working with their mission without any publicity and in-return expectation he/she may be just any common man with may be no identity (still a God to the person who has got anonymous help may be as simple as giving lift or may be life saving issues without any identity or recognition). I agree with other qualities what both have mentioned i donot agree with your glowing face concept as he maybe as simple as any body, common man still doing a big thing ( Global) it is not nesesory that he should be public figure as it is not his/her intention at all or even he may not notice that also.he will be enjoying within himself only
Still I feel to measure spirituality we have to use some different tools like vibratory awareness because it is quite possible that those people may be totally detached also so may be isolated them selves.
since last few years i am also interested in this question and in search of such person(s) and i know i will find (or i find them) in common man only neither in Himalayas nor in temple. many times what i feel true spirituality brings people closure, develop intimacy love mercy and shows really deep concerns ( still remain detached ) about people and those who are really needy , ignorant and even poor and the people who are working anonymously without any interest of publicity and in-return gain or down to earth on reality ,they all are spiritually deep. Still needs to meditate more to find real answer….
Not by charisma, outer personality, or glow but by
unassuming-ness, sense of equanimity, expanse, childlike demeanour, still but joyous bearing…
and last and probably the least,
the lifestyle that of a fakir 🙂
Hi Axinia.As I am new to SY,can you tell me what knowledge a teenager must have about SY.
hi Sam, I think it’s the same knowledge as for any other age 🙂
The most important this in that regard that you make your OWN experiences with vibrations, with thoughtless awareness and then see for yourself how you feel about it, how you can introduce this amazing power into your daily life and how you can benefit from it in all spheres of life.
please check this site, you might find it a useful guide: http://coolcheck.org/
enjoy and welcome to share you experiences here too!
Everybody is a human with spiritual depth!
i agree, but it’s then the question of manifestaion of this deepness. This is obviously not manifested the same way with everyone.
Individual will,wish and efforts in that direction are needed, still there are chances that it manifest differently as it also totally not depend on individual. It require cosmic showering of blessings…so use principle of one of 10 guru i.e. “Shrudha aur saburi” – Devotion and patience…..
Axinia, the deepness of whom?
As much as I see in many human the neurotic aspects preventing them to perceive all parameters, I see at the same time how the same neurose in her twisted avoiding creativity, points directly to what I would call unconscious awareness, or in your word..deepness.
So, I suggest that the deepness of perception of this potential deepness is the point who makes the difference, not the existing deepness in everybody.
I never meet a shallow human in my life, I meet a lot of wounded and fearful human.
Do you understand my point of view?
Or to say it with other words, hierarchical division is not an enlightement experience.
A spiritually deep person is not necessarily in balance or beaming and compassionate showing. There are some individuals who are spiritually deep that are cynical (they see the world for what it is behind all of the charades and daily distractions which causes them to see the pretentious side of things that people get swallowed up in, which causes the individual to feel disgusted and annoyed by the blindness of humans…especially nowadays.) They are also compassionate and aware of the divine soul in each person regardless how bad he/she may be although the spiritually deep person may not radiate it so obviously to others (especially if the spiritually deep person is guarded or cynical.) A spiritually deep person can feel very isolated at times in the world because they feel alone in their awareness of how blind and unaware alot of the world is. Also, a spiritually person may find her/himself constantly questioning the meaning and value of life as well as what happens afterwards. They are always looking for these answers and may not find alot of other people interesting and be bored quickly (this due to the fact that they are above alot of worldly distractions.) They will feel they don’t fit in to the usual circle of people although they may have the skills to conform and fool everyone, but it will feel like hard, mundane work and they will eventually give up and not care what others think.) They can also be trouble makers who stir things up by saying or doing things to throw the “unaware” people off their ridiculous desire to be “normal” pattern. They tend to not have as much of a filter and leak things out on the sole purpose of trying to awaken people. (To some it will be offensive being they are afraid of “seeing” things for what they are and others may also be amused with the uncommon rawness and honesty that is revealed in a masked society of pretenders.)But then again.. part of the spiritually deep person will always want to fit in and they will almost wish they could not be aware (ignorance can be bliss) in order to get out of their heads and enjoy the moment more. But then again, there are some who can enjoy the moment…(which is a spiritually fulfilling experience being moments are all we can be sure of.) So basically…there are spiritually deep individuals who are troubled and are unsatisfied, who are looking for spiritual fulfillment in a troubled, dangerous world full of blindness and unawakened zombies. These people can be both appreciative and curious of the world and beyond… and at the same time be tired and annoyed by the pettiness and blindness of alot of people in it. Look at what is happening to this world. It is going downhill quickly and we are not making things any better. We are destroying what should be a gift to us with all of our loud noise and distractions. Humans are becoming less in touch with just BEING and becoming a dysfunctional mess trying to keep up with the distractions. We are being sucked in to this rat race of greed and technology which will never satisfy us in the end and the whole time all you had to do was STOP and smell the flowers. just BE. Let everything else go by and just be empty and breathe. That is what it’s like to be a spiritually deep person who is fulfilled. Loving and being loved by someone. LIVE and follow your heart with passion and without fear. It is hard to remember and follow this being at times we can be pulled into the everyday distractions…but don’t let it control you to where you eventually become blind and unaware. And if you are already permanently blind then you will most likely be offended by all of this and reject it as ridiculous.
