Usually, when you mention the word spirituality, people start to get nervous. I'm sure you don't need me to remind you that spirituality is a fairly touchy subject in our day and age. After all, personal autonomy is our number one value, and anything that we feel impedes or limits that sense of personal autonomy, is problematic.
Either we're suspicious of it, dismissive, or we oppose it. It is something that we view as a problem. While most of us are perfectly okay with other people being spiritual, we definitely have an issue with others imposing their spirituality on us no matter how subtle it may be.
Indeed, the whole concept of spirituality is some sort of philosophical landmine, and I'm not just talking about the West. With that said, please understand that human beings have a spiritual element. Now, that spiritual element is not going to go away just because you don't believe it. Just because you can't measure, just because you can't reduce it into numbers, or some sort of x-ray diagram, or some sort of MRI scan, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Spiritual toxins. Believe it or not, were surrounding ourselves with toxins that eat away at our sense of purpose.
If you don't believe me, look at your life. Look at the situations in your past when you had a different purpose. Look at what you were able to achieve because you felt you had a certain purpose, or lacked purpose. Now, compare that with other periods in your life when you were animated by a different purpose. Do you see the difference?
It may seem immaterial, it might even seem foolish, but a sense of purpose can go a long way. You have to understand that the big challenge of life is not so much how to figure out what to do and how to do things, or when to do them, and who to do it with. Those are the technical details. Most of us are smart enough to be able to figure those out.
The real challenge in life is why we do things. What is it about that certain activity that enables us to try again and again despite all the discouragement, failures, and setbacks that life throws our way? In other words, it's all about purpose. Because let me tell you, you can tell somebody what to do, and they probably won't perform as well compared to how they would do if you gave them a sense of meaning.
They will find the strength they need to keep going despite the challenges and setbacks. How come? They're moving purposefully. They know that they are not just wasting their time. They know that somehow, someway, they're not just chasing their tail. They know that they're working for something bigger and better than themselves. They are working for something more meaningful.
That's the difference, and that truth highlights the power of spirituality in our lives. It also highlights the fact that this spirituality is often crushed, distorted, deformed, if not seriously compromised. How come? Spiritual toxins. Believe it or not, were surrounding ourselves with toxins that eat away at our sense of purpose. They eat away at our ability to turn our ideas into things that we can see, touch, taste, smell, and hear.
They eat away at our ability to claim and shape the reality we want for ourselves. The human being is the most powerful creature in the universe, and the problem is most people are all too content to live their lives like worms, or slugs. Tragic, no?