Janis, your blog reminds me of a Beatles song titled “Within You Without You”. It goes “We were talking-about the space between us all. And the people- who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion-Never glimpse the truth- then it’s far too late – when they pass away. We were talking- about a love we all could share- when we find it, to try our best to hold it there- with our love, with our love we could change world- if they only knew. Try to realize it’s all within yourself no one else can make you change. And to see you’re only very small and life goes on within you and without you. We were talking- about a love that’s grown so cold- and the people who gain the world and lose their soul- they don’t know they can’t see – are you one of them? When you’ve seen beyond yourself- then you may find peace of mind is waiting there. And the time will come when you see we’re all one and life goes on within you and without you.” Different words, different times…yet you and George Harrison of The Beatles seem to be saying the same thing. Have a happy penguin day. Peace!
I agree that spiritual people can be cynical, and I know some of this kind. But deep – never! Because at the core of cynizm lies the lack of repect to oneself and others, and respect is one of the essential quailites for any civilized and evolved person.
Ah Dear Axinia,
such wonderful thoughts that touch me when I come here to glance. Of course the depth of being spiritual is love as you suggest.
The great Russian writer Leo Tolstoy wrote a book later in his life called, “The Kingdom of God is Within You.” This title is taken from the passage of scripture in the Christian bible in Luke 17:20-21. In this book Tolstoy draws on another passage in the Christian bible where the Christ teaches to not resist evil with evil (Matthew 5:39) and he writes some very powerfully truthful thoughts.
We understand that he infuenced Gandhi in his quest for change upon the earth through peaceful resistance, as well as influenching Martin Luther King and we all still bask in the change that they were both able to institute upon the earth.
Simply to learn how to love those who mistreat you and persecute you as loving your enemy is the teaching, as in becoming selfless and merciful and kind, just like God.
For what profit or gain is it for one to love only those who treat oneself in a good pleasing manner, as with love and kindness. But if one walks in the divine love, which drives out all fear, that one’s life becomes indestructible through the eternal life that one is raised up into for that one’s reward has become great through the manifestation of the divine nature.
We know that the divine nature is the divine love, which is the perfect love. This is the love that is able to love even one’s enemies, for it brings a fearless indestructible life. Nothing can harm the one who chooses to love, for the divine love drives out all fear, thus bringing freedom.
Yet, the divine love is the perfect love and this love is not a human love for it is not within the human grasp to love one’s enemies except by the denial of self and the flesh.
I can share with you in truth that I have had my bones broken on more than one occasion and I have been able to continue to love. I have been scorned and mistreated along with my loved ones and I have been able to continue to love. I have had to flee my home and my possessions and I have been able to continue to love. So, I simply share with you that this is possible, this loving one’s enemies.
Yet, mercy and love come from a place of tremendous power and not cowardice because those who fear have not been perfected in love. Love is simply a choice of the will rooted in truth which is the divine.
Here are some continuing thoughts very briefly concerning the will.
Think of a river flowing into the sea. The river now becomes the sea. It has become lost within a more complex and powerful entity than it was known to be. The river no longer exists, but the water of the river does. Yet, the water of the river exists as something much different now. For it is now the water of the sea, or simply the sea.
The existence of the river and everything pertaining to it is over except for its essence. For the water, which is the essence of the river, has a new and different beginning now in becoming the sea. The river is no longer, yet the essence still lives on.
God is unchanging and God is love, the perfect love. And so, just as a river loses itself as it flows into the sea, so shall we all lose ourselves as we flow into the sea of God’s love. (Qur’an 2:156; Qur’an 51:21).
Of course, this will take much forgiveness or love, will it not? Yet, what can be only understood as a circle of eternity, so will this also come to pass.
For there is no other uncreated and eternal will except for God’s will alone. And because the will belongs to God, he knows how to speak to that which is his own.
As always you and your loved ones are in my thoughts and my thoughts have become my prayers.
Adieu, Michael Christopher.
Thank you Michael Christopther for you beautiful and inspiring words! LOVE
Please forgive me Axinia, as I should have drawn my thoughts farther along in our last dialogue.
We understand that the depth of the spiritual seeker is love, the divine love. And this love finds its source and root in obedience to the word that speaks in the heart of everyone.… this calling in every heart to love in gentleness and in mercy.
Love is simply a choice of the will rooted in truth. So, we find that the depth of one who is truly spiritual would be the one who places the will in truth to love.
For God is love and love is the energy that is conceived by the motion of understanding that flows from the Wisdom, which is the brilliant light of the will found within the Eternal mind. And where is this Eternal mind, but as a spark of the divine in everyone?
And it is the soft hearts that will always yield to this spark until it becomes a burning flame.
As always, thank you for being so gracious with us in your kindness.
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